October 08, 2001 11:00 pm
Arlene Applegate ().
Arlene Applegate ().

By The Observer

The challenges faced by diabetics in rural areas are unique.

Arlene Applegate of Spokane, a diabetes education specialist, has a special appreciation of this.

This is why she has started a program over the Internet which will help diabetics in rural areas better manage their condition. The program is targeting people

in rural areas of Oregon and Washington.

Diabetes is a self-managed disease. This presents problems for people in rural areas, said Applegate, a registered nurse who was in La Grande Monday.

Applegate said there are 210,000 people in Oregon with diabetes and about a third of them live in rural areas.

This often decreases their access to professional diabetes education and care, Applegate said.

She noted for example that diabetics often work closely with endocrinologists. Patients often have less access to endocrinologists in rural areas.

Through a free Internet service Applegate is helping make it easier for diabetics in rural areas to overcome such obstacles. A diabetes library is available to the public free of charge at the education website she helped start:

The information at the site has been screened for accuracy and helpfulness by a group of diabetes educators from Spokane. The site provides information to people with all kinds of diabetes including types I and II.

The website also provides people with an opportunity to sign up for an online interactive diabetes education and management program for a fee. For more information call 509-465-9658.