Ashley Evans, Executive Director of the free health clinic Volunteers In Medicine, joins us to talk about a CVS Health Foundation Grant the clinic recently received to tackle a significant local health problem: diabetes. Also, we talk about the clinic's 2nd Annual Run for Health at Camp Jordan on June 3rd.
FROM A MEDIA RELEASE:
– Volunteers in Medicine Chattanooga (VIM) announces the organization has been awarded a CVS Health Foundation Grant. The $35,000 grant will be used to create a nutrition and wellness program geared toward VIM patients with Diabetes. As a Free and Charitable Clinic, VIM
provides primary and preventative healthcare to financially eligible individuals and families of Hamilton and surrounding counties in Tennessee and Georgia who otherwise have no access to public or private health insurance. Helping patients treat and manage their diabetes is one of the many long-term care options available at the clinic.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by The CVS Health Foundation as a recipient of a CVS Health Foundation Grant,” says Ashley Evans, Executive Director at VIM. “The Foundation’s support makes it possible for our organization to continue helping our diabetic patients manage this chronic disease.
Often these patients ignore chronic conditions due to a lack of resources, miss appointments due to transportation issues or fear of losing a job and have a higher incidence of complications. These barriers often lead to poorer diabetes outcomes for disadvantaged patients and drive healthcare costs even higher.
In 2016, VIM treated over 100 patients with diabetes, through medication oversight, diet plans and quarterly education talks. Of these patients, about 70% maintained or reduced their blood sugar to normal levels. The Grant will be used to develop, implement and evaluate a unique Lifestyle Education Program to Address Diabetes (LEAD), specifically to help patients prevent, reverse, and manage diabetes in its patient population.
The educational process utilized in LEAD will be a refinement of that used in the Grundy County Reversing Diabetes seminar, a community-based educational program that teaches best practices in lifestyle as an alternative for controlling and reversing diabetes, and the PlantPure Jumpstart program (www.plantpurenation.com), a 21-day program that enables people to learn about and directly experience the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet through standardized pre-prepared healthy meals.
These projects bring together a lifestyle approach that empowers participants, improves health outcomes, enhances quality of care, and reduces cost. Pre and post intervention surveys and biometric measures, administered at baseline and quarterly, will demonstrate positive changes in participants’ biomarkers, nutrition and exercise knowledge, and diabetes self-management behaviors.
The program is set to start in May 2017.