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Community Education

Why Are Educational and Community-Based Programs Important?

Our goals are to increase the quality, availability, and effectiveness of educational and community-based programs designed to prevent disease and injury, improve health, and enhance quality of life.


Educational and community-based programs play a key role in:


  • Preventing disease and injury
  • Improving health
  • Enhancing quality of life


Health status and related health behaviors are determined by influences at multiple levels: personal, organizational/institutional, environmental, and policy. Because significant and dynamic interrelationships exist among these different levels of health determinants, educational and community-based programs are most likely to succeed in improving health and wellness when they address influences at all levels and in a variety of environments/settings.


Educational and community-based programs and strategies are designed to reach people outside of traditional health care settings. These settings may include schools, worksites, health care facilities and other communities.

Each setting provides opportunities to reach people using existing social structures. This maximizes impact and reduces the time and resources necessary for program development. People often have high levels of contact with these settings, both directly and indirectly. Programs that combine multiple—if not all 4—settings can have a greater impact than programs using only 1 setting. While populations reached will sometimes overlap, people who are not accessible in 1 setting may be in another. 1


Using nontraditional settings can help encourage informal information sharing within communities through peer social interaction. Reaching out to people in different settings also allows for greater tailoring of health information and education.


Educational and community-based programs encourage and enhance health and wellness by educating communities on topics such as:

  • Chronic diseases
  • Injury and violence prevention
  • Mental illness/behavioral health
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Oral health
  • Tobacco use
  • Substance abuse
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Obesity prevention

Some Education Topics to Explore

Click each title to expand the topic.

Narcan Training

Naloxone (Narcan) Distribution Program


A 30 minute training and distribution of a Naloxone Kit offered monthly at the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic. Learn how to safely use and get a medication (Naloxone) that can save the lives of those experiencing an opioid overdose.  Training is provided by Bryan’s HOPE.


On average, 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdose


2019 Naloxone training  (1-1:30 PM)


  • January 30
  • February 27
  • March 20
  • April 24
  • May 22
  • June 26


To register please contact Jeannie at: 248-410-4163 or Email


Training takes place at the: Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic
45580 Woodward Ave, Pontiac, MI 48341


What are opioids?


Opioids are medications used to relieve pain.


  • Three types include prescription, fentanyl, and heroin
  • Common prescription opioids are Norco, Vicodin, and Morphine (oxycodone and hydrocodone)


How can an opioid overdose happen?


  • When a person overdoses on illegal substances, such as heroin
  • Accidentally taking an extra dose of prescription medications, deliberately abusing prescription medications, mixing opioids with other medications or with alcohol
  • Taking a prescription opioid prescribed for someone other than yourself


What are some ways to prevent this?


  • Know the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose
  • Small, constricted pupils
  • Falling asleep, loss of consciousness, not responding
  • Shallow breathing
  • Pale blue, or cold skin
  • Call 911 at the first signs of an overdose! Michigan is one of many states that has a 911 drug immunity law. This protects the overdosing person as well as the caller from criminal charges
  • Become trained in ways to reverse an opioid overdose


Why should I learn how to reverse an opioid overdose?


  • Since the rate of opioid overdoses has increased significantly in the United States, you may know someone who has been abusing these medications
  • Studies indicate that many people who die from opioid overdose have failed to receive proper medical attention because their friends, family, and witnesses delay or refrain from calling 911 in fear of police involvement
  • Brain damage and other harm to the body can be prevented with the administration of a medication called naloxone


How can I reverse an opioid overdose?


  • A medication called naloxone is available to the general public, which is a non-addictive, life-saving drug that can quickly reverse the life threatening effects of an opioid overdose.
  • You can get naloxone at any pharmacy without a prescription.
  • While this medication can be obtained over the counter at most pharmacies, it is also important to learn when to give the medicine, as well as how to administer it
  • GBCHC with Bryan’s HOPE offers 30 minute classes on the 4th Wednesday of each month to teach you how to use this potentially life-saving medication (see above for available class dates)


For more information from the CDC website, click here.

What is Diabetes and DPP

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?


Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition. It can lead to health issues such as heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.


