Let’s Talk Health: Diabetic Eye Screenings

One of the most common complications among individuals living with diabetes is vision damage and sight loss. Diabetes affects the small blood vessels around the retina (the back of the eye) and can slowly impair vision. It typically becomes noticeable later in life, but with regular screening, people with diabetes can prevent this complication.

People with diabetes should get their eyes screened every other year, even if you do not have any problems with your vision. The signs of damage often occur after it is too late.

The screening is quick and easy, lasting about 5-10 minutes. Talk to your provider about getting screened, or call us at 984-974-0210 to schedule an appointment.

Produce Challenge

Family Medicine is participating in a #ProduceChallenge, which helps to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. The challenge has a fruit or vegetable of the day — the goal is to have at least 3 of the week’s fruits and vegetables (or all 7, if you’re ambitious!) Family Medicine staff and faculty are meeting weekly to discuss barriers, strategies, and to share recipe ideas; we encourage you to join in! You can subscribe to the #ProduceChallenge here for recipes, produce tips, and cooking tutorials.

How it works:  The challenge is to eat at least 3 of the identified fruits and vegetables for that week (learn more here), with the goal of all 7 items if possible. You can eat multiple produce items at one time (i.e. in one meal) and you do not have to eat them on the exact day as listed on the calendar.

Here is a sample week of the #ProduceChallenge from June:

Did you know that radishes have a low glycemic index, which helps balance blood sugar levels? They are also an excellent source of: Vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K,  antioxidants, fiber, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, calciumiron and manganese. And each of these is known to keep our body in good working condition.

NC arm Worker’s program starts again

Summer is here and UNC residents and staff will be rotating through the NC Farm Worker’s program! UNC Family Medicine works and collaborates with the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program (NCFHP), which trains and supports community outreach workers in 10 sites across the state. These bilingual community health workers visit farmworker camps, perform health assessments and help farmworkers access needed health care.

The program is staffed by Drs. Gayle Thomas, Evan Ashkin, Tim Daaleman, Ann Mounsey, Luci Olewinski, and Martha Carlough as well as the Family Medicine residents.  Internal medicine faculty Dr. Marco Aleman and Physician Assistant Chris Bernart will also be joining the team this summer.

Other physician assistants, medical, nursing, and physical therapy students assist the medical team as well. Learn more about the program here on our website.

To read a poem about the farm worker’s program, select here. Gayle Thomas, the medical director of the NCFHP, won the 2017 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Poetry and Prose Competition for her poem, “The Migrant Farmworker.”

UNC Family Medicine hosts primary care summer camp for high school students

Over the course of two weekends, the UNC Family Medicine Summer Academy hosted a total of 14 recent high school graduates from rural North Carolina. All of these students have an interest in a future career in medicine.

The camp, which is in its first year, specifically recruits students from rural parts of North Carolina. The goal is to expose these students to medicine and to mentors who can help them along the way.  North Carolina needs doctors, but it especially needs the right doctors in the right places—primary care is especially important in rural areas.


Read more about the program here.