Community Outreach  > Community Health Initiatives  > Diabetes 


In the United States:

Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death. About 17.9 million people have diabetes. Diabetes is the most frequent cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. African-Americans, Hispanics Americans and Native Americans have an increased risk for diabetes. Annually, diabetes accounts for $174 billion in healthcare costs. More than heart disease, cancer or AIDS.

 In South Carolina:

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in South Carolina. An estimated 300,000–350,000 people in South Carolina are living with diabetes, and many are unaware that they have the disease. The Diabetes Initiative provides awareness, education and screening for type 2 diabetes to high-risk men and women age 18 and older. Diabetes is twice as common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans.

To help, Palmetto Health offers a community diabetes education and prevention program. Services include:

Free Screenings

High-risk adults 18 and older can be screened regardless of income or insurance. Screenings are offered at community sites where 50 people are present and eligible to be screened. Call 803-296-3070 to host a screening at your location. To schedule an appointment for a free screening, call 803-296-CARE(2273).

Free Diabetes Prevention Programs

Palmetto Health's Office of Community Health offers a FREE Diabetes Prevention Program, which is designed to help participants delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes through supervised exercise, educational classes and nutritional counseling. The program is open to residents of Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties. Physician referral is required.

Upcoming classes for 2013

Healthy Palmetto
A collaboration among Palmetto Health and community partners to encourage healthy weight, nutrition and physical activity. To help families live healthier stronger lives. A website that provides information on good nutrition and physical activity.

Healthy Palmetto Walking Program: An incentive based walking program. As a member, walkers receive a pedometer and incentives for reaching goals.Groups and businesses can receive help organizing a walking club or holding a walking challenge.

Fit.Together: Health education classes focusing on diabetes, nutrition and physical  activity for fifth-grade students at participating schools.

We Can: A healthy education program for parents.

Like millions of people, you could have diabetes and not know it.

These are the warning signs

  • Extreme thirst
  • Occasional blurry vision
  • Frequent urination 
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent or recurring skin, gum or bladder infections
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet

 Are you at risk for diabetes? Take this test and see.


 Write down the points for each statement that is true; put zeroes for those that are not true.

1.  I have had a baby weighing more than nine pounds at birth.  __(+1)  
2.  I have a sibling with diabetes __(+1) 
3.  I have a parent with diabetes. __(+1) 
4. My weight is equal to or above that listed in the charts below.   __(+5) 
5.  I am under 65 and I get little or no exercise. __(+5)
6. I am between age 45 and 64.  __(+5) 
7.  I am age 65 or older. __(+9) 

10+ points: You are at high risk for diabetes. See your health care provider or call 803.296-2273 for a free screening.

3–9 points: You are probably at low risk now. Keep your risk low by being active and eating healthy.

Regardless of risk fators, EVERYONE 45 and older should be tested for diabetes. 

To find additional information about diabetes visit:

If you or someone you know has any of these symptoms, call 803-296-2273 or  e-mail for more information and learn if you meet eligibility requirements for a free diabetes screening.

Additionally, if you or someone you know is diagnosed with diabetes and would like to participate in a comprehensive outpatient diabetes education program, please visit Diabetes Education or you may call 803-296-8906.