Merck Foundation Launches $16 Million Diabetes Initiative

Merck Foundation Launches $16 Million Diabetes Initiative

The Merck Foundation, a U.S.-based private charitable foundation, has announced the launch of a five-year, $16 million initiative aimed at improving diabetes care and health outcomes for vulnerable and underserved populations in the United States.

The initiative, Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care, includes funding and other support for sustainable cross-sectoral partnerships designed to address the medical, social, and environmental factors that influence health; the redesign of healthcare systems with a focus on improving the delivery of diabetes care for vulnerable and underserved populations; and improvements in health outcomes for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Initial grant recipients include Alameda County Public Health Department in Oakland, California; Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics in Orofino, Idaho; La ClĂ­nica del Pueblo in Washington, D.C.; Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia; Minneapolis Health Department in Minnesota; Providence St. Joseph Health in Renton, Washington; Trenton Health Team in New Jersey; and Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland.

The University of Chicago will serve as the national program office for the initiative, supporting grantees' efforts and providing leadership with respect to building national public-private partnerships that reduce disparities in diabetes care.

"We need to look beyond the usual healthcare solutions to address the growing burden of diabetes, especially among vulnerable populations in the United States," said Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer of Merck and CEO of the Merck Foundation. "Through Bridging the Gap, we are pleased to bring together these eight diverse organizations, and look forward to leveraging their expertise to help more people effectively manage their diabetes and improve their overall health."

(Photo credit: GettyImages-BernardaSv)