This past Saturday, November 17, the Endocrine Society held its second iteration of EndoCares: DC, its global outreach program for healthcare providers, patients, and the general public. This year, EndoCares followed a health fair format focused on diabetes awareness, and it was held simultaneously at the Mexican and Peruvian consulates, a first for the program and the Consulates themselves. EndoCares: DC is part of a larger outreach effort, linking the work the Society does abroad to the ex-pat community in the US.
The two consulates hosted more than 400 Mexican and Peruvian citizens from all age groups, from babies to senior citizens, including a 94-year-old Peruvian ex-pat. More than 30 volunteers – medical students, health policy students, physical therapists, and nurses – from the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, as well as three Society members, offered attendees the opportunity to learn how to measure their A1c levels, their blood pressure, and their body mass index. Through partnerships with other organizations, attendees were also offered free flu shots, HIV testing, endometriosis guidance, eye exams, domestic violence counseling, and information on affordable health insurance options.
“EndoCares in the US is a bit different to what we do abroad, because by approaching the general public we focus on awareness and education,” says Lucia Tejada, PhD, the Endocrine Society’s director of development & strategic partnerships, who spearheaded this initiative. “Therefore, we try to fight diabetes by flagging signs and suggesting behavioral modifications. Through A1c testing we also find a few cases of prediabetes, and those people get immediate guidance from our very own members on-site.”
Besides the Mexican and Peruvian consulates, other partners included DC Healthlink, Novo Nordisk, Abbott Nutrition, Walgreens, Emerson Diversity Health Foundation, La Clinica del Pueblo, Ventanilla de Salud, Latina Endometriosis, and the US FDA.
From here, Mexico and Peru will help coordinate regional educational efforts in the Latin American region, including outreach and support to the national endocrine organizations. “[November 17] was a landmark in our EndoCares initiative,” says Endocrine Society chief executive officer Barbara Byrd Keenan, FASAE, CAE. “Rafael Laveaga, Consul General of Mexico and Lissette Nalvarte, Consul General of Peru, agreed to build upon the EndoCares program held in their respective consulates for future US based efforts and to support our efforts in their countries and the Latin American region.”