Page last reviewed: February 14, 2023

Houston Health Department offering free diabetes management classes

February 13, 2023

Registration deadline Feb. 21 for courses offered online, in person

HOUSTON - The Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Network (DAWN), a program of the Houston Health Department, is offering free education courses this month to help people prevent and manage the disease.

Registration for the Diabetes Self-Management and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes (Prevent T2) courses will close February 21.

The Diabetes Self-Management course covers meal planning, preventing low blood sugar, stress management, physical activity and exercise.

Prevent T2 offers a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved curriculum and a trained lifestyle coach.  The course covers how to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Participants will receive course guides along with food, fitness and weight logs.

Courses are offered online and in person at four department multi-service centers:

  • Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis St., Houston, TX 77004
  • Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center, 6402 Market St., Houston, TX 77020
  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, 6719 W Montgomery Rd., Houston, TX 77091
  • Alief Neighborhood Center, 11903 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX 77072

Health department data indicates 12.5 percent of adults in Houston and more than 13 percent of adults in Harris County are living with diabetes compared to the national average of just over 10 percent. The CDC reports one in five Americans have diabetes and don’t know it.

“The statistics are too high and a reminder that people need to do something about it before it is too late,” said Elizabeth Appleton, DAWN’s chief nurse. “DAWN offers free courses to help Houstonians prevent and manage their chronic illness so they can get back on track and start living healthier lives.”

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. With diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should.

The disease can affect most of the organs in the body and is a frequent cause of end-stage renal disease, lower-extremity amputation and a leading cause of blindness among adults. People living with diabetes are also at an increased risk for heart disease, neuropathy and stroke.

Minorities and the elderly are disproportionately affected by diabetes, and diagnoses are expected to continue rising as minority populations increase.  

A healthy diet, regular physical activity and taking medications as prescribed help prevent complications.

People with chronic disease are encouraged to check blood sugar levels daily, keep blood pressure under control and know cholesterol ranges.

Anyone interested in registering can visit the DAWN’s website or call 832-393-6700 for more information.