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Central Ohio Diabetes Association

Camper holds a drawing labeled Camp Hamwi

Camp supporters help create lasting lessons, memories for children with diabetes

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News

Have you ever been to sleepaway camp? What was it like learning to canoe for the first time or being part of a team?

Kids with diabetes don’t always get to have these types of experiences as a result of the challenges of their illness. Rising or falling blood sugars as well as other diabetes-related complications can keep kids from exploring all that an overnight camp may have to offer. Their disease might even make them stand out among their peers, ultimately resulting in isolation or embarrassment.

The Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) has been operating camps designed specifically for children with diabetes since 1968. More than 7,500 youths have attended CODA’s summer camp, Camp Hamwi (named for Dr. George Hamwi, one of the co-founders of CODA). In fact, 2019 marks the 52nd year of consecutive camp offerings for children with diabetes.

At Camp Hamwi, campers ages 7-17 learn the importance of good diabetes control in their childhood and for a lifetime. In addition to Camp Hamwi, CODA offers Stepping Stones, a transitional day camp with an overnight outing for children ages 8-12, and Kids Camp, a day camp for children ages 3-7. A special program is offered for Counselors-In-Training, ages 17 & 18, with enrollment limited to individuals entering their senior year of high school who are looking for an opportunity to develop their leadership potential.

The 2019 camp season welcomed 10 campers to Kids Camp, 15 to Stepping Stones, and 176 to Camp Hamwi. These campers represented 36 Ohio counties with an additional camper coming from Illinois and two from West Virginia. CODA was founded in 1964, and merged with LifeCare Alliance in 2017. All three camps offer education opportunities for parents and families. Kids Camp and Stepping Stones offer group counseling and support services to parents who are anxious about leaving their children on their own – perhaps for the first time since their child’s diabetes was diagnosed.

These camp experiences would not be possible without the generous support of CODA funders. The Franklin County Community Partnership Grant Program has supported CODA camps since 2013. The Community Partnership Program is a competitive grant process whereby the Franklin County Board of Commissioners support local community-based organizations that serve county residents. As a direct result of this funding, campers learn to develop a personal diabetes management plan. The plan includes:

  1. A healthy meal plan.
  2. Regular physical exercise.
  3. Regular checks of blood glucose levels.
  4. Taking diabetes medications as prescribed.

The camp programming also helps children and parents learn about each element of the plan and to start practicing such positive behaviors as goal setting, self-monitoring, positive reinforcement, and shared responsibility for diabetes management. Eighty-six campers came from Franklin County this summer.

Similarly, the Ingram-White Castle Foundation has been supporting LifeCare Alliance and CODA camps for many years. The Foundation especially supports programs that address a critical human service need. Without this key support, CODA would not be able to provide scholarships for the nearly 200 campers that attend each summer. While the camp programs are designed primarily to promote the health of children with diabetes throughout their lifetime and to prevent the development of diabetes complications, they also teach self-care skills and help the participants develop confidence through appropriate medically supervised recreational activities. Most participants cite making new acquaintances with peers with whom they can share experiences and overcome feelings of isolation, fear, and anger as a valuable tool in helping them better manage their disease. Learning to manage diabetes helps ultimately prepare the campers for success in all aspects of life like school and work, which links to another area of emphasis for the Ingram-White Castle Foundation’s funding program.

Another funder without which CODA camps would not be possible is the New Venture Fund, which assists with CODA’s long-standing goal that no child with diabetes be turned away from having a camp experience because of their family’s economic situation.

For children who develop diabetes at a young age, it is crucial that they learn self-care skills such as blood sugar testing, insulin injections and the importance of adhering to diet and exercise regimens. Camp Hamwi offers diverse recreational programs for any skill level. The camp provides opportunities to develop team spirit and good sportsmanship in individual and group activities. Each camper is encouraged to try new activities and explore their individual interests.  It is important that campers explore “new territory” by focusing more upon their potential than on imagined limitations imposed by diabetes. There are supervised opportunities for horseback riding, archery, volleyball, soccer, basketball, canoeing, swimming, rappelling, campfires, and arts and crafts. This funding is crucial in allowing diabetic kids to achieve their full potential as they learn how to manage their illness.

All of CODA’s camps are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). This accreditation means that the camp maintains the highest professional standards in instruction, safety, and welfare for all campers. To maintain accreditation, the camp must meet or exceed standards in more than 300 areas. In recent years, the camping program has adapted to meet the needs of both campers and staff members who use insulin pumps. As the devices have increased in popularity and usage, approximately half of the campers and staff benefit from case-specific educational programs.

