Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) administer by a diabetes care and education specialist is a key step in improving health outcomes and quality of life for those affected by the disease. Diabetes care and education specialists help people with diabetes and those at risk of developing diabetes gain the knowledge, problem-solving, and coping skills they need to self-manage their disease. Unfortunately, there are numerous barriers to DSMES such as a lack of community awareness, gaps in referrals, as well as logistical, social, and emotional factors that can affect the person with diabetes’ ability to access programs provided in clinical settings. Local DSMES programs rarely have the resources to effectively reach out to communities and address these barriers.
The goal of Reaching Out for Better Health: A Community-based Diabetes Education Program is to address these barriers through a one-year funding opportunity to develop and implement projects that target vulnerable and underserved populations. Eligible projects must meet two goals:
- Identify and address the access barriers to DSMES and increase program participation by developing and delivering community-specific programs.
- Achieve improved, positive, measurable behavioral and clinical changes among previously vulnerable and underserved people with diabetes participating in DSMES.