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Adventist HealthCare Outreach Coordinator Honored

By Lydia Parris

Congratulations to Kathy Coleman, cardiac and vascular outreach coordinator in the Health and Wellness Department at Adventist HealthCare. Coleman is also a member of the Allegheny East Conference’s Emmanuel-Brinklow church in Ashton Md., who was honored for her work with the African American Health Program (AAHP) during its recent 10th anniversary summit celebration.

Coleman is a charter member of the AAHP, which was created by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services in 1999 to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of African-Americans in the county. She currently serves as vice chair on the AAHP Executive Committee.

The AAHP began as four coalitions that focused on the areas of infant mortality, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and oral health. Coleman was the community chair for the Diabetes Coalition, sharing her expertise to formulate community programs that address diabetes. Working with Linda Goldsholl, dietician and staff chair, the coalition evolved into the monthly Diabetes Dining Club. This program has offered the support that diabetics need to live successfully with their condition. Because of the success, it has grown from one to three dining clubs, offered at several area community centers and churches.

“This program helps people to understand the three keys to blood sugar management-diet, exercise, and medication. Most importantly, how to eat, what to eat, and how to keep the body’s blood sugar level even throughout the day,” Coleman said, which is a key component in managing diabetes. These social groups dine on healthy foods, share and rate recipes, learn from diabetes educators, and engage in exercise and fun activities.

To learn more about the African American Health Program, visit onehealthylife.org.