The Merck Foundation has launched Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care, a five-year initiative to help improve diabetes care and health outcomes for vulnerable and underserved populations in the U.S.
The initiative will bring $16 million over five years to eight clinics across the United States. The funding will help the grantees bring together high-quality medical care with services and resources from outside the health care system to address a variety of factors that influence diabetes outcomes. Some examples of needs where the Bridging the Gap initiative hopes to make a difference include access to healthy foods and safe places for physical activity.
The University of Chicago will serve as the national program office. It will support the grantees’ efforts and provide leadership in building a public-private partnership to help reduce disparities in diabetes care.
“We need to look beyond the usual health care solutions to address the growing burden of diabetes, especially among vulnerable populations in the United states,” said Merck Foundation CEO Julie L. Gerberding. “Through Bridging the Gap, we are pleased to bring together these eight diverse organizations, and look forward to leveraging their expertise to help more people effectively manage their diabetes and improve their overall health.”
Bridging the Gap program grantees will:
- Build sustainable partnerships between the health care sector and other sectors to address the medical, social, and environmental factors that influence health.
- Redesign health care systems, particularly primary care, to improve the delivery of diabetes care for vulnerable and underserved populations.
- Improve health outcomes for individuals with Type 2 diabetes through measures such as better blood sugar and lipid control.
The grantees are Alameda County Public Health Department in Oakland, California; Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics in Orofino, Idaho; La Clinica del Pueblo in Washington, D.C.; Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia; Minneapolis Health Department in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Providence St. Joseph Health in Renton, Washington; Trenton Health Team in Trenton, New Jersey; and Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland.