Bridging the Gap in
Bridging the Gap in
An estimated 30 million Americans—about 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. Multi-sectoral 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, multi-sectoral collaborations can help improve access to nutritious food and increase options for physical activity, both of which are important to better health outcomes.
In late 2017, our company’s Foundation launched Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care (Bridging the Gap). This initiative aims to improve access to high-quality diabetes care and reduce disparities in health outcomes among vulnerable and underserved populations with type 2 diabetes in the United States. The Foundation has committed $16 million over five years (2017–2021) to support Bridging the Gap and its program partners in selected communities across the country.
Bridging the Gap aims to:
- Build sustainable partnerships between the health care sector and other sectors to address the medical and social factors that influence health
- Redesign health care systems, particularly primary care, to improve the delivery of diabetes care for vulnerable and underserved populations
- Improve health outcomes for individuals with type 2 diabetes through measures such as better glucose and lipid control
- Disseminate key findings and lessons learned to advance cross-sector approaches that improve population health and reduce diabetes disparities
BRIDGING THE GAP PROGRAM SITES
Through grants to eight organizations, our company’s Foundation is supporting evidence-based, multi-sector approaches to promote sustainable improvements in the delivery of diabetes care.
- Alameda County Public Health Department (Oakland, California)
- Clearwater Valley Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospitals and Clinics (Orofino, Idaho)
- La Clínica del Pueblo (Washington, DC)
- Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia)
- Minneapolis Health Department (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
- Providence Health and Services (Portland, Oregon)
- Trenton Health Team (Trenton, New Jersey)
- Western Maryland Health System (Cumberland, Maryland)
The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL) serves as the National Program Office for Bridging the Gap. It supports the program efforts of the grantee organizations and provides leadership in building a national public-private partnership to help reduce disparities in diabetes care.
Bridging the Gap programs will:
- Use multi-sectoral collaborations to address factors inside and outside the health care system that influence diabetes outcomes
- Transform the delivery of primary care, including team-based, coordinated care tailored to the patient’s level of risk for complications from diabetes and social factors that can complicate treatment and care management
- Engage multiple levels of the health care system, such as the patient, family support system, health care team, and health care organization levels
The Foundation will assess the impact of Bridging the Gap and its programs through an independent cross-site evaluation. The findings and program results will be widely disseminated to advance multi-sectoral collaborations that will help improve diabetes care and reduce health disparities in the United States.