Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Christine Dardet
561-297-3029, cdardet@fau.edu
or
Mark Wright, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
904-905-6935, mark.wright@bcbsfl.com

FAU’s Diabetes Education and Research Center Receives Grant to Address Childhood Obesity

 BOCA RATON, FL (March 14, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University's Diabetes Education and Research Center has received a $75,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) Foundation. The two-year grant will support the Diabetes Education and Research Center's "Embracing a Healthy Tomorrow: Empowering Communities to Overcome Childhood Obesity" outreach effort to 1,400 children who are at-risk for obesity and diabetes and their parents via Palm Beach County-area schools, churches, community centers and youth programs.

 "Using our expertise in pediatric endocrinology, community nursing, diabetes education and pharmacy, we will deliver an age- and culturally-appropriate curriculum for children focused on the importance of healthy eating and exercise," said Eugenia Millender, clinical director of the Diabetes Education and Research Center, which is managed by FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. "At the same time, we will educate parents, guardians and community role models to promote wellness and prevent obesity."

Through its Embrace a Healthy Florida childhood obesity initiative, the BCBSF Foundation is addressing the causes of childhood obesity through community engagement in six communities across Florida and through grants to support promising practices and applied research.

"National statistics indicate that childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years.  This troubling trend is documented in Florida, too," said Susan B. Towler, vice president of the BCBSF Foundation.  "We are excited to partner with FAU's Diabetes Education and Research Center to eliminate this widespread threat to children, families, communities and the health care system."

By going out into the community, Millender and her team will identify and follow up with at-risk individuals and offer intensive education to prevent or diagnose a diabetic condition.  Individuals identified will receive care and counseling at the Diabetes Education and Research Center to improve health outcomes.

"Obesity is preventable, but it demands behavioral and lifestyle changes," said Kathleen Valentine, Ph.D., R.N. director of the Diabetes Education and Research Center.  "The serious and widespread threat of obesity is epidemic and is taxing our children, families, communities and the health care system in Florida. We look forward to working with the children and families in Palm Beach County to begin reversing this trend."

Essential goals also include multidisciplinary research and education of university students in various professional disciplines. 

Established in 2008, the Diabetes Education and Research Center provides support for children and adults who may be at risk for diabetes, have diabetes or are at risk of complications of diabetes.  The Center is located in the Palm Healthcare Pavilion in West Palm Beach, and with financial support from the Palm Healthcare Foundation, provides care for all socioeconomic groups regardless of the method of payment.

For more information on the Diabetes Education and Research Center, call 561-803-8880 or visit http://www.faudiabetescenter.org. The Center may also be found on Facebook by searching “FAU Diabetes Education and Research Center.” 

-FAU-


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation :
 The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) incorporated in the state of Florida. The BCBSF Foundation, and its parent, BCBSF, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information on the BCBSF Foundation, please visit its Web site at www.bluefoundationfl.com, or for more information on the childhood obesity initiative, visit www.embraceahealthyfl.org .

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is committed to nurturing the wholeness of persons and environment through Caring.

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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