Its National Diabetes Month – Knowledge Can Be So Powerful

As I write this week’s post, its’ tempting to jump into the passionate discussion (or shall I more aptly say fray?) about the healthcare marketplace website(s) functionality, or lack thereof, consuming the country. As the accusations fly and everyone scurries to put fixes in place, I hope we can all keep the ultimate end goal in mind and focus on the intent of reform – improving population health!

With that in mind, I am going to take time this week to remind everyone about an epidemic condition – diabetes – that we can positively affect though education, lifestyle changes and proper medical care. Combating diabetes is a serious public health issue. The statistics are alarming and astound me no matter how many times I see them:

– More than 340 million people worldwide have diabetes
– Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes
– Its’ the seventh leading cause of death in this country
– Another 79 million adults are estimated to have prediabetes
– Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke
– Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations not     caused by injury, and new cases of blindness among adults in the US
– The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion

Whether or not we are healthcare professionals, we can all do our part to part to raise awareness this month. And as healthcare professionals, we can take that a step further by ensuring the limited English proficiency patients we serve have access to educational materials in the native languages that are most meaningful to them.

Click here to learn how one local hospital supported their LEP communities by developing a multilingual diabetes education program.


About the author:  Karen Donovan is the VP of Healthcare for VIA. Her background encompasses working with stakeholders across a wide range of the spectrum, providing strategic solutions for health systems, providers, vendors and insurers in today’s ever evolving US healthcare delivery system. Read more from this author

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