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Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute



In 2009, Baylor Health Care System Foundation launched support for its southern sector health initiative, which seeks to improve care for people with diabetes in South Dallas by creating a “family-centric” model that focuses on health care, education and research.


Baylor committed $15 million over three years to create the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Center in the Frazier community of South Dallas.


The institute will provide an on-site physician and nurse practitioner in addition to nutrition and cooking classes and a diabetes drug distribution system. It will also collaborate with other community organizations, such as public health programs, schools and churches, to improve health.


“The idea is to not just provide diabetes care,” said Donna Rice, BSN, MBA, president of the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute. “This clinic will change the health outlook for the entire family.”


Dallas County, particularly the southern sector, has a higher prevalence of diabetes, higher rates of short- and long-term complications, and more frequent hospitalization for diabetes than the nation and the state of Texas. The diabetes burden in Dallas is borne disproportionately by the low-income populations of the city’s southern sector. The diabetes-related hospitalization rate is 17 percent higher for southern sector residents.


Across Baylor Health Care System, about 30 percent of hospital admissions are due to diabetes or a diabetes-related condition.


Of the 3.7 million adults in Dallas/Fort Worth, more than 256,000 are living with diabetes.  A case study conducted by Pfizer in 2006 found that poor diabetes control can result in up to $56.6 million a year in avoidable costs for patients, health care organizations and employers in Dallas/Fort Worth.


The causes of and remedy for disparities in diabetes care and outcomes in the southern sector are diverse, including economic disadvantage, limited health care access, and the ineffective use of best practices and current knowledge for diabetes prevention and management.



Merck Foundation gives $1.7 million grant

In 2009, Baylor Health Care System was awarded a $1.7 million grant from The Merck Company Foundation to enhance and expand diabetes care by developing community collaborations throughout Dallas County.


The Diabetes Equity Project is part of The Merck Company Foundation’s Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes Healthcare. The program’s goal is to mobilize community-based partners to help close gaps in diabetes care for low-income, underserved diabetics in Dallas County.


The five-year grant is funding the enhancement of the existing Baylor diabetes program at Central Dallas Ministries as well as establish similar programs at Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Center and three other local health clinics.

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