Health professionals are invited to learn, collaborate and discuss how to prevent, reduce and manage diabetes in the Mountain State through a three-day workshop organized by the West Virginia University Extension Service.

Hosts of the 2016 Diabetes Symposium and Workshop: Bridging the Gap with Education invite nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, physicians, Extension educators and other health professionals to register for the event that takes place Wednesday, May 4 through Friday, May 6 at the Waterfront Place hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia.

“We want to build the capacity—particularly in rural areas—to manage and prevent diabetes,” said WVU Extension Service Associate Dean of Programming and Research Cindy Fitch. “To do that we must unite healthcare professionals and diabetes educators to spread knowledge and work together towards common goals.”

The symposium brings nationally-recognized speakers to West Virginia to talk about diabetes prevention and the best management practices for healthcare providers and community educators.

According to Fitch, conversations about diabetes prevention and management are essential among healthcare professionals, especially those in West Virginia.

“West Virginia continuously ranks one of the highest states in the country when it comes to cases of diabetes,” said Fitch. “It’s a heavy burden in this state that many carry, and it becomes an even bigger issue when we consider the cost of managing the disease—especially among lower-income populations.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes in West Virginia have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes. The association approximates that almost 240,000 people in West Virginia have diabetes, with an additional 518,000 West Virginians having high blood glucose levels indicative of prediabetes.

Attendees can learn about a range of diabetes-related topics from a diverse group of health experts who will talk about their unique perspective about diabetes management and prevention.

Clay Marsh, vice president and executive dean of WVU Health Sciences Center, will present a keynote on diabetes and other chronic diseases. Gregory Hand, founding dean of the WVU School of Public Health, will speak on lifestyle choices for prevention of diabetes. Tim Jackson, chief of endocrinology at WVU Medicine, will discuss tackling diabetes management and prevention within the homeless population.

Pre-registration and a schedule of speakers is available at, or by calling 304-293-8588. Participants can also register at the door on the day of the conference.

Fees for the conference vary. Wednesday’s concurrent pre-conference workshops range from $60 to $90. Full conference registration ranges from $100 for full-time students, $250 for physicians and $220 for all other participants. One-day registration ranges from $80 to $140 depending on the day attended.

Continuing education credits are available for some disciplines. For more information, visit the WVU Extension Diabetes Symposium website at

The WVU Extension Service serves as an outreach division of West Virginia University. Extension has offices in all 55 counties, which provide citizens with knowledge in areas such as 4-H and youth development, agriculture, family and consumer sciences, health, leadership development and community and economic development.



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service

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