$2.5 Million to Fighting Diabetes

A regional coalition today announced a $2.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the prevalence of diabetes in three counties with high incidence of the disease. The effort is aimed at especially vulnerable populations – older adults, minorities and low-income residents – in Bullitt, Henry and Shelby counties.

KIPDA, the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency and the University of Louisville will collaborate on the five-year effort. They will focus on a wide range of obstacles to good health – items like access to fresh fruits and vegetables, safe walking and biking routes and access to affordable health care.

A “photovoice” project will allow residents to use disposable cameras to document their personal health-related challenges. They’ll discus the photos in focus groups and researchers will map the results and look for ways to improve the communities. The coalition will look for ways to help people with diabetes to make positive lifestyle changes that are more achievable. The grant also will help increase awareness about management of diabetes.

KIPDA’s social services division director Barbara Gordon said the grant is one of six awarded by the CDC.”We hope this grant will help people improve health, maintain health and avoid obstacles in the future. We are looking for persons to participate.  Health departments, hospitals, local doctors and others will help identify those who are at risk or have diabetes.” experts estimate that more than 10,500 have diabetes in the area and many more are undiagnosed.

UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz said she hopes the grant will help change the factors that so often put Kentucky on the map of the least healthy of U.S. citizens.

Dean Terry Singer of the Kent School of Social Work said it’s remarkable that the local grant was one of just six awarded. More than 50 communities applied for the CDC funding.

Mona Huff, Henry County Community Organizer described her experience with controlling her diabetes. She said she believes that education is a key to equip others to overcome the disease that affects more than 26 million in the U.S.

Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.

PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane.
Share the road.

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Enjoy the ride home.
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