March 29, 2011


Northeast Conducts Public Health Lecture on Diabetes

Diabetes was the focus of a public health lecture at Northeast Alabama Community College on Wednesday, March 23, at 12:00 noon in the Health Education Building (Room 106) on the NACC campus. The lecture was presented by Dr. Anthony Sims.

Dr. David Campbell, President of NACC, welcomed those in attendance. “We are glad to have you all here today for this lecture,” he said. “When we built this facility, we wanted it to be a place where you can come to find out about health issues and public information on how to help make peoples’ lives better.” He expressed thanks to Susan Barron, Director of Events Planning at NACC, for arranging the lecture. He introduced Sims.

“Dr. Sims is one of our own,” said Campbell. “He graduated from Sylvania High School and received an Academic Scholarship to Northeast. He graduated in 1993 from Northeast with an associate degree and from Jacksonville State University in 1995 with a bachelor of science in biology. He received his doctorate from The University of Alabama in Birmingham in 2001. He moved back home in 2004 and opened Henagar Family Medicine. He wanted to practice medicine in his home area. He was chosen as the Alumnus of the Year by the NACC Foundation Board in 2010. He lives in Sylvania with his wife, Amy, and children, Drew, Abby, and Aiden. He is the medical director for hospice, a board member at Cornerstone School, and a Scout master. We are pleased to have him with us today.”

Dr. Sims thanked Dr. Campbell for the opportunity to return to Northeast. “It was about 18 years ago that I was here, as you students are today. If you work hard, study hard, and make good grades, you can become what you dream to be.”

“Diabetes is the number two diagnosis in our office,” said Dr. Sims. “High blood pressure is number one. But we see a lot of diabetes.” According to the American Diabetes Association, 25 million are diagnosed as having it, with another 79 million having what is sometimes referred to as pre-diabetes or insulin-resistant. “Almost one-third of the population has it,” said Sims. “Diet and lack of exercise contribute to the onset of Type II diabetes. Genetics are also involved. Type I diabetes is usually juvenile onset. Diabetes increases the risk of heart problems, neuropathy (numbness and tingling), and is the leading cause of blindness.” Symptoms include being thirsty more frequently, increase in urination, being hungry more frequently, and problems with the eyes. “We diagnose it by using blood work checking for sugar levels after a patient fasts six or more hours,” continued Sims. “If it is 120 or higher, we look further at it. Levels should not go over 180 after eating. Hemoglobin A1C normally is 4.5 to 5.7. If it is above 5.8 – 6.2 it is considered pre-diabetes. It should be 7 or less, and the lower the better. This is done on a three month average.” Medicines and insulin injections were discussed. To prevent diabetes, special attention should be paid to diet and exercise. “If your body mass index is over 30, you are overweight and are most likely eating too much fat, carbohydrates, and proteins,” said Sims. The lecture concluded with a question and answer session.

The health lecture was provided free of charge. “In addition to Northeast faculty, staff, and students, many community members attended the presentation,” added Campbell.

For more information about the Health Care lecture series, contact Susan Barron, Director of Events Planning at NACC, at or phone ext. 248.

Pictured after the public health lecture are (L-R) Sibie Bryant and Andrea Bearden, NACC Medical Assistant students; Susan Barron, Director of Events Planning; Dr. Anthony Sims, presenter; and Dr. David Campbell, NACC President.