The Diabetes Branch of the Alabama Department of Public Health works in collaboration with many other programs within and outside of the Department to help people delay or prevent development of diabetes and to reduce complications related to the disease.
The program also promotes good nutrition, physical activity, weight loss and smoking cessation, recommended influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, foot exams, eye exams and HbA1c tests. These are key factors to control, prevent, delay, or manage diabetes and help people live longer, healthier lives.
Groups at high risk of diabetes, people with diabetes and pre-diabetics, including minority populations. Certain diabetes indicators are now being targeted by health care providers to help diagnose diabetes.
The Diabetes Branch and Alabama Diabetes Network
One of the responsibilities of the Diabetes Branch is to assess the impact of diabetes in Alabama and to develop recommendations, policies and programs that address related issues. The Alabama Diabetes Network, a group of diabetes advocates and experts from the public and private sectors, advises and supports the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Diabetes Program.
A Systems Thinking Approach
Alabama has recently begun using the “Systems Thinking” approach to address diabetes. “Systems Thinking” has been defined as a future-oriented problem-solving and decision making processes allowing stakeholders to view inter-relationships rather than cause-effect chains; the concept is proactive and manages the processes of change; promotes and facilitates organizational learning; is creative and flexible in identifying and evaluating alternatives, anticipates the consequences of actions and responses; and optimizes opportunities to improve health status of communities.
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