Public health agencies play major roles in shaping the way healthcare is delivered to populations around the country and the world. In many cases, these agencies work with partners to ensure that underserved and disadvantaged groups have access to adequate care and education. With diabetes, most underserved groups are disproportionately affected by the disease and face much greater mortality and morbidity rates. In order to combat the disadvantages faced by these populations, it is critical for public agencies to:
- Find effective ways to provide greater access to care
- Develop programs that cater to specific cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic needs and conditions
- Utilize technology to manage cost
- Demonstrate quality outcomes that can scale
Improve the quality of life of the citizens they represent
Over the last several years, Joslin has worked on programs with the largest healthcare agencies in the U.S. to bring diabetes care to critical populations. National agencies include:
- Veterans Health Administration
- Department of Defense
- Indian Health Service Center for Medicare Services
- The USDA Extension Service
In each case, Joslin is lending its expertise to develop programs that increase access for patients and provide them with new levels of care and education for diabetes. Our Joslin Vision NetworkTM (JVN), for example, is a proven retinal imaging device and clinical service deployed in over 50 sites within the Indian Health Service network that has screened thousands of Native American patients for diabetic retinopathy - the leading cause of new-onset vision loss in working age adults. Images are obtained through the JVN camera workstation by a remote technician and then sent to a reading center in Phoenix established by Joslin and the IHS. Joslin-trained readers evaluate images and render summaries and treatment guides in order to triage patients to care and pre-empt the progression of disease.
With the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration, Joslin has developed the Comprehensive Diabetes Management Program (CDMP) software tool to allow nurses to perform more complete and efficient care management and education. The tool is being implemented in select DoD and VHA sites and will expand in the near future.
Joslin also works with the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), a branch of the USDA that has a long experience working with clients in underserved areas, particularly in areas of nutrition. These two groups have developed a diabetes program outside of the usual medical care system that can be delivered by leaders without a diabetes background to access underserved patients. "On the Road to Living Well with Diabetes" Program, which is delivered to small groups, includes on-site testing of blood pressure, portable device A1C measurements, and sometimes microalbumin and cholesterol. The program includes a series of colorful low-literacy flip charts and a 20-page booklet that describes in easy-to-understand terms six tests that all people with diabetes should have, why these tests are important and what the results mean in terms of people’s overall diabetes care.
Joslin is also working with state and local agencies to help address the growing problem of diabetes in urban and minority communities. Its initiatives in the state of Mississippi and New York City are arming healthcare workers with more advanced risk stratification and care management tools and providing education vehicles to help reach patients.
For more information on how Joslin can provide health solutions in partnership with your agency, please contact
Page last updated: December 13, 2013