Peers for Progress Awards $7 Million for Diabetes Peer-Support Research

Kansas-based Peers for Progress, a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, has announced grants totaling $7 million to diabetes researchers working on six continents for peer-support researcher projects.

Made possible by a gift from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, the grants will be used to establish a new, evidence-based model of peer support to help people with diabetes manage the disease. The new model will build on the existing core functions of peer support, including assistance with daily tasks, social and emotional encouragement to stay motivated and deal with the stress of a chronic disease, and connections to clinical care.

To be distributed over twelve to thirty-two months, the fourteen grants will support both clinic- and community-based projects involving people with diabetes at all socioeconomic levels in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Grantees include Brian Oldenburg at the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Australia, Monika M. Safford at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Paschal Kum Awah at the Centre for Population Studies and Health Promotion in Cameroon, and Boosaba Sanguanprasit at the Mahidol University Department of Health Education and Behavioral Science in Thailand.

"There are few things with as much potential as peer and social support to help people live healthier lives," said Peers for Progress global director Edwin B. Fisher. "At the same time, differences in cultures and healthcare systems complicate how to promote peer support. That's why Peers for Progress is working to develop research and program models around the world — so wherever they are, program developers can find and develop an evidence-based model that works in their setting."