The Harry C. Moores Foundation, a longtime CODA camp funder, is located in Columbus, Ohio, and supports camps in order to make an impact in child welfare throughout the state. Many campers come from rural counties in Ohio where they might be the only student at their school with diabetes. Meeting other kids that also need to use an insulin pump or give themselves injections can be life-changing for those who are isolated by their condition. One camper, Katie, remarked about this topic, “You don’t have to think about having diabetes; it’s just the norm. You don’t have to apologize for being diabetic because they know what it’s like.” Helping kids ages 3-17 attend camp at little-to-no cost to their families is invaluable.

After camp ends, like it did this year on Aug. 3, staff complete a thorough outcome evaluation with campers and families to determine program and education components for the next year. Continuous quality improvement allows the program to better meet expressed education needs and adapt to requests among the participants. The camp education program has three focus areas: hypoglycemia awareness and treatment, bullying, and carb counting.

The CVS Health Foundation, another camp funder, is a great example of a corporate philanthropy program that helps campers take advantage of the camp curriculum to help better manage their disease. The Diabetes Camp Education Curriculum addresses every aspect of diabetes care including medical and psychosocial concerns.  There are three levels of curriculum: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Daily education sessions are led by the medical staff of physicians, nurses, and dietitians who focus on teaching about the nature of diabetes and methods of managing it. The complexity of issues related to diabetes dictate a relatively high ratio of medical staff to campers (no less than one health professional to eight campers). This ratio is significantly higher than many diabetes camps. The medical coverage at Camp Hamwi ensures that any medical issues that arise will be addressed by qualified medical staff rather than by counselors or non-medical personnel.

A licensed social worker conducts psychosocial programs designed to increase self-esteem and feelings of empowerment. These learning opportunities promote attitudes of independence and self-reliance crucial to the tight control of diabetes that leads to the reduction of death and disability due to diabetes or its complications.  These programs reinforce the work of the medical staff by enhancing commitment to systematic self-care and the level of glycemic control that leads to a full and healthy (near normal) lifestyle.

Thank you so much to all of our funders for making CODA camps so successful in 2019!

Camp Hamwi campers thanking longtime CODA funder, the Harry C. Moores Foundation.

CODA Director Cathy Paessun, left, and Dayna McCrary, community partnerships coordinator for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, pose during the 2019 Red Carpet Day at Camp Hamwi after a tour of the grounds specifically designed for grantors and funders.

Nominate a Volunteer for the LifeCare Alliance Spirit Awards!

By | Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Events, Featured News, Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels, POHC, Volunteers, Wellness
Thank you for nominating an outstanding volunteer for the Spirit Awards! Volunteers are essential to the success of LifeCare Alliance in our community, so it is important to recognize the wonderful work they do.
Please use the form below to submit your nomination. We want to know the LifeCare Alliance program that benefits from your nominee’s work, as well as the reasons your nominee stands out from all the rest.
Please visit LifeCare Alliance’s website and social media for information about volunteer recognition events as details are finalized. If you are interested in attending, please be sure to indicate so on the form below. Thank you!
Diabetes testing tools

Understanding the Basics of Diabetes

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Featured News

LifeCare Alliance offers diabetes management education through its wellness program and the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. We can assist with blood sugar testing, corporate events, meal planning, and much more.

When it comes to understanding diabetes, there are some basics that should be covered. Our Columbus Foundation fellow, Radhika Pandit, explains what diabetes is and some ways patients can live their best life with it.

What is Diabetes?

Radhika PanditDiabetes is a chronic disease that affects the insulin produced by your pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that is extremely important in maintaining proper blood glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin is released into the bloodstream following a meal to stimulate the uptake of the glucose in your meal into the cells to be utilized for energy. If this hormone is not working properly, glucose is trapped in the bloodstream, blood sugar levels spike, and cells are deprived of energy.

What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2?

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Patients require insulin therapy.
  • Type 2 diabetes results when the body starts to become resistant to the effects of insulin. Type 2 tends to present later in life, although it is becoming increasingly common for children to present with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 in children can be influenced by family history, genetics, eating habits, physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.

Diabetes can lead to a range of complications if not properly managed. These include peripheral nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), eye disease (glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy), and kidney failure.

How Can I Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

In order to manage your type 2 diabetes, make sure to follow these 5 tips!

