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Five thousand flyers will be distributed to local synagogues and churches. Another major distribution channel is through the public education system, Brooklyn College is located within the Midwood community, it has now become a strong community meeting point for both students and adults. Pamphlets distributed through the school will be able to attract large audiences. ADA provides a series of seminar and workshops called the "Diabetes Awareness Program." Using the DAP as the basis for creating local interest; this series will be launched through the community as a public forum for understanding diabetes. Such a forum will be targeted to two distinct audiences. The first will be public speaking engagements for local health care professionals to increase their awareness of diabetes within their community and prepare for the flood of questions to come. Information sessions for the general public will take the form of public rallies or seminars staged through the ADA within Brooklyn College or on the streets of Midwood itself. Distribution of information is the first step towards increasing awareness of diabetes.
Once information is distributed throughout the community it is necessary to provide actual points of reference for diagnosis throughout the community. A majority of the population within Midwood do not have access to healthcare and proper diagnosis. Volunteers trained through NDEP will be able to assist in diabetes screenings in two different capacities. First, volunteers will be stationed in the local hospitals and clinics to answer any questions and to perform basic measures for diabetes. Second, mobile health units will be extremely important for those individuals who would like to be diagnosed but does not have access to healthcare facilities. Mobile health units are designed to be able to test for basic indicators of diabetes such as vision, dental and blood pressure tests that would determine both diabetes symptoms and pre-diabetes risk indicators. Such mobile units can then provide recommendations for treatment and further diagnosis. Counselors will also be among the volunteers within mobile units to assist in planning treatment and further tests at a full service health care provider.
The organization of a large scale public works will be the final step towards greater awareness. Along with the ADA and NDEP, the Lion's Club also coordinates initiatives towards greater diabetes awareness. The organization of a "walk for diabetes awareness" will serve two purposes. First it will help to provide a method for public awareness and participation. Second, it provides a mechanism for local charity and contributions providing greater resources for furthering distribution material and to sustain current operations within Midwood. Such a walk has been successfully organized by ADA in multiple cities including Manhattan. Midwood provides an ideal opportunity for such because its small community is centered around central streets which would maximize both participation and publicity. Furthermore, since the 1980s, Midwood has had an extremely activity community which focuses on helping raise the infrastructure of the community through community outreach and improving real estate infrastructure. Leveraging their commitment to the community to organize a "walk for diabetes" would help increase grassroots awareness. Mobile health units will be available during this event to provide individuals with diagnosis.
Administrative and Political Assessment
The ADA has fostered strong mentorship programs that allow individuals to initiate diabetes grassroots campaigns within their own neighborhoods, which allows the Midwood model to receive both financial and planning backing from several foundations. The creation of the literature needed for such a campaign is donated through the ADA as well as the Lion's Club, which strongly focuses on the use of literature to promote greater awareness. The administrative costs of obtaining mobile health units, pamphlets, as well as planning volunteer and city events will be funded through donations and grants from several notable organizations. The Lion's Club traditionally allows applicants to receive as much as 30,000 dollars for diabetes initiatives within local communities, several national level organizations as well as the WHO all provide high level grants for the organization of large scale projects and events within this particular field. Volunteers will come from two particular groups. ADA trains volunteers within the New York City area on a yearly basis to initiate grassroots campaigns. These volunteers will spearhead large scale projects centered around counseling, organizational metrics, and the "walk for diabetes" event. However, local volunteers from the community will be leveraged to conduct the bulk of grassroots literature distribution and underground marketing. Local government has strong support historically for such project; Midwood has allowed public forums for HIV / AIDS and other medical epidemics in the past. Approval must be received from the local government for literature distribution as well as organization for security and traffic direction for large public forums. Furthermore, contacting local church and religious organizations to distribute through these organizations would be the first step within the marketing campaign. Since ADA volunteer staffers organize and operate all mobile health units, they have formally received training and certification in first aid. The procedures necessary for a complete diagnosis within a mobile unit are all legally qualified as long as ADA provides certification. Counseling services and other administrative aspects are professionals who can guide diagnosed individuals to local hospitals. Currently the most accessible and fully provided health provider for the Midwood region is the University of Brooklyn hospital. During the campaign, further staffing with volunteers will aid the process by which UB hospital can handle excess capacity for testing and assessment.
The development of a diabetes awareness program can be challenging because symptoms and repercussions are not immediately evident. Midwood, with its diversity ethnic community, low income families and many other external factors makes it a hot-bed for undiagnosed cases of diabetes. A program constructed at the grassroots level to motivate the community to understand the problems associated with diabetes as well as using the resources of ADA, NDEP and the Lion's club to leverage a strong community push towards appreciation and testing. Diagnosis becomes the ultimate goal of this diabetes awareness program. This can take place through both the use of mobile health units to ensure access for the individuals who have no access to full service health facilities. Another venue would be to utilize both volunteers and local health providers such as the University of Brooklyn Hospital. Through this program the needs of the individuals are met because they are now much more aware of diabetes and the causes and dangers associated with this disease. The promotion of such an activity also creates a very tight knit community because it leverages members of the community to act in union to spread the message…[continue]
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