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Fundraiser aids tribe’s Diabetes Center of Excellence

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AKWESASNE – The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe recent hosted its seventh annual Diabetes Center for Excellence Golf Tournament.

This year’s event marked the first year of being held at Cedar View Golf Course as in previous year, it was at the Malone Country Club.

Each year, a committee consisting of various St. Regis Mohawk Tribe employees embarks on an event aimed to earn as much money to fund the opening of the Diabetes Center for Excellence. This building will be one of a kind, not only for the community of Akwesasne but for New York state as well. Its reward will be a state of the art complex housing programs currently provided by the Let’s Get Healthy Program.

The Diabetes Center of Excellence has to date raised over $539,000 since 2007 with community driven events such as annual golf tournaments, walk-a-thons, and an all-night party. Factor in other funding sources such as H.U.D, U.S.D.A., A.H.A., D.O.E. and the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort, the Diabetes Center for Excellence is closer to opening its doors to the community of Akwesasne and surrounding region.

The Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCE) will focus primarily on diabetes treatment, care and prevention. An educational drive will also focus on the younger generation to learn the adverse effects of the disease.

Debbie Martin, director of Indian Health Services said, “Akwesasne currently has the highest rate of diabetes among the Six Nations of New York. On a national level, our community also ranks the highest amongst all minority people.”

With diabetes as prevalent in Akwesasne as it is, the need for a diabetes center quickly turned from hopeful to necessary.

With the assistance of numerous federal aid and grants, this building is nearly complete. Located behind the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police and adjacent to the Senior Center, the Diabetes Center of Excellence will boast many programs along with an exercise area and a pool specifically designed for physical therapy as well as rehabilitation.

In addition to programs, the DCE will offer specialty provider visits for the diabetic patients. Providers will be able to see patients for foot exams, endocrinologist appointments and for general consult, as needed. Another notable area will be a relaxation room for guided relaxation sessions in addition to the teaching kitchen, which instructors will be able to show and teach healthy living cooking techniques, specifically designed for the diabetic lifestyle.

“Our goal is to care for our community and start us on a trail of healthy living and eating,” Ms. Martin said.

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