  • Transition to a more plant-based diet: Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals and limit processed foods and sugary drinks
  • Exercise regularly: At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week
  • Take your diabetes medication as directed by your physician
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly
  • Schedule regular doctor’s visits

Learn more

Click here to visit the Central Ohio Diabetes Association page and get information on diabetes, available services, and upcoming events.

CODA announces dates for DSMES program

By | Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Diabetes Education

Diabetes Self-Management Education & Support (DSMES) is the gold standard in diabetes education and an important part of managing your diabetes well. This program is also recommended for those with pre-diabetes.

In this series we discuss treatment options, nutrition, medications, insulin, monitoring blood glucose, preventing and treating complications, physical activity, the emotional aspect of diabetes, behavior goals, and management strategies.

The available dates for DSMES are:

April 11, 18, 25 (Wednesdays)…………………………………..5:30-7:30 p.m.

June 6, 13, 20 (Wednesdays)…………………………………….5:30-7:30 p.m.

Follow-up session:

Thursday, June 7……………………………………………………….5:30-7:30 p.m.

All classes will be held at the Central Ohio Diabetes Association located at 1100 Dennison Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201.

2017 Volunteer Recognition Awards

LifeCare Alliance Announces 2018 Volunteer Recognition events

By | Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Events, Help-at-Home, Meals-on-Wheels, Volunteers

Each year, we take the time to thank our outstanding volunteers who embody our motto of “Nourishing the Human Spirit.”

Our volunteer base is the heart of LifeCare Alliance, and the work that volunteers do is so valuable to our Agency and our clients alike. More than 100 volunteers are needed every single day to deliver Meals-on-Wheels, run errands, assist with light housekeeping tasks, assist at a Senior Dining or Wellness Center, serve on a board, make favors for our clients, or help in the office.

Volunteers come together as individuals, corporations, families, and groups with the energy and enthusiasm needed to carry out the mission of LifeCare Alliance. Because of the volunteer base, LifeCare Alliance is able to continue serving clients without a waiting list, keeping homebound older adults and individuals with a medical challenge or disability safe, independent, and in their own homes — where they want to be!

Below is information on the locations, dates and times of recognition events throughout our service area. Please join us!

 

LifeCare Alliance Recognition
Monday, April 30, 2018 — 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
L.A. Catering Event Center, 670 Harmon Ave. Columbus, OH 43223

Columbus Cancer Clinic
Monday, April 16, 2018 — 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
L.A. Catering Event Center, 670 Harmon Ave. Columbus, OH 43223

Logan County Recognition
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 — 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Hilliker YMCA, 300 Sloan Blvd. Bellefontaine, OH 43311

Champaign County Recognition
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 — 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Champaign County Library, 1060 Scioto Street Urbana, OH 43078

Marion County Recognition
Thursday, April 19, 2018 — 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Marion Senior Center, 2375 Harding Hwy E, Marion, OH 43302

Dining Center Recognition
Monday, April 30, 2018 — 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
L.A. Catering Event Center, 670 Harmon Ave. Columbus, OH 43223

Madison County Recognition
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 — 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Madison County Senior Center, 280 W High St, London, OH 43140

ABOVE: LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring, left, presents the 2017 Catherine Nelson Black Philanthropic Spirit Award to Tom Long, JD, a long-time supporter of the Columbus Cancer Clinic.
LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring speaks to the crowd during Big Wheels 2018

LifeCare Alliance Announces $5 Million Match Campaign

By | Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Help-at-Home, IMPACT Safety, Legacy, Meals-on-Wheels, POHC, Visiting Nurses, Wellness

At Big Wheels 2018, LifeCare Alliance announced a $5 Million Match Campaign to secure the future, by building its Legacy Endowment.

The Legacy Endowment Campaign is designed to meet existing and future needs of LifeCare Alliance for decades to come.

An anonymous donor has generously committed to matching the first $5 million in Endowment gifts, beginning in 2018. The donation comes during a momentous occasion for LifeCare Alliance as the Agency celebrates its 120th anniversary.

This Campaign creates an opportunity for individuals and families impacted by the work of LifeCare Alliance to express their stewardship and leave their legacies in concrete and meaningful ways.

If you are interested in learning more about the Legacy Endowment Campaign or how you can become a member of the Catherine Nelson Black Society, please contact Chuck Gehring, President and CEO at 614-437-2801 or Rebecca Hurd, Director of Advancement at 614-437-2867.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!


ABOVE: LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring speaks to the crowd at Big Wheels 2018.