Case study: TX program tackles minority diabetes management

A Dallas-area program launched this week designed to address the growing diabetes problem in minority communities and better connect community health workers with patients.

The program, which is funded by a $1.7 million grant from the Merck Foundation, is known as the Diabetes Equity Project. It builds off of a pilot program that Baylor Health Care System has run in cooperation with Central Dallas Ministries' East Dallas clinic for five years. Under the program, a community health worker meets patients seven times for an hour, reviewing their blood sugar levels, meds, exercise and diet as well as answering questions.

Diabetes Equity hopes to address the increased risk Hispanics, blacks and other minorities face for developing diabetes. Not only are minorities more prone to developing the disease, they often face disparities in care that can lead to more serious complications. For example, in Texas blacks and Hispanics are more than twice as likely to die from diabetes as white Texans.

The program will attempt to reach 1,000 diabetic patients during the first year. It will also launch a new electronic diabetes registry to better manage cases.

To learn more about the program:
- read this Dallas News piece

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