Author: Vince Ford, Chief Community Health Services Officer

Before seeking a medical professional, measuring our own personal health can be a challenge. While we may feel healthy, our body may not tell the same story. Looking at recent statistics, more than 450,000 South Carolinians are affected by diabetes, many of who are undiagnosed, and the prevalence of diabetes is higher among minorities than it is among Caucasians.

I had the opportunity to meet one of our participants, Rhonda Marshall, who also works at the Richland Library – North Main campus. She recently was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, but through her successful completion of Palmetto Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program, she was able to reduce her risk of developing type 2 diabetes. She’s an example of someone who thought they were healthy and felt fine, but didn’t know there was a potentially deadly disease within her body. She’s doing great now and is sharing her story with her community. She is an advocate for healthy living and now assists with diabetes prevention programs at the Library.

Hear more about her story below:

We all need some inspiration at times to remind us why we do what we do. Our families, our friends, our colleagues can provide motivation for us. Working in health care and in the community, I get to hear inspiring stories from people like Rhonda. She is a is a great ambassador for so many people in her community, as she has been willing to share her story in order to make a difference in other people’s lives

By taking advantage of screenings and health care resources, our community can be take charge of their health. Preventative care is the most cost-efficient form of medical treatment and statistically the most effective. I believe that I speak for everyone when I say that numbers do not lie when it comes to stopping the problem before it starts and that medical issues usually have a better outcome the sooner the issue is discovered.

Palmetto Health

Palmetto Health offers free diabetes screenings, along with other types of screenings for prostate, cervical, breast, lung and colorectal cancer. Support programs and case management is provided through initiatives such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, which is designed to help participants delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes through targeted dieting and various exercises. Healthy Palmetto, a Palmetto Health program, encourages participants to create healthy lifestyle changes including eating fewer calories and being more physically active. Many participants have seen noticeable changes and have found what a healthy lifestyle truly means.

To learn more about Palmetto Health’s free screenings and support programs, visit PalmettoHealth.org/CommunityHealth. Weekly screenings are provided along with events held in the community.