By Joe Morey
On Sunday, Dec. 1, the Together on Diabetes group, consisting of LCO Tribal Governing Board member Tweed Shuman, tribal members Rose Barber, Sid Keller, Rob Miller, and Lorraine Smith attended the Diabetes Intervention Study at Black Bear Casino on the Fond du Lac Reservation.
The Study is part of the John Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and aims to provide resolutions to support intervention in diabetes in Ojibwe Country. According to a release, John Hopkins staff and Community Research Councils (CRC) from LCO and four other tribes which include patients, T2D providers, tribal leaders, and elders, are working together.
“We will adapt, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of a family-based, home-visiting type 2 diabetes (T2D) management and prevention intervention delivered by Ojibwe Family Health Coaches,” The release stated. “Adults living with T2D are “targets” of the intervention; youth (aged 10 – 16 years) receive lessons alongside target adults for prevention/reduction of known T2D risk factors and promotion of protective factors. We plan to enroll two sequential groups across the duration of the study in order to evaluate effectiveness over time.”
Shuman said he is proud of the work this organization is doing.
“I’ve been a long-time member starting back when I was a registered nurse at the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Clinic,” Shuman stated. “Now as a tribal leader I continue to value what this group is doing. We are pursuing a healthier lifestyle and healthier environment for our tribal members.”
Shuman went on to say he learned a lot from the initial project about stress and its effects on diabetes.
“We are moving forward with the data and implementing it in our new curriculum to improve all of our health initiatives amongst our tribal people.”
Shuman said he is honored to be a part of this study. “Because of my current leadership role and nursing background, this is has always been very important to me.”
The John Hopkins release states, “This research will contribute new knowledge about interventions to address chronic disease across generations and use design elements including Indigenous paraprofessional delivery to promote sustainability and scaling. If hypotheses are supported, we will offer a novel, intergenerational preventive intervention to address gaps in Indigenous health equity and systems of care.
“Type 2 diabetes represents a modern epidemic in many Native communities where rates are more than double the general US population. Diabetes is a major player in cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death, and contributes to complications that greatly reduce quality of life. Native children are increasingly affected and have been shown to have the highest and fastest growing rate of T2D of any racial/ethnic group.”