Diabetes Empowerment Center opens its doors to the Humboldt Park Community



On the corner of Division and California stands La Estancia, distinguishing itself from neighboring buildings with its beautiful, unique architecture. As of April 23 it is home to an institution that will soon become another symbol of Paseo Boricua: The Greater Humboldt Park Community Diabetes Empowerment Center.

Over 200 people attended the grand opening of the Diabetes Center to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in the “72 Block by Block” Diabetes Intervention Campaign, led by Project Director Jaime Delgado. This initiative is a partnership between the following organizations: Rush University Medical Center, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Norwegian American Hospital, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Greater Humboldt Park Community of Wellness and Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

The opening event was designed to inform the community of all the resources available in the Center, as well as presenting all the partners involved in the cause. “We will provide educational material and a space for support and physical activities for weight control,” said Delgado. A full-time dietician will also host cooking demonstrations for community residents to learn about the key role a healthy diet plays in fighting and preventing diabetes. Delgado also noted that the center will be open during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there will be several programs in the evening and on Saturdays.

The idea to create the Diabetes Center has its origins within the “72 Block by Block” Diabetes Intervention Campaign. “We wanted to do more to help the community,” said Delgado. “We decided we needed a community-driven freestanding Empowerment Center.”

The decision to house it at La Estancia was purposefully planned by Delgado and others involved. “We wanted a high-profile place and the corner of Division and California is a very active area between the two flags. The center will be seen and identified with the community,” Delgado said. The dedication and commitment to create the Diabetes Center and secure its great location at La Estancia is a testament to the work of all the partners involved and will serve an important role in educating the community in the campaign against diabetes.

by Magdaleno Castañeda

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