NORWAY – The Diabetes Education Program at Stephens Memorial Hospital and Healthy Oxford Hills were recently awarded a $1,600 grant by the Maine Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

The funding is being used to increase awareness of healthy eating and physical activity as proven, effective strategies in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

In September, the diabetes program sponsored a Healthy Lifestyle Bookmark Design Contest for fifth graders in SAD 17. The entries were required to depict healthy eating or healthy activity. More than 70 students from the district submitted entries.

Betty Sirois, nurse diabetes educator, said, “There were so many excellent entries, it was really hard to choose a winner. The students definitely captured the idea of the message we were trying to convey.”

All entries were reviewed by Ken Morse, Director of Healthy Oxford Hills; Pat Watson, hospital dietitian and diabetes educator; and Sirois. Kasey Huntress from Harrison Elementary School won first place.

Healthy Oxford Hills and the diabetes program also sponsored the “Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit” installation at the Oxford Hills Business Showcase. Educational materials on diabetes prevention were distributed and Watson was on hand to answer questions about healthy eating.

Morse unveiled the new walking trail maps and spoke about the Maine Healthy Walks and Walktober programs. Libby Graffam, assistant director of Healthy Oxford Hills, demonstrated the negative effects of smoking and provided materials on smoking cessation classes. Lissa Merrill, a hospital physical therapist, demonstrated ways to safely increase physical activity.

The diabetes program will sponsor a Health Appetizer and Dessert Contest in December. The details are being finalized and information will be available soon. The contest will focus on tasty holiday treats that are lower in fat and calories than most traditional holiday dishes. For more information, call 743-1562, ext. 420.

Anchored by Stephens Memorial Hospital, the goal of Western Maine health is to improve the health and well-being of its community through education, support and up-to-date medical technology.

A not-for-profit integrated healthcare system, Western Maine Health is committed to providing medical care to all those who seek it. Western Maine Health is a member of the Maine Health family.

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