[ Nutrition ]

Taking Action Across Sectors in Communities: Addressing Diabetes in Texas

The South Texas Diabetes Initiative is a community-driven effort to improve patient health outcomes and lower costs for the entire health system through appropriate diabetes management in South Texas (Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties). Most of the food people eat is broken down into glucose, the form of sugar in the blood. with darker red indicating a higher increase in diabetes prevalence. An initial observation in the 1970s that Starr County, Texas, had the highest diabetes-specific mortality of any of the 254 Texas counties led to the establishment of a field office in Rio Grande City, Texas (the county seat of Starr County) and the initiation of a series of studies to understand the epidemiology and genetics of type 2 diabetes, its complications and related conditions in this predominantly (97%) Mexican American population. The Unidos Contra Diabetes Steering Committee is currently comprised of community leaders from hospitals, community clinics, academia, community-based organizations, and faith-based organizations; Methodist Healthcare Ministries, the Meadows Foundation, and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute support it. When it comes to the use of evidence-based medical care for Type 2 diabetes patients, such as A1c tests, cholesterol tests and eye exams, Texas continues to rank lower than the national averages. Diabetics compared to age/sex-matched non diabetics have shorter sitting heights, have more upper body fat (subscapular skinfold), have less lower body fat (lateral calf skinfold), and were heavier at maximum weight and at age 18.


Fazen said TBGH has worked with the Dallas County Medical Society to track diabetes metrics, focusing on the 1300 physicians who see 20 or more diabetes cases annually. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body does not produce enough or is not able to use it effectively. Each region shared a presentation about their initiatives, the most recent iteration of their Diabetes Population Health Driver Diagram, and fielded questions from colleagues. Two important themes emerged from this meeting. Diabetes is killing 70,000 people a year, according to Mexican health authorities. Second, cross-learning and sharing of lessons learned among communities that are addressing similar population health challenges provide energy, guidance, and helps prevent unsuccessful efforts for all those participating in those conversations. She has clinical and research interests in the transition from pediatric to adult health care for adolescents and emerging adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders.

At the same time, the intended purpose and uses of the population health driver diagram are consistent among the regions: to serve as a framework for discussion and aligning actions across sectors to achieve a health objective, fostering collaboration, rather than competition, among community stakeholders. Chiropractors help diabetics prevent neuropathy — nerve damage — as well as assist them with weight loss through nutrition and exercise, she said. Through the work of these three different regions that are tackling diabetes in remarkably different and unique ways, the versatility and effectiveness of the population health driver diagram is apparent. The cross learning that took place at the meeting among the sites offered great value to those participating in this initiative. Jennifer Herriott, Assistant Director of Health for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District explained, “The opportunity to come together in San Antonio with our colleagues from Austin and Houston to share lessons learned, showcase accomplishments, and discuss opportunities for continuing efforts to reduce diabetes through the Diabetes Population Health Driver Diagram Project was really fantastic.” Meeting attendees reported that they were leaving the meeting with new ideas about how to tackle this longstanding challenge, and that their resolve was renewed. Mission Statement| Editorial Policy| Privacy Policy| About Freedom Benefits| News| Investors This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks “Freedom Benefits”, “OnlineAdviser” and “OnlineNavigator”. The participants were able to remind each other that their struggles are valid, and their successes should be celebrated.

But those that appear most effective — implementing a statewide screening program, expanding diabetes self-management training for patients and closing the benefit gap between Medicaid and CHIP so pregnant mothers can have access to gestational diabetes supplies — come at a cost that lawmakers are unlikely to meet when they’re starting down a potential $25 billion budget hole.

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