Barnstable Brown Center known for more than annual gala

By Kristen Manouchehri

The Barnstable Brown name may no longer only be known for one of Kentucky’s largest and most popular Derby parties, but also in regards to UK’s Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Although UK’s Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center is in its second year, it still flies under the radar.

The center has been in the process of improving its availability and access to patients. It has three new providers and has not been aggressive in marketing due to the limited capacity to see new patients, until now.

According to its website, the center’s purpose is to coordinate efforts engaged in diabetes and obesity research and clinical care at UK, as well as conduct investigative research into diabetes, obesity and all health issues surrounding the two. It also researches blood vessel disease, understanding the mechanisms of diabetes, various cardiovascular fields and aspects of complications.

“In Kentucky, diabetes affects a large percentage of the population,” Sheri Setser, a registered dietician who works with the center, said. “With the overwhelming obesity problem in Kentucky, type 2 diabetes in particular is a growing issue.”

She said the goal of the center is to educated people about diabetes and obesity.

Kentucky ranks seventh in the nation for prevalence of both diabetes and obesity. Roughly 318,000 Kentuckians have been diagnosed with diabetes and an estimated 611,000 adults ranging from age 40 to 74 have pre-diabetes and are at high risk of developing diabetes.

“The main problem in our culture is we have an abundance of high calorie foods,” Dr. Ray Reynolds, the director of the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center, said. “We need to increase our level of daily physical activity and need to eat more foods from the garden. We need to eat more whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.”

On Derby Eve, the Barnstable Brown family hosts a gala and all proceeds made go to fund diabetes research and clinical care at UK. The family has committed the earnings generated from the gala for the next three years. Research is also funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association.

The Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center is located in UK’s clinic and includes two full-time diabetes educators and a number of individuals who offer full service for patients.