Serving patients while raising awareness Quarterly diabetes day at the Tulalip Health Clinic

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic held their quarterly Diabetes Day Tuesday, May 13. Diabetes Day is held once every three months, and for four hours the clinic makes all the services readily available to patients.

“With diabetes, it’s just convenient to have everybody right there and then to see me,” said Veronica Leahy, diabetes educator for the clinic. “People can come in and do their labs. Some people have had to fast, so we have healthy snacks available for afterwards.”

While Diabetes Day is intended to provide convenient all inclusive same-day service to patients, there is  also an effort to bring awareness to people on how to prevent the disease. Clinic nurses used diagrams and models to show the effects of unhealthy lifestyles and how they can lead to or magnify diabetes.

Burleigh Snyder is a patient of the clinic and an advocate for diabetes awareness. He participates in most of the diabetes events, and contributes the gardens at the clinic and at the Hibulb Cultural Center.

He said, “I should be six feet under. My highest number (highest blood sugar level) was 1873. I was found in a coma, I died three times at the hospital. I advocate for diabetes awareness so that maybe what happened to me will help someone else prevent diabetes in their life.”

Rob Taylor, who volunteers at the clinic’s garden, said, “We are showing people how to eat better. Diet is so closely tied to diabetes and obesity. Healthy eating to reduce weight is very beneficial to diabetes. We would like to expand the garden, maybe include an orchard, but that’s a ways out.”

The next Diabetes Days are August 12 and November 18. Stop in at the Tulalip Health Clinic from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on those days to learn more.

Andrew Gobin is a reporter with the See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Phone: (360) 716.4188