Local Impact - North Carolina

Ulela Harris, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cherokee Diabetes Program

"After 17 years, I no longer require insulin to manage my diabetes. Honestly, I love the Cherokee Diabetes Program!"
- Ulela Harris

I lost my parents and a sister from complications of diabetes. I have 8 brothers and sisters living with diabetes and I was diagnosed in 1993 and immediately went on insulin. In those days, before the SDPI, we were diagnosed, sent to a nutritionist and sent home with medication. In spite of my family history of diabetes I really didn’t understand the disease. My motivation to join the Cherokee Diabetes Prevention Program in 2007 came when I was at the clinic because my blood sugars were out of control, even though I was on the maximum dosage of insulin and oral medications.

I was shocked when the nurse suggested that my “central obesity” might be interfering with my medications. I left that clinic visit with an “I’ll show you” attitude and began attending diabetes education classes, the fitness center and cooking classes. With the support of the program staff, I have lost 35 pounds and in 2008 I was in control of my diabetes and no longer required insulin or oral medications. Honestly, I love the program. It has challenged me in new ways and given me the opportunity to take control of my diabetes, my health, and my future. Taking control of my diabetes enabled me to complete the first annual Cherokee Ironman-Ironwoman Triathalon which included a 3.2 mile run, 8 mile bike, and half mile swim!

Diabetes in North Carolina

According to 2008 CDC data, approximately 626,000 people in North Carolina – 9% of the state’s population – had diagnosed diabetes and many of them suffer from serious diabetes related complications or conditions. In addition to the human toll diabetes places on the people in North Carolina, the financial burden diabetes places on the state’s health system is staggering – in 2007, the direct and indirect cost of diabetes in North Carolina was approximately $5.31 billion.

Stories & Progams

Diabetes Program Participants
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Diabetes Care Providers
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The Poarch Creek Indian Community
Community Diabetes Support Group


Charlotte McConnell
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Lifestyle Balance and Diabetes Prevention Program

Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
Annual Diabetes Walk

Southcentral Foundation Special Diabetes Program for Indians


Celia Milner
CHR Department, Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians

Marlene Valentine -
Navajo Special Diabetes Project

Rudy Clark
Hualapai Healthy Heart Project


Case Manager
United American Indian Involvement

Jackie Patton
Chapa-De Indian Clinic

Amy Lemmer
Sonoma County Indian Health Project

Alberta Manuel
Sonoma County Indian Health


Mohegan Tribe
Uncasville, CT


Anela Lautalo


Christie Lussoro
Nimiipuu Health Diabetes Program


Becky Youngbear-Alvarado
Meskwaki Diabetes Prevention Program


Stephanie Crawford
Haskell Health Center Diabetes Prevention Program


Jena Band of Choctaw Indians


Aroostook Band of MicMac


Tracy L. Sagataw
Hannahville Indian Community Clinic Diabetes Program

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Rebecca Price
Pokagon Health Services Special Diabetes Program for Indians


Arne Vainio, MD
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program


Pastor Thomas Ben
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program

Samuel Amos
Fond du Lac Human Services Diabetes Prevention Program


Faye Filesteel
Fort Belknap Healthy Heart Project


Clarissa Hoffman
Ho-Chunk Hope Diabetes Prevention

New Mexico

Judy Reuter
Santa Ana Pueblo
Elsie R. Pino
Ramah Navajo Heart Saver Project
Erlene Sandoval
Navajo Special Diabetes Project

New York

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
Let’s Get Healthy Program

North Carolina

Ulela Harris
Cherokee Diabetes Program

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Cherokee, NC

North Dakota

Cheryl Donoven
On Eagles Wings Diabetes Prevention Program


Terry Williams
Black Hawk Health Center

Allen Dale
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) Get SET & Fight Diabetes program

Read more about OKCIC (PDF)

Glendine Blanchard
Absentee Shawnee Tribe Healthy Heart Program


Dylan Jones
NARA Northwest

Taylor David
Klamath Diabetes Prevention Program Cow Creek Consortium

Shirley Heath
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Jennifer Smith
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Larry Smith
Warm Springs Oregon Diabetes Prevention Program

Rhode Island

Mary Lou Stanton
Narangansett Indian Health Clinic-Diabetes Program

South Carolina

Catawba Indian Nation
Special Diabetes Program for Indians

South Dakota

Pete Fills the Pipe
Pine Ridge IHS Diabetes Prevention Program


Reggie Martinez
Uintah & Ouray IHS Clinic - Healthy Heart Project


Christina Hicks
SDPI-Community Direct Diabetes Grant
Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

Buddy and Les Hoptowit (Brothers)
Yakama Indian Health Center Healthy Heart Project


Marion Reynolds
St. Croix Healthy Heart Program

Wanda McFaggen
St. Croix Healthy Heart Program

Wendell Waukau
Menominee Diabetes Program


Regina Whiteplume
Eastern Shoshone Diabetes Program