This week’s spotlight highlights KCHD’s Healthy Weight program and Diabetes Management classes 


The Knox County Health Department’s (KCHD) Healthy Weight team works to prevent diabetes while also helping ensure people living with the disease have access to diabetes management tools and resources. This team’s work includes child nutrition and physical activity education, worksite wellness programming, and free diabetes management courses.


“Being diagnosed with diabetes is a life-changing event. Managing the disease can be time-consuming and overwhelming. That’s why we offer a free three-part series and a variety of resources to help learn about type 2 diabetes, including the role of diet and exercise, medications and management,” said Mikaela McIver, KCHD nutritionist and registered dietitian.


At the classes, KCHD team members discuss management tools for both those who have been newly diagnosed and those who have dealt with type 2 diabetes for years. The goal is to help participants understand what affects their blood sugar and why. The classes are open to everyone, regardless of their diabetes status.


“As always, we encourage attendees to bring their spouse, caregiver or friend to the classes because a strong support system can make all the difference,” added McIver.


The courses continued during the pandemic, taking the education and interaction component online. These classes are offered in both English and Spanish, allowing more of the Knox County Community impacted by diabetes to get involved.


KCHD’s diabetes classes are typically held four times a year; however, KCHD is holding additional FREE online three-part diabetes management classes this year. For those who are interested, the next series in English takes place Thursdays, July 22, 29, and August 5, from 6 to 7 p.m. via Zoom. The next series in Spanish will take place on Fridays, August 12, 20 and 27 from 10 to 11 a.m. Those who are interested should call 865-215-5170 or visit the Diabetes Management website to register.


Today an estimated 29 million people are living with diabetes in the United States. According to KCHD’s 2019 Community Health Assessment, diabetes was the eighth leading cause of death in Knox County from 2015 to 2017.