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Regionwide health care summit to teach management, prevention of diabetes

- Public encouraged to attend -

BRIDGEWATER, NJ. (March 6, 2013) - Diabetes is on track to become the greatest public health crisis of the next quarter century. To combat the threat, the American Diabetes Association’s northern New Jersey office, in tandem with Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Sanofi, announced today they will host an educational and disease-management summit dubbed “Diabetes: From Head to Toe” on Saturday, March 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at North Brunswick High School, 98 Raider Road. The public is invited to attend this event, held in conjunction with American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

Diabetes: From Head to Toe is part of ADA’s Por Tu Familia program, a year-round initiative designed to aid tens of thousand of people throughout the region through a series of programs and community events delivered directly to those who need care and diabetes education. The summit, now in its fourth year, will feature free health screenings for blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, dental disease, osteoporosis, skin damage, body mass index, lung age capacity, stress, carbon monoxide exposure, feet and ankle problems, and vision; children’s activities; exhibitor displays by health care providers and organizations, and a number of seminars that are free to the public.

Visitors can also experience four classroom areas at this year’s event - an Adults Zone, a Kids Zone, a Fitness Zone and a Cooking Zone - where seminars about those topics and groups will be held during the day.

In the Adults Zone, participants can learn about smoking cessation, how to use a blood sugar meter and the connection between gum disease and diabetes. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will offer educational presentations about changes in Medicare and Social Security.

The Kids Zone will offer children and their parents the chance to learn about the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating during childhood, stretching exercises for kids, a healthy snack demonstration, a hula hoops contest, a “Move Your Body” contest, and relaxation techniques that can benefit children.

In the Fitness Zone users will learn about the benefits of physical activity in their daily lives and United Healthcare will demonstrate the “Silver Sneakers” exercise program for older adults and seniors.

The Cooking Zone, supported by HealthFirst, will focus on preparing and cooking healthier meals taught by celebrity chef Mauricio Londono, food tastings, basics about counting carbs, and how to read food labels.

A free shuttle service, provided by New Brunswick Tomorrow, will be available to the community every hour on the hour from 8 a.m to 1 p.m. departing from four locations in New Brunswick: McKinley Community Elementary School (15 Van Dyke Ave.); New Brunswick Free Public Library (60 Livingston Ave.); Paul Robeson Community School (199 Commercial Ave.), and Walgreens (20 Jersey Ave.).

A full list of seminars can be viewed at General admission is free. However, only those participants who register in advance will receive complimentary continental breakfast and lunch. For more information or to register call 732-469-7979, Ext. 3510, or visit

“It is estimated that nearly 800,000 New Jersey residents are affected by diabetes and one-third of those people have no idea that they have this very serious disease,” said Gina Murdoch, executive director for the ADA’s northern New Jersey office. “It is imperative that those at risk take charge of their health and make changes that will result in a healthier future.”

“Diabetes self-management education is the hallmark of care at the Saint Peter's Diabetes Care and Control Center (DCCC),’’ said Meena Murthy, MD, an endocrinologist and chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “We provide board-certified endocrinologists, certified diabetes educators, licensed clinical social workers, and registered dietitians. By teaming up with the ADA in this unique venture, Saint Peter’s will be able to provide an even greater array of services to a greater number of patients - services including diagnosis, education, medication (including the insulin pump), nutrition counseling, diagnostic continuous monitoring, exercise counseling, and psychological counseling.’’

Primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than 9 pounds. Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that they have the disease.

While people with diabetes can exhibit noticeable symptoms such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst, most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not show these overt warning signs. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people develop one or more of its serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, or nerve damage that can lead to amputations.

The event is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsors Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Sanofi US along with AARP, Colgate, EZ-Sweets, HealthFirst, Merck, New Brunswick Tomorrow, New Jersey Dental Association, and UnitedHealthcare. The conference is also supported by the following professionals and community organizations: Vineland Department of Health; Global Advisory SmokeFree Policy, NAMI – NJ; National Association of Hispanic Nurses - NJ Chapter; New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired; and New Jersey Dental Hygienists' Association.

About the American Diabetes Association, Northern New Jersey office
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, its mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About Saint Peter's Healthcare System
Saint Peter's Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter's healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter's University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital; Saint Peter's Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; and Saint Peter's Health and Management Services Corporation, which oversees the system's outpatient facilities. These include the CARES Surgicenter; New Brunswick Cardiac Cath Lab; Community Care Services, Inc.; the Margaret McLaughlin McCarrick Care Center, Inc., a residential skilled nursing facility in Somerset; and Saint Peter's Adult Day Center in Monroe Township. Saint Peter's Healthcare System is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. For more information about Saint Peter's Healthcare System, please visit or call 732-745-8600.


Philip Hartman
Director of Public Relations
Saint Peter's Healthcare System
New Brunswick, N.J.
(732) 339-7002

Selma Betancourt
(732) 469-7979, Ext. 3510