$5 Million Grant Will Help AAFP Foundation Undertake Diabetes Research Project

Peers for Progress to Lead Project With Help from TransforMED

November 17, 2010 03:30 pm News Staff

Peers For Progress(www.peersforprogress.org) -- an initiative of the AAFP Foundation -- has received a $5 million grant through the Foundation to evaluate how a combination of peer support, community outreach and an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician can affect outcomes and quality of life for low-income Hispanic patients with diabetes.

[Peers for Progress Logo]

The AAFP Foundation received the $5 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, which announced(www.businesswire.com) a five-year, $100 million diabetes research initiative on Nov. 11.

According to the CDC(www.cdc.gov), Hispanic patients carry a disproportionate burden of diabetes in the United States. They are affected at a rate almost twice that of non-Hispanic white patients.

Peers for Progress global director Edwin Fisher, Ph.D., will lead the project with support from Peers for Progress staff based at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fisher was out of the country when the grant was announced and could not be reached for comment.

The project's partners also include the National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the country; TransforMED, the AAFP's wholly owned subsidiary that specializes in practice redesign; and the AAFP.

The partners will collaborate on the development of protocols and training materials for peer and community support, as well as the dissemination of the materials within targeted Hispanic communities to address the ongoing management and prevention of diabetes.

"Patients with chronic disease do much better when their health care is centered in a trusted relationship with a primary care physician supported by an effective health care team," said Richard Roberts, M.D., J.D., president of the AAFP Foundation, in a Nov. 11 news release. "That trusted relationship is optimized in medical practices that have adopted the patient-centered medical home model of care."

Experts from TransforMED(www.transformed.com) will help ensure that participating medical practices meet the criteria necessary to implement and sustain a community-based peer support program in the context of a patient-centered medical home, or PCMH, model.

"Physician-led teams can play a critical role in helping patients with diabetes make needed lifestyle changes, but most patients need additional support outside of their doctor's office," said TransforMED president and CEO Terry McGeeney, M.D., M.B.A., in the same Nov. 11 news release. "We look forward to working with the selected practice sites to ensure patients reap all of the benefits the medical home model has to offer, including improved access to care, better care coordination and management, and the technologies and processes that better enable health care providers to monitor patient outcomes and connect them to the peer and community supports they need."

Fisher said in the news release that pooling the resources of Peers for Progress, the American Academy of Family Physicians, TransforMED and the National Council of La Raza will allow the partners to create a model for providing high-risk communities nationwide with the peer support, community support and health resources necessary to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

In addition to the AAFP Foundation grant, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced grants to the following organizations:

  • The American Association of Diabetes Educators will conduct a pilot study of the effectiveness and sustainability of a flexible, multi-level diabetes education and support team that serves minority populations and that uses professional and lay health workers.
  • The American Pharmacists Association Foundation, working with government agencies, professional associations, pharmacy chains and others, will adapt and expand the evidence-based Asheville Project model(www.theashevilleproject.net) to patients covered by public and private health insurance in 25 communities. In this model, patients receive diabetes education and then are teamed with community-based pharmacists who make sure they use their medications correctly.
  • The United Hospital Fund, working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department for the Aging, will develop and test an integrated, community-based diabetes control strategy for seniors.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation also is requesting proposals for research that will focus on black women who have diabetes. Five grants up to $300,000 each will be awarded, the foundation said.