In 2002, 21 McCulloch County residents participated in the program, “Diabetes: Keep It In Check,” sponsored by the McCulloch County Extension Service. This program was conducted in collaboration with the Texas Department of Health, the Methodist Church Health Care Ministries, local pharmacist Joe King and physician’s assistant Jo Wright. “Diabetes: Keep It In Check” was a pilot project conducted in 12 Texas counties, in which McCulloch County was a participant. The 2002 pilot group of 193 participants yielded 106 usable data sets of comparison for pre-and post-test results. Though the sample was small, the positive changes participants made were important. Here are some of the most significant of those results: ‘ Eighty-three percent of the participants attended all of the classes offered. ‘ The number of blood glucose each day as reported on pre-and post-test instruments increased from 63 percent to 78 percent. ‘ The number of participants who tested their blood glucose themselves’as opposed to having it done by a doctor or someone else or no one at all’increased from 84 percent to just over 90 percent. ‘ Before classes started, the average blood glucose reading of participants was 143 mg/dL. After the class the average blood glucose reading for 86 participants dropped to 135 mg/dL. ‘ On the pre-test, over 30 percent of the participants reported following no meal plan to manage their condition. On the post-test, the figure dropped to just over nine percent. McCulloch County was glad to report these findings and how they impacted the participants in our county. The following are a few quotes form participants who attended the diabetes series. One participant in the 2002 class stated that the class was full of vital information on living with diabetes. Another stated that her eyes were opened wide when she learned that there is no such thing as “borderline” diabetes. You are either diabetic or you aren’t. A third participant stated that he appreciated the information he learned on foot care and how diabetes can affect circulation. Another said that before she attended the series on diabetes, she had never had any training on serving size. I thought I was doing it right but found out I wasn’t. Since attending the series I learned how to cook with much less sugar and fat, to serve more vegetables and indulge my sweet tooth in a much healthier way. This year’s series is titled “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes.” The following agencies and professionals will conduct this six-week class: McCulloch County Cooperative Extension Family Consumer Science Committee, TDH, the Methodist Health Care Ministries, King and Wright. This series will be conducted at the Sunset Senior Citizen Center, 214 West Lockhart at 6 p.m. The following is the class dates and program topics: April 24’6 p.m.; what is diabetes, Cynthia Quinn, R.N. Wesley Nurse; eye care, Dr. Richard Lane, IOD; nutrition first step to diabetes management, Mrs. Francis Huntington, retired family consumer scientist. May 1’6 p.m.; managing your blood sugar, Jo Wright, PA; health check ups. May 8’6 p.m.; diabetes medicines, Joe King, pharmacist; dietary treatment of diabetes, Naomi Samaniego, RN, District 7 health specialist. May 15’6 p.m.; one diabetes diet no longer the sole option, Jane Holubec, County Extension Agent Family Consumer Science and Francis Huntington, retired family consumer scientist. May 22’6 p.m.; diabetes and exercise, Lee Ann Moore, RN; foot care, TDH. June 5’6 p.m.; nutrition labels, Jim Rooney; eating out, Texas Cooperative Extension Better Living for Texans program assistant. The “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” class is free and open to the public. Please call the Extension Office at 597-1295 by April 24 to register. Registration will enable the Extension Office to provide enough program handouts and supplies for the class.