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Health notes for July 9, 2018

Diabetes prevention program recognized

Use of a national program in Duluth to prevent Type 2 diabetes has won full recognition from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is offered to anyone in the community who is at risk for Type 2 diabetes, the Duluth YMCA reported in a news release. The YMCA sponsors the program in Duluth along with Healthy Northland and Essentia Health.

CDC statistics show that more than one in three Americans has prediabetes, a condition in which the person's blood glucose is elevated, but not enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis, according to the news release. Those with prediabetes may be able to take steps to prevent diabetes from developing.

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes at

New diabetes prevention classes are coming up this fall. Classes will be offered beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 10 and at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Duluth Area Family YMCA, 302 W. First St. The year-long, group-based classes consist of 16 weekly sessions followed by monthly sessions, all led by a trained lifestyle coach.

To learn more, contact Alisha Bradley at or visit

Retired Hibbing orthodontist honored

A retired Hibbing orthodontist has been honored with a Minnesota Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Michael Zakula received the honor recently at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference in Duluth, the according to a Minnesota Department of Health news release.

The award was presented by the health department along with the Minnesota Rural Health Association and the Duluth-based National Rural Health Resource Center.

Zakula was honored for "his years of clinical practice in Hibbing as an orthodontist and his tireless volunteerism on behalf of organized dentistry and rural health," according to the news release.

He served as one of the few orthodontists north of the Twin Cities, the news release stated, and was instrumental in establishing the Hibbing Community College Dental Clinic, which trains dental assistants, dental hygienists and dental students.

Also at the conference, Donna Erbes of Worthington received the 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Hero Award for her work as health services director of a family planning program. Caring Hands Dental Clinic of Alexandria received the 2018 Minnesota Rural Health Team Award for providing dental care in 34 counties across the state.