PROVIDENCE – Up to three teams made up of various community components are about to be selected for a five-month initiative designed to improve access to health care for people with diabetes who are also at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.
The Rhode Island Diabetes Health Equity Challenge, overseen by the Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island, is the result of a partnership between the R.I. Department of Health and 100 Million Healthier Lives.
Up to six teams from Rhode Island are expected to apply, each including members of a Health Equity Zone, a community health team, a primary care practice that serves vulnerable populations and at least one patient who has experienced inequity when trying to seek care for diabetes.
“We hope to use this moment of crisis to help our primary care communities rapidly respond to Rhode Islanders who are vulnerable and at high risk,” said Debra Hurwitz, executive director of the Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island. “By sharing assets and investments, we’ll identify new solutions to support population health in Rhode Island while more broadly addressing health equity issues. We know that people with social needs, such as having access to medications, food, caregivers and chronic conditions [such as] diabetes, put them at greater risk.”
Teams selected for the health equity challenge, which is scheduled to launch on April 30, are expected to address:
- Access issues to medications, blood glucose monitoring and supplies.
- Potential loss of health care access and benefits due to employment status.
- Access to food and transportation.
- Potential loss of access to caregivers as a result of social distancing.
- Telehealth services for physical and mental health, and reimbursement.
- Social isolation.
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