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Charitable Donation Made to the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation to Establish The Barragan Family Diabetes Center

January 14, 2016, Hollister, CA – The Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received its second largest charitable donation to date in order to establish what will be known as The Barragan Family Diabetes Center. The center is expected to include wound care, and will be the first and only of its kind in San Benito County.

The gift was made by Mrs. Mary Ann Barragan, long time resident of Hollister, California. The gift will be used for the development of facilities, equipment and furniture for the new center. The facility will be located in the Sunnyslope Medical Complex.

Mrs. Barragan is the co-founder of Golden Memorial Insurance Services based in Hollister. Golden Memorial was established in 1963, operates in 12 states and employs over 2200 agents.

Mrs. Barragan noted, “My late husband, Ray Barragan, who suffered from diabetes for many years, faithfully believed that nothing was impossible. He would say the phrase ‘I can’t’ really meant ‘I choose not to.’ In honoring him, our family is saying ‘we can’ help residents in San Benito County who have been diagnosed with the disease. I have many friends and family members with diabetes and this is the one way I can support them.”

“This generous gift will allow the Hospital to better serve the estimated 7,000 community members suffering from the impacts of diabetes-related health issues” said Kristine Hudson, President of the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.

“A comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to the care of diabetics has shown to significantly improve their outcomes. Mrs. Barragan’s generosity will allow this type of comprehensive care to be available to all the citizens of San Benito County” said Dr. Michael Koteles. Dr. Koteles is an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist working with Hazel Hawkins Hospital.

Ken Underwood, CEO for Hazel Hawkins Hospital, commented, “The number of patients with diabetes has doubled in the past 10 years. The Barragan Family Diabetes Center will offer a broad range of support services for these patients. Our goal is to open the center by November of 2016. The center will provide personalized care, education, counseling and treatment. We will be able to offer motivational programs, screenings, informative literature, seminars and outreach to improve the health status of our community.”

Current data indicates that 17.5% of the adult population in San Benito County has diabetes. An estimated 30% of the adult population is considered pre-diabetic or at risk of becoming diabetic. That is nearly half of all adults living in San Benito County.

Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 25 million people have diabetes, including both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases. This disease can have a harmful effect on most of the organ systems in the human body; it is a frequent cause of end-stage renal disease, non-traumatic lower-extremity amputation, and a leading cause of blindness among working age adults. Persons with diabetes are also at increased risk for ischemic heart disease, neuropathy, and stroke. According to the CDC, the direct medical expenditures attributable to diabetes are over $116 billion.

For more information, contact Frankie Gallagher at 831-636-2644.


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