Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center aspires to ‘strike out diabetes’

Jun. 29, 2014 @ 07:16 PM

Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center unveiled its newest fundraiser to educate the community on the prevention and control of diabetes at Finch Field on Tuesday during the High Point-Thomasville HiToms’ game against Team USA.

The June 23 fundraiser included a pre-game diabetic screening, as well as sponsorships sold by the Foundation, ranging from $250 to $1,000, for Team USA baseball jerseys. Proceeds from sponsorships and the auction of jerseys benefit diabetic patients who need gestational diabetes classes, but cannot afford them.

Collectively, the hospital raised more than $5,000 during the event.

“We are always looking for new opportunities to meet the needs of the community,” said Marcy Shipwash, TMC disease and wellness navigator. “The majority of these programs are not covered by insurance, so we depend on donations and community support to extend these services at no cost or very minimal cost to our patients.”

Programs for diabetics at Novant Health TMS include an initial assessment, a four-hour basic class, nutritional therapy and follow-up classes and cost $500, but it is sometimes covered by insurance.

According to the Center for Disease Control, North Carolina’s rate of diabetes is 9.4 percent of the population, higher than the 8.4 national rate. In Davidson County, the rate is 10 percent.

Several reasons exist for this alarming statistic, according to Shipwash. Thanks to the Southern fried traditions of high-calorie fried foods and sweet tea, the area is rife with diabetes. Shipwash and hospital staff continue to find ways to educate the local community.

On Tuesday, one way Novant Health provided this support was by offering the aforementioned diabetes screenings and educational material inside the front gate during the game to address the growing disease. The timing and location of their campaign was mutually beneficial for the hospital and the HiToms, whose game against Team USA was sponsored by Novant Health.

Team USA fields some of the best talent college baseball has to offer. Many players are selected for the Major League Baseball draft. Fans of these players, therefore, turned out in droves for the game between their hometown team and some of the most talented players from the nation’s finest collegiate programs.

Shipwash considered the event a success, but remains driven to accomplish more.

“Hopefully, one day there will be a cure for diabetes, but for now, if we can provide prevention and education, then we are providing excellent patient care,” Shipwash said.

For more information on sponsorship, contact Executive Director Susan Reece at 476-2881. For more information on diabetes and to take a risk assessment, visit www.novanthealth.org/diabetes.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 847-9911, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.