Kansas State Agencies Collaborate To Launch Statewide Diabetes Management and Prevention Initiative; Minorities Targeted
Officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Diabetes Advisory Council on Friday launched the Kansas Diabetes Plan, a statewide effort to increase awareness of how to control and prevent the disease, the Wichita Eagle reports.
The five-year project also aims to increase care providers' knowledge of diabetes care standards; develop ways to help organizations address diabetes control and prevention; improve individuals' access to self-management programs, services and information; and lead initiatives to encourage policymakers to implement diabetes prevention, detection and care plans statewide.
The Kansas Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will oversee the evaluation process of the program and track its progress, while the University of Kansas School of Medicine will assist in implementing the program.
The plan also includes outreach efforts that specifically target minorities. Blacks have a higher rate of diabetes than other races or ethnicities, according to KDPCP. In addition, about 37% of blacks in the state are obese, compared with 24% of Hispanics and 23% of whites, a 2007 Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System report shows (Woods, Wichita Eagle, 7/12). Among children born in 2000, one in two Hispanics is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with one in three for all other children, according to CDC data (Kansas Health Institute News, 7/10). Being inactive, older or overweight puts individuals at risk of developing diabetes, the Eagle reports.
According to Kate Watson, director of the state diabetes prevention and control program, it is essential to work with faith- and community-based groups in order to better reach minority communities. She said, "There are alternative ways to reach these populations. The places they live, work and play may differ from where Caucasians live, work and play." She added, "We're going to target resources to where those people are" (Wichita Eagle, 7/12).