Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago

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Information for Patients

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What is this project?

Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago is a project to improve the lives and well-being of people with diabetes living on the South Side of Chicago, which consists of primarily working class African-American neighborhoods. There are many people living with diabetes on the South Side of Chicago, and many of them aren’t as healthy as others with diabetes who live elsewhere in the city. This project brings together patients, doctors, clinics, and community organizations to address this issue.

Why is Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago important?

  • On the South Side of Chicago, we find more people with diabetes than in other parts of Chicago. On the South Side of Chicago, 19.3% of people have diabetes. Only 7% of people in the city of Chicago overall have diabetes.
  • In neighborhoods that are primarily African-American, more people have complications from diabetes. African-American neighborhoods on the South Side have rates of complications of diabetes–such as foot/leg amputations, kidney failure, blindness and heart disease–that are five times higher than primarily white neighborhoods.
  • High rates of diabetes and its complications are due in large part to racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities that make getting access to care and managing diabetes difficult. For example, living in food deserts like the South Side of Chicago makes it hard to find fresh healthy food, and local crime can make it unsafe to exercise outside.

What exactly does Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago do?

The project team works with collaborators on the South Side of Chicago to:

  1. educate and empower patients
  2. help doctors take good care of their patients
  3. improve clinic systems
  4. collaborate with community organizations.

 

The Project Team is a large group of doctors, researchers, nurses, community leaders, and business representatives from:

Click here to learn more about the project team.

 How can I get involved?

Why is this a research project? What does that mean?

Because we want to understand what works–and what doesn’t– to improve diabetes care and health outcomes, this is a research project. We’re not testing any new medicines, but we are evaluating new ways to help people with diabetes live healthy lives. Our research measures how much we are improving the lives of people with diabetes, and evaluates why that might be. For example, we survey patients in our classes to find out if they’re feeling better (for example, feeling more confident to take care of their diabetes), and monitor blood pressure and diabetes control to see if they have improved. All the work involved in Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago is approved by the University of Chicago Institutional Review Board (IRB), the group responsible for ensuring that all research is safe for the people involved.

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