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Olean General Hospital and the Cattaraugus County Aging and Health departments have received a $20,000 grant from the state Health Department for a community diabetes service program.

The grant will allow screening the elderly who are at risk of diabetes and providing them with information.

Screening will be conducted at nutrition sites throughout the county.

Diabetes is a serious disease, David Rodkey of the Department of Aging said. In 1995, about 2,670 cases were diagnosed in the county.

The disease is characterized by high blood-sugar levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin, the processing agent to change sugar into energy. It is the fourth leading cause of death by disease in the country.

The free screening will be done by a registered nurse. A dietitian also will be on hand to answer questions.

The procedure involves an instrument called a glucometer, which checks the sugar levels in the blood. Those with a high glucose level will be referred to a physician.

A schedule of screenings follows:

Thursday, 9 to 11:30 a.m., St. Stephen's Church; Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Gowanda Free Methodist Church; Nov. 6, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Ellicottville Terrace; Nov. 20, 9:30 a.m. to noon, St. Pius Catholic Church, Delevan; Jan. 13, 10 a.m. to noon, Limestone Municipal Building; Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Franklinville Presbyterian Church; Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to noon, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, West Valley.

Also, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to noon, Masonic Temple, Portville; March 10, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Little Valley Municipal Building; March 24, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Dow Building, Randolph; March 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Salamanca; April 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Olean Community Building.

For more information, contact Barbara Woodark at the Department of Aging.

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