HONOLULU--Tripler Army Medical Center will be hosting a wellness fair in honor of Diabetes Awareness Day, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., here.

The diabetes fair will take place in Tripler's Anuenue Café and is open all eligible beneficiaries. The theme of this year's fair is "Do You Know Your Numbers," which will focus on A1C and cholesterol levels. Both of the tests determine if a patient is diabetic, or at risk of developing diabetes.

The fair will offer attendees the opportunity to meet with vendors from the Defense Commissary Agency and visit Army Public Health Nursing demonstration booths about topics such as foot exams, blood pressure screening, body mass index screening and speak with patient educators about a variety of topics to include disaster planning for diabetics.

In addition to the numerous resources inside the Anuenue Café, the Naval Health Clinic Hawaii Health Promotion mobile "Wellness on Wheels" van will be on site outside the Oceanside entrance of the hospital offering A1C cholesterol tests for patients who want to find out their numbers.

"It is important for diabetic patients to understand there is a lot more than just (diet) that impacts your numbers, and it is more than eating right and showing up to your appointments," explained Mary Eiger, fair coordinator and dietitian, Nutrition Care Division, TAMC. "Many things impact your diabetes. It is a lifestyle and there is a culture to diabetes."

Because diabetes becomes a patient's lifestyle, Eiger encourages patients with diabetes to bring their families to the event because it will offer education for family members as well.

This is the second year that Tripler has hosted a diabetes fair and according to Hope Cooper-Oliver, nurse and patient/diabetic educator, TAMC, it was well received last year. Cooper-Oliver said that the incidence of diabetes is high in Tripler's patient population and it is important that the hospital provide the latest information and education for its patients.

"It is important for our beneficiaries to have resources from different vendors all in one place so we can provide one-stop-shopping for information and education," Cooper-Oliver said. "I try to coach patients and know it is a lot of work, but it is better to own and not let it own you. (Diabetics) need to take care of (themselves to) be healthy."

In line with the Army Surgeon General's vision and campaign to influence the life space of Army Medicine's beneficiaries, Eiger said the fair's purpose is to educate people on ways to negotiate their life outside of Tripler when they are dealing with diabetes.