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.
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.