Making healthy choices can transform your life, but doing it alone can be an uphill battle. That’s why the Health Education Team at Grand River Health in Rifle offers classes and support. From diabetes education and new-mom support groups to cooking classes, Grand River Health breaks down healthy lifestyle habits into small, digestible chunks.
Diabetes Prevention and Management
Diabetes can seem overwhelming, but Grand River Health’s programs help both kids and adults take a proactive approach.
Their Diabetes Management program guides recently diagnosed patients, as well as those who simply need help staying on track.
“People who come to see us are satisfied. Some find that their diabetes does ‘reverse’ with weight control, healthy eating, and exercise. Their bodies are still able to make and use insulin, and their blood sugar levels go back to normal. Their diabetes is in remission” said Jenna Collinge, health educator at Grand River Health. “We take lifestyle changes one step at a time, making sure they take their medications properly and eat the proper amount of carbohydrates and get preventative care like foot checks and eye exams.”
Grand River Health’s two-year Diabetes Prevention program is aimed at people who have pre-diabetes. It focuses on preventing type 2 diabetes through healthy eating habits and sharing recipes and tips for increasing physical activity and managing stress.
Before the program, Tim Enfinger tried a lot of different diets, but nothing stuck. His dad had Type 2 diabetes, so when Enfinger’s hands began tingling, he joined the online Diabetes Prevention program.
“My favorite thing about the video series was the folks were very similar to me,” he said. “My coach was awesome. If I had a question, she would always respond. I was pretty much your standard couch potato before the program. Now my wife and I go walking every day. I feel a lot better. I sleep better, and I’m more confident.”
Through the program, some participants who incorporated exercise and lifestyle modifications lost 10-20 pounds after six months, Collinge said.
For kids, Pediatric Diabetes Management provides pediatric telehealth from Barbara Davis Center clinic every second Friday of the month. To schedule an appointment, call (303) 724-2323.
Learning how to shop on a budget, read labels, price compare and prepare inexpensive meals can enhance your wallet and health.
Cooking Matters, a free six-week course, teaches participants to identify healthy food options and portion sizes, plan menus, shop smart and prepare quick and easy snacks and meals. Each week, people receive a bag of groceries and share meals they’ve prepared.
“Some people who start off don’t eat vegetables, but they find out they like certain fruits and vegetables,” Collinge said. “It opens their eyes to other food options, and a lot of people have cut their grocery bills almost in half.”
Even when people only have microwaves, the Cooking Matters team shows them how to eat healthy microwave meals. They also teach people how to add nutrients to inexpensive noodles, like ramen, by adding canned or frozen vegetables.
Cooking Matters also encourages community bonding; participants often continue to meet to cook or take walks together.
In addition to Cooking Matters, Grand River Health hosts monthly weight loss, bariatric support and walking groups to help people with weight management.
Parents play an essential role in their children’s health, which is why Grand River Health focuses on providing the best start possible.
Lactation services include free phone consultations and tips.
Meanwhile, Baby & Me, a free support group for new moms, meets in person at 10 a.m. most Wednesdays and offers a private Facebook Group. Each session covers a different topic, from breastfeeding challenges or stages of development to local resources and creating joyful homes.
“It’s a way to get the caregiver out of the house and let the kids have interaction with one another and let caregivers chat about the challenges of parenting,” Collinge said.
Whether you’re challenged by diabetes, weight, kidney disease or hypertension or simply finding your way as a new parent, Grand River Health is here to help.
“Our number one priority is being our community’s first choice in healthcare and disease prevention,” Collinge said.