Diabetes

Goal

By 2025, reduce morbidity associated with diabetes by 25 percent among financially disadvantaged North Carolinians and close the diabetes health disparities gap.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is working to prevent the onset of diabetes and control its devastating impacts on the health of financially disadvantaged North Carolinians by investing in evidence-based prevention, communications and education, and medical programs.

North Carolina has the 9th highest diabetes rate in the country; nearly one in 10 residents have been diagnosed with the disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of death due to heart attack and stroke in the state, as well as the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure. Diabetes increases the risk for other serious health problems, including kidney disease, neuropathy, and depression, among others. Half a million North Carolinians are currently diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and the number of those suffering from the disease is growing.

Diabetes disproportionately impacts low-income and minority North Carolinians. African Americans are almost twice as likely to die from diabetes as whites. This disparity is the result of environmental conditions, social and economic factors, insufficient health resources, and poor disease management.

Working with local, county, and regional partners, the Trust is focusing its efforts on learning how and why disparities exist and investing in prevention and management initiatives carefully designed to address the needs of underserved communities.

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Closing The Gap

CLINICAL CARE AND SELF MANAGEMENT

Outcomes-based primary care paired with self-management practices to keep diabetes under control and delay, diminish or prevent its debilitating impacts on physical health and quality of life.

Investments in Action

  • East Carolina University Team-based behavioral and clinical care for patients with diabetes to be extended to rural primary care practices by means of telemedicine.
  • Area L AHEC Group medical visits for patients with diabetes at multiple sites of the Rural Health Group, a federally qualified health center.
  • Piedmont Health Services  Diabetes self-management and education program led by a dietician. Includes point-of-care testing for blood glucose control at a community health center.

PREVENTION

Strategies to identify and target those at-risk of diabetes, taking into consideration an individual’s culture and community. Efforts will use growing evidence-base that supports connection to clinical care.

Investments in Action

  • YMCA of Western North Carolina  Diabetes prevention modeled after an evidence-based program proven to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes by almost 60 percent.

  • Together Transforming Lives, Inc.  Diabetes awareness and education at three public housing developments to help participants make changes to eat healthier.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Efforts that target the intersection of diabetes and mental health/substance abuse issues to increase an individual’s ability to address either condition.

Investments in Action

  • Freedom House  Diabetes screening, treatment and education for clients receiving facility-based services for substance abuse.

PUBLIC AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY

Efforts to raise awareness about diabetes and its cost to individuals, families and communities through strategic communications and grassroots advocacy.