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Diabetes event held recently at medical center

November 25, 2009

The sounds of Diana Ross filled the room and feather boas were waving back and forth at Robinwood Medical Center during a unique educational program designed for women with diabetes.

Titled Divabetic, the hospital's community outreach group and Robinwood Endocrinology Center brought the program to Hagerstown to help women incorporate fun and a feeling of empowerment to their diabetes self-management program.

Nearly 70 women attended.

"Our hope is that the participants left feeling more confident about caring for themselves in a healthy manner," said Cindy Earle, RN, community health education coordinator at the hospital.

Divabetic is a national nonprofit diabetes education program run by founder and director Max Szadek. Szadek was inspired to reach out to the diabetic community after working with rhythm and blues legend and diabetic Luther Vandross who passed away in 2005. He says that taking diabetes education out of the clinical setting and mixing it with beauty and fashion helps women be upbeat about their care.

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"It's a very serious disease and can be very depressing, but you can be in charge of it," said Susan Akridge, program manager at Robinwood Endocrinology Center.

"Divabetic is a real inspiration because there is good energy in life and diabetes doesn't have to take that away from you."

In addition to the feather boa workout, attendees had the opportunity to learn healthy lifestyle tips, play interactive games, and have a one-on-one consultation with image and style consultant Catherine Schuller.

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