Lilly, Fairbanks Launch Neighborhood Diabetes Program

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IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar announced the launch of the program. IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar announced the launch of the program.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is partnering with the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI to launch a pilot program aimed at addressing the high incidence of diabetes. The five-year, $7 million program will focus on three Indianapolis neighborhoods that Lilly says have significant health disparities and high rates of diabetes. The program builds on similar efforts Lilly has used in lower-income areas in countries including Mexico, India and South Africa.

The program will focus on the Coalition of Northeast Neighborhoods, Northwest Neighborhood and Near Westside Neighborhood in Indy. Lilly says life expectancy in these neighborhoods can be 14 years lower than in areas just 10 miles away and is similar to rates seen in countries such as Iraq and Bangladesh.

"These disparities are both unjust and unstable," said Dave Ricks, chief executive officer of Lilly. "We believe where you live shouldn't determine how long you live. To address these gaps, we need strong public and private partnerships and most importantly, active community engagement to get the most out of everyone's ideas to address complex challenges and one of the most complex ones is diabetes."

Lilly says the program will see newly-hired healthcare workers identifying people with diabetes through increased screening and connecting them with quality care. Community members will also be a part of the program by helping to identify and propose solutions for barriers that increase the risk for diabetes, such as a lack of healthy food options and public spaces for exercise.

Ricks says says the prevalence rate of people with diabetes in the neighborhoods involved in the program is as high as 17.5 percent, more than twice the global rate. He and IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar say that number may go up as more people who may not know they have diabetes are identified.

In addition to Lilly and the Fairbanks School of Public Health, the program is being implemented in collaboration with Eskenazi Health, Local Initiatives Support Coalition Indianapolis, and the Marion County Department of Health. Lilly says the pilot has the potential to be adopted by Eskenazi Health in Indiana as well as other communities and health systems throughout the country.

You can learn more about the program by clicking here and in the video below:

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