Parkland awarded ADA grant to improve, expand diabetes care

One of three facilities in the nation selected for pilot program

DALLASWith diabetes reported at rates higher than the national average in Dallas County, Parkland Health & Hospital System is launching a collaborative quality improvement project called “Diabetes INSIDE” with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Intelligent Medical Decisions, Inc. (iMD) to identify patients for earlier intervention and better management of type 2 diabetes.

A grant awarded to Parkland by ADA and utilizing information tools and training developed by iMD will analyze patient data and develop quality improvement initiatives to improve diabetes care for Parkland patients. The project focuses on interventions at the primary care level, targeting patients with type 2 diabetes, age 18-75, with A1C levels greater than 9 percent who are at highest risk for chronic complications of diabetes The A1C is a blood test that indicates a person’s average blood glucose level, and can be used to diagnose and treat diabetes. A normal A1C level for someone without diabetes is in the 4.5 to 6 percent level.

Approximately 10,000 current Parkland patients could be impacted by the Diabetes INSIDE program. More than 50,000 Parkland patients are currently diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause in the U.S. of heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputations (not caused by trauma).


According to Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the ADA, “Diabetes INSIDE is an initiative that will examine patient-level data and provider and staff attitudes toward diabetes management and insulin therapy with a goal toward quality improvement. The American Diabetes Association is pleased to announce that Parkland is one of three sites in the U.S. selected to participate in this project.”

Nearly 30 million Americans, almost 10 percent of the population, have diabetes, and it remains the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. The number of people with diabetes in Texas is projected to quadruple from 2 million to nearly 8 million by 2040, according to the Texas Health Institute.

Diabetes disproportionately affects different ethnic groups. Approximately 13 percent of all African-American and Hispanic adults live with diabetes, the ADA reports. The total estimated cost for patients with diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. was $256 billion in 2012, according to the ADA, up more than 40 percent from 2007, and an estimated $18 billion in Texas.

The primary goal for the 18-24 month initiative at Parkland is to improve the percent of patients achieving target glycemic goals compared to baseline. Secondary goals include identifying barriers to optimal diabetes management, screening and prevention, and developing appropriate intervention for patients with type 2 diabetes. Using the electronic medical record (EMR), a baseline assessment will identify opportunities for optimizing care delivery and inform provider and staff-led quality improvement initiatives to positively impact patient outcomes, as recommended by the ADA Standards of Medical Care. The program will include three continuing medical education programs over the course of a year, follow-up assessment and a full, detailed analysis of patient outcomes.

“Diabetes is one of the most significant healthcare challenges facing the nation and in Texas, the incidence of the disease is at even higher levels than in other parts of the country,” said Fred Cerise, MD, MPH, Parkland’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Parkland has committed substantial resources towards tackling the burden of diabetes in our community. This collaboration with the ADA and iMD underscores the importance of our commitment to combating a serious chronic disease affecting so many people in Dallas County.”

“This grant presents an exciting opportunity for Parkland to implement meaningful innovations for the improvement of diabetes care, and ultimately improve the quality of life for our patients,” said Luigi Meneghini, MD, MBA, Professor and Executive Director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland and Professor, Division of Endocrinology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Dr. Ratner is scheduled to speak in Dallas on May 5 and 6 to Parkland primary care providers, including physicians, nurses, social workers, and pharmacists, to announce the quality improvement project. He will also launch the first of a series of educational meetings for Parkland staff that will feature expert speakers from the ADA, iMD, and staff from Parkland and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

In 2013 Parkland launched the Global Diabetes Program (GDP) with the help of funding provided by the state’s 1115 waiver, in collaboration with Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) health centers and the Division of Endocrinology at UT Southwestern. Using a patient-centered and multidisciplinary approach, the GDP focuses a team of physicians, nurses, psychologists, dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and financial experts to “rotate around the patient, instead of making the patient adjust to the needs of the care providers,” Dr. Meneghini said. GDP’s goal is to address social, psychological, financial and medical barriers that get in the way of patients receiving the care they need.


For more information about the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland, please call 214.590.5675. For more information about the American Diabetes Association, visit

The American Diabetes Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, its mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

Intelligent Medical Decisions, Inc. (iMD) is a company focused on improving healthcare quality. iMD collaborates with clinical practices to improve care processes and patient outcomes. iMD partners with academic medical centers, health delivery systems, medical education companies and professional societies to design and facilitate Quality Improvement (QI) initiatives in any therapeutic area. iMD’s mission is to advance quality in healthcare with data-driven education and process-improvement programs.


Parkland Health & Hospital System, Department of Corporate Communications

5201 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas TX 75235, 214.590.8054


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