The Hoke County Collaborative on Obesity and Diabetes held a reception at the Raeford Hoke Museum Jan. 17 to share information, progress and recommendations of the local medical community on the “Weighing in on the Future” initiative. 

The initiative was started two years ago by the Hoke County Community Foundation (HCCF) because the county has one of the highest diabetes rates in the state.  The numbers in Hoke County had become so dramatic that community leaders and healthcare professionals alike came together to help tackle the problem. 

“When our advisory board in Hoke started looking at the issues that we needed to help address, this one rose to the top,” said John Jordan, HCCF president. 

Jordan welcomed members of the Hoke collaborative, local physicians and other guests. He told the crowd that the HCCF had convened members of the medical community almost two years ago to raise awareness about the crisis level of diabetes in their local community. "We all learned about resources available to assist the high population struggling with diabetes and the expense that accompanies this illness in Hoke County,” he said.

Jordan thanked the Mayor, John McNeill and his wife Delia for hosting the evening’s reception.

Dr. William Laurence, committee member and physician with Hoke Family Medical Center, welcomed guests and invited all physicians present to introduce themselves and share information about their practice.  He also thanked First Health of the Carolinas and Cape Fear Valley Health Hospital for their financial support with this initiative.

Dr. Karen Smith shared that the Hoke County Commissioners endorsed a resolution supporting the initiative “Weighing In on the Future” on June 18, 2012.  The commissioners recognized the fact that obesity in Hoke County is fast approaching epidemic proportions with need for countywide support. 

Others attending Thursday night’s reception included Ken Booker, Board of Health Chair Hoke County Health Department, Helene Edwards, Director of the Hoke county Health Department, Ulva Little, Doctors Marcus Lowry, Bob Townsend, Vicki Hardy, Lu Caceres, PA, Delores Johnson, Martina Monroe, Maria Eugenia Sierra-Donovan, PA, HCCF board member Jean Hodges, Jeff McNeill, Linda Kinney, from Care Share Alliance, Jennifer Borton and Mary McCaskill, SR AHEC, Scarlet Blue and Roxanne Elliott from First Health.

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