The Diabetes Garage, a men’s diabetes management and self-care program, will offer men in Texas who have the disease the gift of health to last a lifetime.
With support from a $324,800 grant, Jeannie Concha, Ph.D., assistant professor in UTEP’s Department of Public Health Sciences, will implement the program in El Paso and in two other Texas cities by 2021.
Concha received the grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Despite the availability of diabetes treatment and management programs in clinical and community settings, men remain underserved,” Concha said. “The Diabetes Garage was created to provide men a space where they could talk about their diabetes with other men. What we are also finding is the men come to the garage with a lot of information and a lot of misinformation about diabetes. The Diabetes Garage is a place to help men organize and prioritize accurate information to meet their needs.”
Created by UTEP in collaboration with the El Paso Diabetes Association (EPDA), Southwest University, University Medical Center, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, the Diabetes Garage uses automotive maintenance and repair analogies to engage men in diabetes education and support sessions.
They learn how to manage their glucose and prevent diabetes-related complications, such as limb amputations, impotence, blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.
According to the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, men of Mexican descent are 150% more likely to have diabetes compared with non-Hispanic white individuals. Hispanic men also are 50% more likely to die from diabetes or chronic liver disease.
Concha will lead the project with co-principle investigators Gregory Schober, Ph.D., visiting political science professor, and Laura Gonzales, Ph.D., English assistant professor.
They will work with Texas DSHS to implement the program in El Paso County, San Antonio, and Harlingen.
Funds also will be used to enhance the services provided by The Diabetes Garage in El Paso County. The program is currently recruiting men with type 2 diabetes to participate in sessions offered at the EPDA located at 3641 Mattox Street
The next available Diabetes Garage series will be offered from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 20, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 27, 6-8 p.m. Sept. 3, 5-8 p.m. Sept. 10, and every other month thereafter. Participants will receive a Diabetes Maintenance Manual, Diabetes Essentials Toolbox with a glucose and blood pressure monitor, and certificate of completion.
For residents wishing to register, call the El Paso Diabetes Association at 915-532-6280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.