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ANTHC Diabetes Program staff volunteer to bring summer fun to youth with diabetes

July 15, 2016

Last month, three Alaska Native Health Campus employees volunteered to help with the annual American Diabetes Association (ADA) Camp K: Dr. Rachel Lescher, pediatric endocrinologist, Sherry Hammock, NP, RN, CDE, Dr. Lescher’s case manager and Ann Marie Mayer, NP, MPH, diabetes consultant. They helped care for medical needs of camp participants, which includes blood sugar checks, insulin dosing and monitoring, plus participation in the various camp activities with the kids.

The American Diabetes Association Camp K has been enriching the lives of Alaskan children with diabetes for more than 20 years on Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing. Children ages 7 to 17 years old attend the annual camp, which is open to both Alaska Native and non-Native youth. Attendance for the 2016 camp was at an all-time high of 61 campers. Sixty of the children have Type 1 diabetes. Each year children are flown into Anchorage from rural communities; this year, the furthest traveler came from a village outside of Klawock.

The Camp experience provides the children with the opportunity to have time away from home in a medically safe environment. Camp staff is comprised of medical volunteers from local hospitals. Dr. Lescher acted as the camp medical director.

“The kids had a blast and everyone went home safely, which is always a good thing,” said Dr. Lescher.

“Without the medical volunteers, our camp would not be possible. It is the pleasure of the ADA to be partnered with such a community-conscious organization as the Alaska Native Medical Center,” said Kathleen Dayman, ADA Camp Coordinator.

If parents or guardians are interested in information on next year’s camp for their child, contact Dr. Lescher’s office at (907) 729-8803. Other questions can be directed to the ADA at (907) 272-1424 or the ANTHC Diabetes Program at (907) 729-1125.

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