Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) announced today that they launched a joint community health partnership in Ohio.
The community initiative — the first under the ADA’s Health Equity Now platform — will launch in Columbus, Ohio, and be conducted with the National Center for Urban Solutions (NCUS) in an effort to better understand and address healthcare disparities for people with cover living with diabetes while also improving accessibility of diabetes care technology within the community.
As part of the partnership, NCUS will provide up to 150 Black adults living with diabetes in the Columbus community with health education and access to Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring technology. According to a news release, Black Americans are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and “much less likely” to have their condition well managed because care can be cost-prohibitive.
“Black individuals across Ohio are twice as likely to die from diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites,” Dr. Joshua Joseph, assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at The Ohio State University, said in the release. “New technologies such as continuous glucose monitors make diabetes management easier and lead to better control of glucose and may close the disparities in diabetes mortality. Unfortunately, Black populations have lower access and usage of such devices. Thus, approaches like the ADA’s Health Equity Now, getting continuous glucose monitors to those who need them most, are critical to advancing diabetes equity.”
ADA designed its Health Equity Now platform to ensure that the more than 122 million Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes, as well as millions more at risk for diabetes, are able to attain equal access to health resources in cost, care, cure, community and cuisine to create a future without unjust health disparities.
“Diabetes is one of the most pressing health issues of our time, particularly for people of color,” ADA chief advocacy officer Charles Henderson said. “Our Health Equity Now platform serves to tear down the healthcare barriers for historically underserved communities. The program in Columbus will gather real-time data that will help us understand the challenges preventing healthcare equity and uncover solutions to minimize disparities.”
Abbott said it built its FreeStyle Libre technology with access and affordability at the forefront with hopes to make it broadly available to all with diabetes, aligning with the company’s 2030 sustainability plan.
“At Abbott, we believe that the best health care product is the one that helps the most people,” Divisional VP of U.S. Commercial Operations for Abbott’s Diabetes Business Badia Boudaiffa said. “That’s why this partnership is so important — it will improve health outcomes by building access to affordable, integrated diabetes solutions. There is a strong connection between the health of a community and its overall wellbeing.”