More than 29 million Americans—approximately 9 percent of the population—are living with diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vulnerable and underserved populations bear a disproportionate burden of diabetes and its related complications. These populations also experience persistent inequities in access to high-quality diabetes care.
Promoting health equity among people with diabetes requires a multifaceted approach that improves the delivery of health care while addressing the complex array of interrelated factors that influence health. Intersectoral collaborations can reduce health disparities by integrating high-quality medical care with resources drawn from the social and environmental sectors, such as food, housing, and neighborhood and physical environments. For example, intersectoral collaborations can help improve access to nutritious food and options for physical activity, which are important to better outcomes.
Our company’s Foundation announces Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care (Bridging the Gap). The goal of this initiative is to improve access to high-quality diabetes care and reduce health disparities among vulnerable and underserved populations with type 2 diabetes in the United States. The Foundation is committing $10 million over five years to support Bridging the Gap and its program partners in selected communities across the country.
The aims of Bridging the Gap are to:
- Build sustainable partnerships between the health care sector and other sectors to address the medical and social determinants of health.
- Redesign health care systems, including the transformation of primary care, to improve diabetes care delivery for vulnerable and underserved populations.
- Increase access to high-quality health care for adults with type 2 diabetes and related comorbidities and complications.
- Improve health outcomes for individuals with type 2 diabetes through measures such as better glucose and lipid control.
Bridging the Gap programs will:
- Use intersectoral collaborations to address factors inside and outside the health care system that influence diabetes outcomes.
- Transform the delivery of primary care, such as team-based care tailored to the patient’s risk level.
- Involve multiple levels of the health care system, such as the patient, family/support system, health care team, and health care organization levels.
- Use evidence-based innovation to design interventions.
- Promote sustainable improvements in the delivery of diabetes care.
The Foundation will assess the impact of Bridging the Gap and its programs through a comprehensive cross-site evaluation. The findings and program results will be widely disseminated to advance intersectoral collaborations that help improve diabetes care and reduce health disparities in the United States.