What Is Prediabetes?


Prediabetes is a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. One in three American adults has prediabetes, and most do not even know they have it. If you have prediabetes and do not lose weight or do moderate physical activity, you may develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years.


Am I at Risk for Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes?


You are at increased risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if you:


  • Are 45 years of age or older;
  • Are overweight;
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes;
  • Are physically active fewer than three times per week; or
  • Ever had diabetes while pregnant which disappeared after the delivery (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds. If you think you may be at risk, a health care provider can do a blood test to see if you have diabetes or prediabetes.


Can I Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?


Yes! Hearing your doctor say, “You’re at risk for type 2 diabetes,” or “You have prediabetes,” means that you can start preventing type 2 diabetes today. And you do not have to do it alone. Finding the Diabetes Prevention Program was your first step on that journey. If you have prediabetes, now is the time for prevention. The Diabetes Prevention Program at GBCHC can help you take charge of your health to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.


What Is the Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change intervention?


Groups meet once a week for 16 weeks, then once a month for 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. During each session, your lifestyle coach will teach a lesson and lead a group discussion.


For example, you will learn to:


  • Eat healthy
  • Add physical activity to your life
  • Manage stress
  • Stay on track when eating out


Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle coaches have the experience and training to help you reach your goals. Your lifestyle coach will help you:


  • Learn the facts about healthy eating and physical activity and explain how these behaviors will help reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Set and meet your goals
  • Build relationships with other participants
  • Work as a group to meet challenges
  • Understand and respond to your food cues
  • Stay motivated
  • Solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes


What Is the Benefit of Being Part of this program?


The GBCHC program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is proven to help people with prediabetes prevent or delay development of type 2 diabetes.


As part of a Diabetes Prevention Program group, you will work with other participants and a trained lifestyle coach to learn the skills you need to make lasting changes. These changes include losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.


Being part of a group provides support from other people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes you are. Together you can celebrate successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.


Program Features


  • Trained lifestyle coach
  • CDC-approved curriculum
  • Group support
  • 16 weekly meetings
  • 6 monthly follow-up meetings


Where Can I Participate in a lifestyle intervention program?


Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic
45580 Woodward Ave., Pontiac MI 48341
Contact: Patricia – Phone: 248-309-3752


The program is free to clinic patients.  For community members, a donation is suggested of $75 for one year or $10 per session.  Community scholarships are available.


Does the Program Work?


This program can help people with prediabetes cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half. The Diabetes Prevention Program research study showed that making modest behavior changes helped participants lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight — that is 10 to 14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds. These lifestyle changes reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people with prediabetes.


Am I eligible for the program?


People at risk for diabetes can participate.  If your healthcare provider has said you have high blood sugar, prediabetes or are overweight, call GBCHC to request a referral form for your provider to complete.  If you don’t currently have a healthcare provider, click on the link below and “Take the Quiz” on the CDC website to find your score. Call GBCHC at 248-309-3752 for information and referrals.


“Could You Have Prediabetes?” Online Quiz:


This simple, seven-question quiz assesses if a person is at risk for having prediabetes. You can view and take the quiz on the CDC website here.


“A Change for Life” Video:


In this video, experts and people with prediabetes talk about how type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making lifestyle changes that include weight loss and increased physical activity. People with prediabetes discuss how group lifestyle change classes helped them learn and keep healthy habits. You can view and download this video.

Why A Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body

Taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums is a worthy goal in and of itself. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help you keep your teeth as you get older.


Researchers are also discovering new reasons to brush and floss. A healthy mouth may help you ward off medical disorders. The flip side? An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.


The case for good oral hygiene keeps getting stronger. Understand the importance of oral health — and its connection to your overall health.


What’s in your mouth reveals much about your health


What does the health of your mouth have to do with your overall health? In a word, plenty. A look inside or a swab of saliva can tell your doctor volumes about what’s going on inside your body.


Many conditions cause oral signs and symptoms


Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful vantage point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of systemic disease — a disease that affects or pertains to your entire body, not just one of its parts. Systemic conditions such as AIDS or diabetes, for example, often first become apparent as mouth lesions or other oral problems. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms.



