Touro University California tackles diabetes throughout Solano County

Touro University California students and staff conduct mobile diabetes testing at the university’s Mobile Diabetes Education Center. (Courtesy photo)

VALLEJO — Deanna Dickey vividly remembers the day Touro’s new Mobile Diabetes Education Center first went out into the community.

The day was cold and rainy as she maneuvered the 35-foot trailer through the parking lot of Suisun City’s Kroc Center. She didn’t expect to see a large crowd of people interested in diabetes screening or education, but the results surprised her.

“We had 30 people show up on that first day who were excited to see us,” the driver of mobile center said. “It made me feel wonderful to do something for them and be there at their disposal.”

Diabetes is a national growing concern and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. In California alone, 55 Percent of the population is currently diagnosed with either pre-diabetes or diabetes. And most do not realize that they have it.

In its commitment to support the health and welfare of the local community, Touro University California launched the Mobile Diabetes Education Center in March 2017, offering free diabetes screenings and raising diabetes awareness in Solano County. Its goal is to build greater awareness about diabetes and provide visitors with the tools and information that they need to take charge of their lives.

“The first step is to know that you’re at risk so you can work to have a healthier lifestyle,” said Jay Shubrook, professor and diabetologist at Touro’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. “We need to help people navigate their life because life often gets in the way of their health.”

But diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all disease. The longer diabetes goes untreated, the harder it becomes to manage, which is why so much emphasis is put on early detection.

To work toward prevention, visitors learn useful ways that they can make changes for healthier nutrition and a more active lifestyle. With a direct presence in the community, advice is catered around using local options already available for healthy eating and activity.

“People in Solano need these health services as so many are not aware of the risk, nor are they accessing the health care that they need.” Shubrook said. “We want to get them to wherever they want to go and help them learn to navigate the resources in their community.”

The Mobile Diabetes Education Center is run with the aid of student volunteers who have spent a total of 91 hours in the community since March. They are organized by second-year College of Osteopathic Medicine student Rachel Mullin and led by diabetes program coordinators Anne Lee and Dickey.

“Students are the driving force for the MOBEC, and their excitement is contagious,” Shubrook said. “They bring the energy and provide practical and accurate information. By using teams of students, we create an interprofessional experience for future doctors, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurses and practitioners of public health.”

Ready to serve the seven cities of Solano County, the Mobile Diabetes Education Center has already visited locations like the Joan Kroc Community Center in Suisun City, Faith Food Fridays in Vallejo and the Rio Vista Senior Center. The mobile center will have a seven-city tour in July in Solano County to bring awareness of this pressing disease.

“Having diabetes means taking personal action, action from their family, their workplace and their community. We are here to be their first step,” Shubrook said.

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Mobile Diabetes Education Center dates

  • July 7: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 586 E. Wigeon Way, Suisun City.
  • July 11: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Faith Food Friday’s, 826 Solano Ave. at Curtola Parkway, Vallejo.
  • July 12: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Southhampton Shopping Center, 890 Southampton Road, Benicia.
  • July 17: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Viva Supermarket, 925 N. Adams St., Dixon.
  • July 19: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Parkway Plaza Apartments, 188 E. Alaska Ave., Fairfield.
  • July 25: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Lincoln Corner Apartments, 130 Scoggins Ave., Vacaville.
  • July 26: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rio Vista Care, 628 Montezuma St., Rio Vista.