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California Area Office logoCalifornia Area Office

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Image of Margo Kerrigan

Margo Kerrigan, M.P.H., Area Director
Indian Health Service California Area Office

Special Diabetes Program for Indians

November is Diabetes Awareness month as sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. In observance of this time and important topic I would like to remind everyone of the outstanding work that is taking place across the nation in Indian Country. You are all leaders in the treatment and prevention efforts of Diabetes in your own communities. The Indian Health Service through the Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention provides technical assistance and education through their web page: http://www.ihs.gov/MedicalPrograms/Diabetes/

In response to the diabetes epidemic among American Indians and Alaska Natives, Congress established the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in 1997. The Special Diabetes Program for Indians is currently a $150 million per year grant program that provides funding for diabetes treatment and prevention services at 399 IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health programs in all 12 IHS Areas across the United States. Administered by the IHS Division of Diabetes (DDTP), and with guidance from the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC), the Special Diabetes Program for Indians grant programs use proven, evidence-based, and community-driven diabetes treatment and prevention strategies that address each stage of the disease.

As directed by Congress, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians consists of three major components:

  1. Community-Directed Diabetes Programs: Since 1998, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians provides funds to 333 IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health programs in 35 states to begin or enhance local diabetes treatment and prevention programs. In California there are 37 of these grant funded programs.
  2. Demonstration Projects: In 2004, Congress increased Special Diabetes Program for Indians funding to develop and implement projects in two specific areas:

    • Diabetes prevention in high-risk individuals: The Special Diabetes Program for Indians Diabetes Prevention Demonstration Project (36 grant programs) adapted and is currently implementing the curriculum  Exit Disclaimer – You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov from the Diabetes Prevention Program. The Diabetes Prevention Program was a clinical trial Exit Disclaimer – You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov funded by the National Institutes of Health. This landmark study demonstrated that individuals with pre-diabetes could prevent the onset of diabetes through modest weight loss and lifestyle changes. In California for FY 2011 there are 6 funded Diabetes Prevention programs
    • Cardiovascular disease prevention in people who already have diabetes: The Special Diabetes Program for Indians Healthy Heart Demonstration Project (30 grant programs) is currently implementing an intensive clinical, team-based case management approach to treat risk factors for cardiovascular disease in American Indians and Alaska Natives who have diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is the most compelling complication of diabetes and the number one cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native adults. In California for FY 2011 there are 5 funded Healthy Heart programs.
  3. Strengthening the Diabetes Data Infrastructure: The IHS uses Special Diabetes Program for Indians funding to strengthen the diabetes data infrastructure of the Indian health system by improving diabetes surveillance and evaluation capabilities and supporting the development and implementation of the IHS Electronic Health Record.
SPECIAL DIABETES PROGRAM FOR INDIANS RESULTS: A decade of success in delivering excellent diabetes care

13% - Percent reduction in mean blood sugar levels in American Indians and Alaska Natives from 1996 to 2006
17% - Percent reduction in mean LDL cholesterol (i.e., "bad" cholesterol) levels in American Indians and Alaska Natives from 1998 to 2006
33% - Percent reduction in the prevalence of protein in the urine (a sign of kidney dysfunction) in American Indians and Alaska Natives from 1996 to 2006
99% - Percent of programs tracking diabetes patients through diabetes registries in 2006
98% - Percent of programs with diabetes teams to coordinate diabetes care in 2006
67% - Percent of programs with diabetes clinics to deliver organized diabetes care in 2006

PROMOTING HEALTHY LIFESTYLES

82% - Percent of programs that offer type 2 diabetes prevention programs for youth in 2006
72% - Percent of programs that offer weight management programs for youth in 2006
84% - Percent of programs that offer weight management programs for adults in 2006
96% - Percent of programs that offer nutrition services for adults in 2006
94% - Percent of programs that offer nutrition services for youth in 2006
92% - Percent of programs that offer community walking and running programs in 2006
79% - Percent of programs that offer community exercise classes in 2006
96% - Percent of programs that offer organized diabetes education activities in 2006
92% - Percent of programs that offer culturally appropriate diabetes education programs in 2006
79% - Percent of programs that use one or more traditional American Indian and Alaskan Native approaches in 2006 to provide diabetes education, offer group support, and strengthening cultural ties

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians has successfully implemented the most far-reaching, innovative program to address the diabetes epidemic in American Indians and Alaska Natives. The program has helped improve the health and quality of life of thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The successes achieved thus far represent only the beginning of what can be achieved when Tribal, government, and organizational partners work together towards the shared goal of a diabetes-free future.

American Diabetes Month
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
(800) DIABETES (342-2383)
(703) 549-1500
(703) 549-6995 Fax
askada@diabetes.org

American Diabetes Association, In My Community, American Diabetes Month Exit Disclaimer – You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov
 

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