KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON - The Seattle & King County Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) 2010 Coalition has been awarded a $415,390 grant from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to reduce the burden of diabetes, especially among African Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Latinos.
"Diabetes rates have doubled in the past 10 years in King County, and it has had a negative impact on our quality of life. This grant works to improve our community's health by preventing diabetes among those at risk and helping those living with the disease live longer and better," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health Seattle & King County.
This new initiative, known as REACH across the U.S. (REACH U.S.), has three goals:
REACH U.S. will provide training and technical assistance to clinics, faith-based organizations, community based agencies, and small businesses.
"We have made a strong impact already, and we will now work on broader levels, including policies, to stem the tide of diabetes-related poor health status," said Dr. Cheza Garvin of Public Health's Chronic Disease Prevention & Healthy Aging Program.
Since 1999, almost 1,900 people have participated in REACH education classes and support groups.
A report this year by Public Health Seattle & King County found that the number of county residents with diabetes has risen to more than 84,000 King County adults, doubling in the last decade. Low-income people and members of ethnic minority groups are substantially more likely to have and die from diabetes.
"Despite improvements in the overall health of the nation, health disparities remain one of the most important public health challenges of our time," said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director, CDC' s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "We are extremely excited about the new REACH award recipients because they offer a plethora of knowledge in addressing health disparities and their innovative approaches will help improve people's health in our communities, health care settings, schools, and work sites."
National REACH U.S. initiative
Through the REACH U.S. initiative, 18 national and regional Centers of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (CEEDs) and 22 Action Communities, including King County, will be established throughout the country. The CEEDs will serve as national resource centers with expertise in specific ethnic populations and will train additional communities to further spread the impact of REACH activities. The Action Communities will implement and evaluate successful approaches within a specific community to impact population groups, rather than individuals, and focus on key health conditions that contribute to health disparities.
Since 1999, the REACH program has demonstrated that fully engaging communities in health strategies that address the unique social, economic, and cultural circumstances of racial and ethnic minority groups can reduce health disparities.
For more information on REACH and diabetes in King County, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/health/reach
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 1.8 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.