By Megan Perry
For the first time in five years, the East Los Angeles College Nursing Department will host the American Diabetes Association Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center next Saturday.
“Diabetes is a silent killer,” said Lurlean Gaines, ELAC’s nursing department chair.
This is a departmental project created by Gaines, so all 300 of her students and her entire faculty will perform the screenings, draw blood and help keep the kids safe and entertained with activities such as face painting, arts and crafts and a rock wall to climb.
The ADA, along with Gaines and the ELAC Nursing Department, wants to ensure that important health messages and opportunities for participation are provided for communities.
The expo will include health screenings, such as eye, foot, blood, hearing and dental, along with blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings and a measure of average blood glucose, A1C.
Health care professionals from the surrounding community will field questions in the “Ask the Expert” section.
Seminars from doctors, nurses and dietitians from the University of California, Los Angeles, Kaiser Permanente, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine held to help individuals learn more on how to manage diabetes and how to prevent its devastating complications.
“Everybody knows somebody who has diabetes or has diabetes themselves,” so this will be a good opportunity to learn about research being conducted, medications and how to avoid complications with diabetes,” said Gaines.
“Diabetes is one of the biggest killers in the nation, and in the world,” said Gaines.
Diabetes rates in California have doubled in the last decade.
If present trends continue, one in three Americans born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime, and one in two if they are African-American or Latino.
Gaines is is on the Board of Directors for the ADA, which has expos nationally, and wanted ELAC to be involved.
Gaines said she is excited this year because the expo will be held at the L.A. Convention Center instead of Long Beach, which was the venue for the previous five years.
She felt that they were missing a lot of community members by holding the expo in Long Beach when the majority of the community lives closer to Downtown L.A.
The services and seminars will be given in both English and Spanish.
The expo will be free, including all of the screenings, and parking is $12.
The event takes place on Saturday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the LA Convention Center, South Hall K.
For more information, call 1-888-DIABETES ext. 7503.