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August 15, 2015 0

Hispanics account for 1 out of every 5 adults who suffer from diabetes. Although it’s a major health concern for Hispanics (68% of Hispanics who have diabetes say they worry about someone in their family developing the disease vs. 52% of non-Hispanics), studies show that there is still a lack of education on the risks and management of this disease.

With this issue in mind, Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) wanted to find a way to better inform the Hispanic community about this disease, but it couldn’t be done alone. In an extraordinary moment of collaboration not often seen in the healthcare industry, Univision Farmacia, a service of UCI that offers discount prescription cards to Hispanics, partnered with Novo Nordisk, Montefiore, and seven leading healthcare organizations. These industry leaders, which included Inquisit Health, Nestle Health Science, The YMCA, Bayer Healthcare, The American Diabetes Association, CVS Health and Morris Heights Health Center, came together to create a patient program aimed at helping Hispanic diabetics live healthier lives.

Through a 360-degree promotional campaign across UCI’s properties, including digital, social, local TV and radio, the collaboration came to life in November of 2014 with a local community event at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. The event ended up falling on one of the rainiest and coldest days of the year, but spirits remained high among all who were helping to make it happen. Despite the weather, over 500 attendees showed up with one purpose, and that was to learn about diabetes, its symptoms, and treatment options.

ThinkstockPhotos-72919795-webThroughout the event, participants received health screenings, face-to-face counseling, panel discussions with experts, and more. In addition, we administered hemoglobin A1C tests to close to 300 attendees. Depending on the level of their hemoglobin A1C score, patients who signed up for the program were each placed into one of three groups and matched with the most appropriate treatment plan in accordance with their diabetes needs.

The first group was the pre-diabetics or those who were at risk for developing the disease (A1C score= 5.7-6.4%). These individuals were placed in The Diabetes Prevention Program, offered by Montefiore and the YMCA, and were provided with Nestle Boost Glucose Control products which they picked-up free of charge at CVS.

Next are the diabetics (A1C score= 6.5 and 8.9%). These patients were given almost the same treatment as the pre-diabetics, but they were also provided with a chronic condition management course at Montefiore Hospital and free glucose test meters provided by Bayer.

Lastly, our third group consisted of patients who had uncontrolled diabetes (A1C score=> 9). These individuals received the chronic condition management course at Montefiore Hospital, free meters and testing supplies from Bayer, nutritional products from Nestle, and they were assigned a peer mentor who provided healthy coaching advice in relation to their condition.

The three groups were monitored over a six month period, and then brought in for testing. Although we have yet to learn the results of this collaboration, which will be revealed in a white paper developed by Montefiore and Inquisit Health, what’s unique was the ability to bring together ten different organizations, each with the common goal of educating Hispanic diabetics and their families on how to make lasting changes that will help them live healthier lives.

Dennis O’Leary will delve further into this case study as he moderates a panel discussion, Novo Nordisk, Montefiore and UCI: Connecting the Hispanic Community with the Diabetes Care they Need, at the MCH National Conference. Discover how these companies worked together to find the common ground and help an underserved population manage this disease. Learn from Dennis, as well as the rest of our esteemed speaking faculty, at the 2015 MCH National Conference, held Oct 12-13 at The Westin in Fort Lauderdale. Register today!

Dennis OLeary