The Seattle & King County REACH program, with the guidance of the REACH coalition and partners, has been working for over 12 years to ensure that African Americans, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, and Latinos have access to resources to effectively manage their diabetes. REACH has also worked on identifying and alleviating issues that result in the disproportionate burden of diabetes in our communities. REACH partners have developed digital stories to help mobilize communities to action, trained and developed the capacity of over 30 organizations and groups to provide our culturally tailored Expanding Our REACH Diabetes curriculum, provided access to physical activity through relationships with YMCAs, community centers and a soccer program for young people, and increased access to healthy foods by working with community restaurants and developing culturally tailored community kitchens for low-income families.
Coalition members collaborated to create a training program to disseminate the REACH model at community sites and venues within King County. Coalition partners also assisted these organizations in implementing the culturally tailored diabetes education and self-management classes with the populations served by these organizations. In addition to training and dissemination of its model, the initiative promoted primary prevention and supported organizational systems change in order to sustain its efforts.
The following were the four goals of this initiative:
Goal 1: Foster the implementation of culturally tailored diabetes interventions in multiple community settings.
Goal 2: Promote healthy lifestyle (healthy eating and active living) behaviors among REACH priority populations.
Goal 3: Expand community engagement to address diabetes disparities, social determinants of health, and to promote health equity.
Goal 4: Promote policy change beyond organizational systems for lasting sustainability of efforts to eliminate health disparities.
These goals included a number of objectives and action steps, including:
Disseminate our culturally tailored diabetes curriculum to organizations serving REACH populations.
Healthy Eating & Active Living
Promote healthy lifestyle (healthy eating & active living) behaviors among REACH priority populations by increasing availability and access to affordable, healthy foods and places to be physically active for communities of color in King County.
Expand community engagement to address diabetes disparities, social determinants of health and to promote health equity.
Promote policy change beyond organizational systems for lasting sustainability of efforts to eliminate health disparities.
On October 1, 2012, the REACH program will have a new home. The Center for MultiCultural Health will be the new lead agency for the program. The REACH coalition has also merged with the Healthy King County Coalition. The merge will ensure that REACH partners can continue working on the mission of eliminating diabetes related health disparities. It will also expand our ability to effect factors that disproportionately impact our communities through developing partnerships with other sectors (transportation, education, planning, etc.). For more information on REACH's work with the Healthy King County Coalition, please visit www.healthykingcounty.org.