Diabetes Doesn't Have to Beat Us

The Rogers County Health Department offers free “I’m In Control” classes to help people lead healthy lives with their diabetes.

By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: September 2011

Judy Riley, OD, and Fran Hrdlicka, RN, show the effects of diabetes on the eyes.

Judy Riley, OD, and Fran Hrdlicka, RN, show the effects of diabetes on the eyes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States – 8.3 percent of the population – have diabetes. A 2004 study published in the “Diabetes Care” journal predicted that the number of people with diabetes will double worldwide by the year 2030. If you or one of your family members has diabetes, it is critical to be informed about the disease. Though many people feel they have no control over their diabetes, the Rogers County Health Department wants to show you that your life is not doomed; the course of diabetes can be greatly altered by lifestyle choices.
    The Rogers County Health Department offers “I’m In Control” diabetes classes to area residents for free three times a year. The next set of classes begins September 6, 2011. The classes are free, but you must be enrolled to attend. All guest speakers are local professionals volunteering their expertise.
    Fran Hrdlicka, RN, has been in charge of the classes for several years. She will lead the introduction on Tuesday, September 6 at 12:30 p.m. From 1 to 3 p.m., Dr. Bill Smith, with Claremore Internal Medicine and medical director of the Rogers County Health Department, will discuss the basics of the disease – what diabetes is, why people get it, and what they can do about it. “Type 2 diabetes is caused by a mixture of factors, including obesity and unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, age, and genetic predisposition,” explains Fran. “The introductory class is a great opportunity to ask Dr. Smith any questions you may have.”
    The second class will be held Wednesday, September 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. and will focus on diet planning. A registered dietician will teach the class about healthy food options, when they need to eat, and much more.
    On Thursday, September 15 from 1 to 2 p.m., Renetta Harrison, health educator at the Rogers County Health Department, will focus on stress and how it affects people with diabetes. “Ms. Harrison will teach you how you can change your lifestyle habits to reduce stress,” says Fran. From 2 to 3 p.m., pharmacist Terry Seribandon will discuss diabetic medications. “So many diabetic medications are available now, so it is often difficult to know which ones are right for you. It’s also important to know how your medications for other conditions affect and interact with your diabetic medications,” adds Fran.
    Dr. Mary Johnson, podiatrist, will discuss foot care, including why diabetics must pay attention to their foot problems such as calluses and blisters as well as choose the proper footwear, on Tuesday, September 20 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Next, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., physical therapist Donna Hazel will talk about the importance of exercise and show the class different types of exercises they can do.
    The final class will be held Thursday, September 22. From 1 to 2 p.m., Dr. Judy Riley, optometrist, will lead the discussion on eye care. “The eyes are the main target of diabetes,” explains Dr. Riley. “They are one of the first places diabetes causes vascular changes in the body, and it is much easier to see these changes than looking at the heart or kidney. It is so important for diabetics to have their eyes checked yearly, as vision loss can be preventable with proper treatment.” Fran will conclude the class, discussing self blood glucose monitoring from 2 to 3 p.m.
    “The ‘I’m In Control’ classes are designed so that people with diabetes can be their own advocates and become comfortable in their knowledge of the disease,” says Fran. “For example, if your physician doesn’t ask if you have checked your feet recently, you will know how important it is and be able to ask the right questions.”
    To register for the ‘I’m In Control’ diabetes classes in September, call Fran Hrdlicka at (918) 341-3166. Fran also encourages spouses and other family members of diabetics to attend and learn about their loved one’s disease. The classes are free to the public, and you must register in advance.

For more information, contact

Rogers County Health Department

2664 N. Hwy. 88
Claremore, OK 74019
(918) 341-3166


Sheryl Sowell Profile Picture

About Author Sheryl Sowell

Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.

« All September 2011 Stories

Rogers County Health Department

For more information, contact:

Rogers County Health Department

More about Rogers County Health Department:

For Free!