Saliva: Helpful diagnostic tool


Your doctor can collect and test saliva to detect for a variety of substances. For example, cortisol levels in saliva are used to test for stress responses in newborn children. And fragments of certain bone-specific proteins may be useful in monitoring bone loss in women and men prone to osteoporosis. Certain cancer markers are also detectable in saliva.


Routine saliva testing can also measure illegal drugs, environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies indicating hepatitis or HIV infection, among other things. In fact, the ability to detect HIV-specific antibodies has led to the production of commercial, easy-to-use saliva test kits. In the future, saliva testing may replace blood testing as a means of diagnosing and monitoring diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and many infectious diseases.


Protection against harmful invaders: How saliva disables bacteria and viruses


Saliva is also one of your body’s main defenses against disease-causing organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. It contains antibodies that attack viral pathogens, such as the common cold and HIV. And it contains proteins called histatins, which inhibit the growth of a naturally occurring fungus called Candida albicans. When these proteins are weakened by HIV infection or other illness, candida can grow out of control, resulting in a fungal infection called oral thrush.



Saliva also protects you against disease-causing bacteria. It contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in different ways, by degrading bacterial membranes, inhibiting the growth and metabolism of certain bacteria, and disrupting vital bacterial enzyme systems.


The problem with dental plaque: Links to infections and diseases


Though your saliva helps protect you against some invaders, it can’t always do the job. More than 500 species of bacteria thrive in your mouth at any given time. These bacteria constantly form dental plaque — a sticky, colorless film that can cling to your teeth and cause health problems.


Your mouth as infection source


If you don’t brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth clean, plaque can build up along your gumline, creating an environment for additional bacteria to accumulate in the space between your gums and your teeth. This gum infection is known as gingivitis. Left unchecked, gingivitis can lead to a more serious gum infection called periodontitis. The most severe form of gum infection is called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, also known as trench mouth.



Bacteria from your mouth normally don’t enter your bloodstream. However, invasive dental treatments — sometimes even just routine brushing and flossing if you have gum disease — can provide a port of entry for these microbes. Medications or treatments that reduce saliva flow and antibiotics that disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth can also compromise your mouth’s normal defenses, allowing these bacteria to enter your bloodstream.


If you have a healthy immune system, the presence of oral bacteria in your bloodstream causes no problems. Your immune system quickly dispenses with them, preventing infection. However, if your immune system is weakened, for example because of a disease or cancer treatment, oral bacteria in your bloodstream (bacteremia) may cause you to develop an infection in another part of your body. Infective endocarditis, in which oral bacteria enter your bloodstream and stick to the lining of diseased heart valves, is an example of this phenomenon.



Plaque as cause of common conditions?


Long-term gum infection can eventually result in the loss of your teeth. But the consequences may not end there. Recent research suggests that there may be an association between oral infections — primarily gum infections — and poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth. More research is needed to determine whether oral infections actually cause these conditions, which include:


  • Poorly controlled diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control, as well. Infection may cause insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar control.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Oral inflammation due to bacteria (gingivitis) may also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may serve as a base for development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some research suggests that people with gum infections are also at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The more severe the infection, the greater the risk appears to be. And gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to plaques in the carotid artery. In one study, 46 percent of participants who’d lost up to nine teeth had carotid artery plaque; among those who’d lost 10 or more teeth, 60 percent of them had such plaque.
  • Preterm birth. Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, in fact, estimates that as many as 18 percent of preterm, low birth weight babies born in the United States each year may be attributed to oral infections. The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins, which reach the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus. At the same time, the oral infection causes the mother to produce labor-triggering substances too quickly, potentially triggering premature labor and birth.
  • Dental care and diabetes: The importance of a healthy mouth


A compelling case for good habits


If you didn’t already have enough reasons to take good care of your mouth, teeth and gums, the relationship between your oral health and your overall health provides even more. Resolve to practice good oral hygiene every day. You’re making an investment in your overall health, not just for now, but for the future, too.


Related Information



©1998-2006 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Original source material can be found here.

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