Dr. Halprin with Latino Patient

Joslin Diabetes Center launched the Latino Diabetes Initiative in July 2002. The Latino Initiative is part of the world renowned Joslin Clinic, which means that patients receive the highest quality education and clinical care. The overall goal of the Initiative is to improve the lives of Latinos affected by diabetes or at risk for the disease through culturally oriented patient care, education, outreach and research.

Explore the Latino Initiative

Joslin's Latino Diabetes Initiative extends its presence within the local community, particularly the medically underserved in the Greater Boston area. We do this by providing diabetes education, screening and health advocacy through community-based partnerships.

Staff members attend local health fairs—including many Latino health fairs and cultural festivals—and offer educational and screening services through churches, schools and other community-based organizations.

In addition, the Latino Diabetes Initiative plays an active role in local advocacy initiatives, community consortiums and cultural competence training programs.

Community Outreach Relationships

  • A Tu Salud, Semana Binacional de Salud
  • American Diabetes Assocation
  • Alianza Hispana
  • BIDMC - Office of Community Benefit and Learning Center
  • Concilio Hispano
  • Dimock Community Health Center
  • El Planeta
  • Greater Boston Diabetes Society
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Boston
  • Hispanic Office of Planning and Evaluation, Inc.
  • Joseph Smith Community Health Center
  • La Promesa Health Disparities
  • Latin American Health Institute
  • Lynn Community Health Center
  • Martha Elliot Community Health Center
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Massachusetts Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
  • Massachusetts Division of Medical Assistance
  • The Mauricio Gaston Institute at UMass Boston
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • Sociedad Latina
  • South End Community Health Center
  • Univision

More than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population.   

  • 1 in 6 adults has type 2 diabetes and only 58.7% know they have it.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes shortens their lifespan by 10 to 15 years.
  • Approximately 17% of all Latinos in the U.S. have diabetes. In comparison, the prevalence of diabetes in the white population is approximately 8%.
  • Approximately 76% of Hispanic adults in the U.S. have 1 or more cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, diabetes, and/or smoking). 
  • Among Latinos 33.7% of men and 36.0% of women have 3 or more metabolic abnormalities (central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia) also known as metabolic syndrome.
  • A Latino child born today has a 50% chance of developing diabetes in his/her lifetime.
  • 25% Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans over 45 years of age have diabetes.
  • Data from the Hispanic Community Study/ Study of Latinos shows that 10.2% of South Americans, 13.4% of Cuban Americans, 17.7 % of Central Americans, 18.0% of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, 18.3% of Mexican Americans have type 2 diabetes and the prevalence is growing.
  • Depression affects 14-16% of Latinos; depressed adults have a 37% increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.   
  • Latinos consider diabetes as the main health concern, well above cancer and other chronic conditions.  
Diabetes monitor, diet and healthy food eating nutritional concept with clean fruits and vegetables with diabetic measuring tool

Managing Diabetes

In the Diabetes Learning Center you will find information on diabetes and nutrition, diabetes and physical activity, how to treat a low blood glucose or care for your diabetes when you are ill, how to avoid the complications of diabetes and numerous other topics about how you can better care for and manage your diabetes.

Joslin Doctor examining Joslin patient.

How to make an appointment

Providers may refer patients for specialized care at Joslin's Latino Clinic or for our diabetes education classes. If you are a patient and would like to come to Joslin, please call us at (617) 309-2490

Joslin Diabetes Center Boston Office

Directions & Parking

It's easy to drive directly to Joslin. Whether you're coming from the north, south, east, or west, interstate 90 and route 9 are the closest highways. Get detailed driving directions from your location.

Latino Diabetes Initiative Team

Elizabeth Halprin, MD
Staff Physician
Clinical Director, Adult Diabetes
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Joanna Mitri
Joanna Mitri, MD, MS
Staff Physician
Research Associate
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Sylvia Rosas
Sylvia Rosas, MD, MSCE
Staff Physician
Director, Latino Kidney Clinic
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Maria Koen, Nurse Practitioner
Maria Koen, FNP
Nurse Practitioner
Nicole Patience
Nicole Patience, MS, RDN, LDN,CDE, CEDRD
Nutrition Educator
Eating Disorder Specialist

Questions? Call Joslin's Latino Diabetes Initiative at (617) 309-2490.