Ministry fights diabetes among Latinos


Making her rounds as a home-health care nurse, Patty Larraga of Wichita, Kan., noticed something unusual: a dangerous disease that seemed to hit the Hispanic/Latino community especially hard.

“Diabetes is a very insidious or sneaky disease,” says Larraga. “People walk around for many years, oftentimes, and don’t even know it.”

Larraga began volunteering her time to find those with diabetes — and teach them how to lead healthier lives and avoid life-threatening complications. She founded the Institute of Minority Health Education and Research as an outreach to Hispanics/Latinos living in the Wichita area.

A $50,000 grant from United Methodist Health Ministry Fund is helping the organization expand its programs.