Merck Foundation Launches Nationwide Diabetes Effort Targeting Minority Communities
The Merck Foundation on Wednesday launched an initiative to target diabetes among minorities in five cities nationwide, the Dallas Morning News reports (Isensee, Dallas Morning News, 2/26). The foundation has committed $15 million for the initiative -- "The Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes" -- that will support programs that aim to improve the quality, access, prevention and management of diabetes among minorities. Merck is supporting programs in Camden, N.J.; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Washakie, Wyo.; and Memphis, Tenn. Adult Hispanics, blacks and American Indians are most at risk for the disease (Merck Foundation release, 2/25).
In Texas, black and Hispanic residents are more than twice as likely as white residents to die from diabetes. Minorities are also more likely to have an increased risk for disparities in care, which can lead to complications, according to the Morning News.
The Dallas effort, called the Diabetes Equity Project, builds upon an existing pilot program by Baylor Healthcare System. The Central Dallas Ministries' East Dallas clinic manages the program.
The new program will target health care workers and is designed to reach 1,000 people with diabetes within the first year. The program will give health workers access to a new electronic diabetes registry to improve case management. The program also will offer cross-cultural competency workshops to educate physicians about health-related lifestyle trends in minority communities, such as access to healthy foods, how different groups cope with disease and family involvement (Dallas Morning News, 2/26).