New Broward Initiative to Reduce Diabetes and Congestive Health Failure

New Broward Initiative to Reduce Diabetes and Congestive Health Failure

A few weeks ago, the Urban League of Broward County received great news: we are the recipient of a $350,000 Humana Communities Benefit charitable grant funded by the Humana Foundation to help prevent the spread of diabetes and reduce the cases of congestive heart failure in our community.

These funds are much needed locally to tackle these serious health issues.

The diabetes rate in Broward County is a particular concern – it’s an astonishing 210 percent higher than the rest of our nation. Among high school students in our county, the obesity rate is close to 8 percent, with nearly 30 percent watching television three or more hours a day on an average school day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Humana Foundation has given us a huge opportunity to address these health care challenges. We’ll use the grant to launch multiple programs to educate residents diagnosed with or at-risk for diabetes, as well as their caregivers, on how to improve their quality of life.

Specifically, the Urban League of Broward County will use the six-week, evidence-based Stanford Medicine Chronic Self-Management curriculum to educate residents on managing diabetes, healthy eating, reading food labels, stress management, positive thinking, exercise, medication usage, depression management and working with health care professionals. In addition, we’ll develop a mobile-friendly marketing campaign to provide easy access to diabetes information and recruit volunteer health workers to teach new techniques and skills to community members.

This initiative will be part of our “Breaking the Cycle” of poverty programs that uplift more than 7,000 people every year. We’ve been on the front lines of improving our community’s health for years. That includes focusing on the findings in the seminal issue of State of Black Broward: Health Report (which was supported by Sunshine Health): chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and respiratory illnesses affect the minority community at significantly higher rates than other populations.

We operate nearly 20 healthcare-related programs across Broward County, including prevention and intervention education about chronic diseases. One of our most successful programs -- Project TOTTS (Together Our Tots Thrive & Survive) -- works in collaboration with Broward Healthy Start to provide comprehensive prenatal and infant educational empowerment programs. The program’s activities include community outreach, nutrition seminars and workshops, childbirth education, home visiting and parenting education and support.

The Urban League of Broward County was selected for the Humana Communities Benefit grant because of our transformative, ongoing work in preventing diabetes and congestive heart failure. For many of our healthcare programs, public education is a critical component of improving the well-being of our community. And for this grant, education will be an important facet as well.

We consider our agency a true catalyst for change, and we’re eager to demonstrate how, through this new initiative, we’ll empower and excite individuals to improve their health by making better lifestyle choices.

Our entire community should join the Urban League of Broward County in thanking the Humana Foundation for supporting this vital healthcare initiative.

The Baughtom Line is this: Our community has a skyrocketing rate of diabetes and congestive heart failure cases. A new initiative funded by Humana Foundation will address these problems through multiple programs to educate residents diagnosed with these illnesses and conditions on how to improve their quality of life.