North Texas Takes on Diabetes!

If you ask just about any organization involved in healthcare today (either measuring it, providing it or paying for it), there is a strong likelihood that they have an initiative focused on improving diabetes care.  With so many diabetes-related activities going on in our community, it is nearly impossible to keep up with them all.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimates that today more than 3.5 million children and adults in Texas have diabetes or prediabetes. We also know that diabetes is the single most frequent diagnosis for Medicaid encounters in the state of Texas. The Texas State Demographer projects quadrupling of this number by 2040.  There has never been more of a private and public health focus on diabetes.  And rightly so!

Two years ago, the North Texas American Diabetes Association, in conjunction with DFW Business Group on Health, DFW Hospital Council Foundation and the Health Industry Council, started hosting a series of meetings called North Texas Takes on Diabetes (NTTD).  The mission of NTTD is to facilitate collaboration and act as a clearinghouse of information on resources and best practices related to diabetes for the DFW community.  The purpose of holding the meetings is to create a community dialogue that highlights initiatives focused on improving diabetes care in our community so that other organizations will be able to leverage existing initiatives and learn from other’s experiences.

Over the past two years, we have heard from many different stakeholders in the healthcare community.  We have featured physician groups like Texas Health Physician Group and HealthTexas Provider Network, who have implemented diabetes quality improvement programs in their practices. We have heard from health plans about incentives for physicians, such as BCBS of Texas who pays physicians  for obtaining recognition through a quality organization  for providing high quality diabetes care to patients.  We have had organizations involved in new models of care, like patient centered medical homes or the use of peer coaches, highlight their diabetes related outcomes.   And we have just scratched the surface of all of the incredible programs that are helping people with diabetes in our area.

One great example of collaboration is the DEAR (Diabetes Education and Resources) initiative.  DEAR started as a coalition of concerned stakeholders in Dallas County wishing to compile a list of available diabetes self-management education programs available at low or no cost in the community.  The group has been meeting over the last year and is in the process of creating a clearinghouse with pertinent information allowing end-users, such as clinicians caring for patients with diabetes, social service organizations serving people with diabetes, people with diabetes, and family members of people with diabetes, to locate resources in their community.  A GAP analysis  will also be done to identify areas/zip codes in Dallas County where there are no available programs and make recommendations.  We will feature DEAR at our next meeting.

The ADA will be hosting  the next North Texas Takes on Diabetes meeting on November 14 from 9 to 11am at Lone Star Park.  For more information, or to RSVP, please contact northtexas@diabetes.org or call 972.392.1181 x6101.  We look forward to seeing you there! 

Joan Colgin, RN, BSN, CDE, Senior Medical Liaison, Novo Nordisk, Inc.

Meghan Jardine, MS, MBA, RD, LD, CDE, Diabetes Coordinator, Parkland Health & Hospital System

Dana McCormick, RPh, Area Medical Manager, Sanofi

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