Improving Diabetes Care and Outcomes on the South Side of Chicago

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Community Collaborators

We collaborate with community based organizations and resources, such as the K.L.E.O. Community Life Center, Save-A-Lot Food Stores, Chicago Park District, American Heart Association and a host of other organizations to reach out to high risk communities on the South Side of Chicago and facilitate diabetes self-management, particularly in the area of nutritional changes and physical activity.

We believe that by incorporating programs to support diabetes self-management,  these organizations will increase their positive impact on the surrounding community and open doors to more potential collaborators like the University of Chicago.

K.L.E.O. Community Life Center is located in the catchment area of our intervention, and is an important collaborator for improving health on the South Side. The K.L.E.O Center is an official site of the Greater Chicago Food Depository and provides a food pantry on the first Wednesday of each month. Our project collaborates with K.L.E.O. to provide:

  • low-fat, low-sugar and low-sodium recipes along with healthful foods from the pantry.  Through cooking demonstrations and food tastings, we show participants how to prepare fresh and healthy meals at a low cost.
  • screenings for diabetes and body mass index (BMI).
  • information to individuals about medical facilities and clinics participating in the South Side Health Collaborative, which serves individuals without insurance or primary care.
  • demonstrations by physical activity trainers of simple exercise tips that can be performed at home, which are especially helpful for those who can not afford a health club membership or do not feel safe exercising in their neighborhoods.

Through the KLEO center we also work with the 20th ward Ministerial Alliance. Led by Pastor Torrey Barrett, the Ministerial Alliance has representation from 20th ward churches,  Alderman Cochran’s office, the University of Chicago, the Greater Food Depository of Chicago, and other organizations.  The Health and Wellness committee of the Ministerial Alliance is working to reduce food insecurity and hunger in the 20th ward.

Save-A-Lot Food Stores   We have collaborated with Save-A-Lot Food Stores to increase awareness about healthful eating, shopping on a budget, and the impact of diet on the prevention and management of chronic diseases. We lead grocery store tours for patients and community members in our Empowerment Classes.  These tours show participants how to make smart choices at the store that promote healthy living.

For more information on these tours, see our Shop Right, Eat Right page.

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association bring their valuable resources and expertise to the monthly K.L.E.O Food Pantry as well as many other events. The AHA and ADA representatives answer diabetes and heart disease-related questions, distribute educational materials and help people understand how small changes can make a big difference in their health.

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