Florida Hospital Flagler and Bunnell Elementary Students Raise Awareness for Diabetes

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PALM COAST, Fla., November 28, 2017 Throughout November, Florida Hospital Flagler the Bunnell Elementary Future Problem Solvers celebrated American Diabetes Month with various flag raising ceremonies and a proclamation from the City of Palm Coast.

The Future Problem Solvers club at Bunnell Elementary School engages students in creative problem solving and stimulates critical and creative thinking skills. This team of fifth and sixth grade students meet twice a week after school to develop an action plan to solve a problem within the community or school. Past projects have addressed families in transition, pet adoption, school recycling, distracted driving, and childhood obesity. This year, the group has decided to focus on the national health epidemic of diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 million Americans have diabetes.

In Florida, more than 50 percent of the adult population are battling diabetes: approximately 2.3 million people have diabetes and an additional 5.8 million have prediabetes.

When unmanaged, diabetes can lead to serious health complications, including heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney disease, amputations, and even death.

In order to start managing your diabetes, you need to first know you have the disease, said Jack Gilvary, Bunnell Elementary Future Problem Solvers member. Across the country, over half a million people have diabetes but don't know it, greatly increasing their risk for serious complications.

With this in mind, the Future Problem Solvers club at Bunnell Elementary School set a goal to test 10 percent of Flagler County's population for diabetes in an effort to help identify those with the disease or those at risk for developing the disease.

On Nov. 3, the Bunnell Elementary Future Problem Solvers group presented their community project to attendees at Flagler Beach's First Friday at Veterans Park, while Florida Hospital Flagler raised the diabetes awareness flag.

On Nov. 7, the Bunnell Elementary Future Problem Solvers group and Florida Hospital Flagler visited the City of Palm Coast for a proclamation that November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

The students and the hospital also visited the Flagler County School Board on Nov. 7 to share the groups proposed plan to help screen Flagler County residents for diabetes.

Together, the City of Palm Coast and Florida Hospital Flagler recognize the growing number of diabetics in our own community, said John Subers, Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation executive director. Simply having diabetes can increase your risk of developing a multitude of other medical conditions. Because of this, we want to create awareness about diabetes, the implications it can have, and how diligently managing the disease can improve your overall health and wellbeing.

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 45 hospital campuses and 8,200 licensed beds in nine states, serving more than 5 million patients annually. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, Florida Hospital Flagler has 99-beds and is one of the seven Florida Hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital Central Florida Division - North Region has 1,226 beds and more than 7,800 employees.

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