On Friday, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced that it has awarded $1.5 million to five organizations to help Black women with Type 2 diabetes better manage their disease while also leveraging their standing in their families and communities to influence the health of those around them.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 10 Black women age 20 and older has diabetes. That rate more than doubles to one in four for African American women over 55. Learn more about diabetes here.
African-Americans also suffer high rates of diabetes' most serious complications. These are blindness, kidney failure and amputation.
Eleanor Hinton Hoytt hailed the approach that Bristol-Myers Squibb is taking. She is the president and CEO of one of the grant recipients, the Black Women's Health Imperative.
Hoytt said, “With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions among Black women nationwide, we cannot underestimate the importance of innovative public-private partnerships that support community-driven health initiatives.”
The following organizations will receive $300,000 two-year grants:
—University of Virginia received a grant to undertake a comparative study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Call to Health model which includes supportive text messaging, "buddies," group visits in clinic- and community-based settings and community resource referral and mobilization in partnership with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Obesity Task Force.
—East Carolina University received a grant to implement a behaviorally centered "small changes" approach and care navigation delivered by health worker teams in four rural communities in eastern North Carolina.
—Whittier Street Health Center working with the Boston Housing Authority and Boston YMCA, received a grant to connect African-American women living in public housing with comprehensive diabetes management, including health education and support by a certified diabetes educator and peer supporter, nutritional counseling by a dietitian, social service navigation and a tailored program for physical activity in Roxbury.
—Black Women's Health Imperative, working with clinical and faith based partners, received a grant to implement a comprehensive self-management, social support and empowerment program for African-American women age 40 and older and their families living in three wards in the District of Columbia.
—United Neighborhood Health Services received a grant to implement a comprehensive diabetes self-management program that includes a robust physical activity component and the development of community resources in Nashville, Tennessee.