158095 Know your abc's: An effective diabetes health promotion program for people who are medically underserved

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 2:30 PM

Dewana Allen, MPH , Eye Care Community Outreach Program, Indianapolis, IN
John Yannessa, PhD , Department of HPER, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC
Edwin C. Marshall, OD, MPH , School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Kelli Barker, MSW , Eye Care Community Outreach Program, Indianapolis, IN
Identification of medically underserved people living with diabetes, and subsequent linkage of these people to medical care continues to be a major challenge of the diabetes epidemic. Past research has indicated that community-based outreach programs identify people living with diabetes, yet are challenged by lack of available medical resources to serve their clients. The ABC project (A1C, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol) is a health promotion project designed to help reduce diabetes-related ocular morbidity among people who are medically underserved. The ABC project used a two pronged approach. One aim focused on community based outreach and identification of people living with diabetes. The other focused on increasing referral opportunities to medical practitioners such as optometrists, once the person living with diabetes has been identified. To achieve program goals, 17 community based events were hosted in which 2,780 medically underserved people were provided diabetes education and 528 people living with diabetes were identified. In tandem, 27 educational sessions were offered in which 2,335 healthcare professionals and patients were provided educational materials designed to raise awareness as to the needs of medically underserved people living with diabetes. Outcomes indicated that the number of successful referrals increased as contact with eye health professionals increased. The ABC program has been successful in identifying people in the community living with diabetes, and most importantly, linking them to low or no cost medical treatment. This program may serve as model for health care professionals seeking to identify and link medically underserved people to sources of medical care.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe key components of an innovative diabetes prevention health promotion program design 2.Identify new strategic techniques to reach a medically underserved population. 3.Recognize the importance of AIC, blood pressure, and cholesterol when seeking to reduce diabetes related ocular mortality.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.