Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Awards $1.5 Million to Help African-American Women With Diabetes

The New York City-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.5 million to five nonprofit organizations working to help African-American women with type 2 diabetes better manage their disease.

The University of Virginia, East Carolina University, the Whittier Street Health Center, Black Women's Health Imperative, and United Neighborhood Health Services will receive two-year, $300,000 grants through the foundation's Together on Diabetes initiative, a five-year, $100 million effort designed to improve health outcomes of people living with type 2 diabetes in the United States by strengthening patient self-management education, community-based supportive services, and broad-based community mobilization.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in ten African-American women age 20 and older has diabetes; the rate for African-American women over 55 is one in four. To help remedy the situation, the University of Virginia will conduct a study on the Call to Health model, which includes supportive text messaging, a "buddy" system, group visits, and community resource referral and mobilization in partnership with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Obesity Task Force; ECU will implement a behaviorally centered "small changes" approach delivered by lay health worker teams in four rural communities in eastern North Carolina; and the Whittier Street Health Center will work with the Boston Housing Authority and the local Y to connect African-American women living in public housing with comprehensive diabetes management. In addition, the Black Women's Health Imperative will work with clinical and faith-based partners to implement a comprehensive program of self-management, social support, and empowerment, while United Neighborhood Health Services executes a diabetes self-management program that includes robust physical activity as well as the development of community resources in Nashville, Tennessee.

"African-American women represent one of the country's highest risk groups for developing and suffering the impact of type 2 diabetes," said Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Lamberto Andreotti. "With these grants...Together on Diabetes is supporting innovative efforts to make self-management programs work for African-American women in the context of their lives."