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Published on May 15, 2014

Cooking up Good Health

Diabetes Support Group Gives $4,781.59 for Cooking Kitchen in New Outpatient Center

The Acklen Diabetes Support Group Donated to Asante
Kathy Oehling, Acklen Diabetes Health Association (second from left) presents the check to: (l-r) Dawn Welch, Asante Foundation, Debbe Zietlow, Asante diabetes program manager, and Kristen Tuers, RN, diabetes support group facilitator.

The Acklen Diabetes Health Association recently presented the Asante Foundation with a check to the Asante Three Rivers Medical Center Diabetes Care Center for $4,791.59 to be used for the cooking demonstration kitchen planned for the Asante Center for Outpatient Health (ACOH) in Grants Pass.

The new 90,000-square-foot center will be located on the campus of Asante Three Rivers and will open in the fall. The fully equipped kitchen will be used for healthy cooking demonstrations and education programs for the community including the diabetes support group.

According to Kathy Oehling of the Acklen Diabetes Health Association, the diabetes support group was started by Jerry Acklen 40 years ago and was very active in fundraising.

“Once a year we would use those funds for an education day for the whole community,” she said. The Jerry Acklen Diabetes Support Group will continue, but the foundation is being retired and the donation was a dispensation of the remaining balance of the foundation account.

“The remaining members are thrilled that money is going to the kitchen,” she said.

Debbe Zietlow, program manager for the Asante diabetes education program, has been involved with the Jerry Acklen Diabetes Support Group for nearly 30 years. “This is really going to help for the kitchen,” she said. “It will buy all the equipments that is not budgeted: small appliances, utensils, and all the many items needed to prepare for and present the cooking demos. It is amazing how much excitement there is about this kitchen.”

Diabetes educators, dietitians, and some nutrition services staff will be teaching cooking classes in the ACOH kitchen and there will be community-based classes as well.

Kristen Tuers, RN, the current facilitator for the diabetes support group said they have approximately 15 regular members and they meet the first Monday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Oregon Health Management System building in downtown Grants Pass. The group will move to the ACOH when it opens in the fall. There is no fee. For more information, call Tuers at 541-472-7120.

If you would like to help financially support the diabetes support group, contact the Asante Foundation at 541-472-7301.

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