Raising awareness about diabetes | @theU

Adapted from an originally published Good Notes blog post here.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, but for people living with the disease, there is no month, week, day or even time when they are not. fully aware diabetes. For the most part, it will last the rest of their lives and has no cure. The disease affects the way a body converts food into energy and requires multiple daily decisions about diet, exercise, medication, and blood sugar monitoring.

The Diabetes Initiative (DODI) at the University of Utah is designed to help people better manage diabetes or reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Almost one in 10 adults in Utah has been diagnosed with diabetes, and probably twice with prediabetes. The Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation generously donated funds to launch DODI on November 13, 2017. Since then, we have successfully developed and launched innovative programs that have touched over 128,000 lives. In each of the four years, DODI had a greater impact on the health of the Utahns than the year before.

Our fourth year

The initiative has been a powerful ally for the state last year, in part thanks to the Miller Foundation’s willingness to deploy the Wellness Bus alongside public health officials in Utah to provide COVID testing. 19. Over 15,000 tests have been administered in the most underserved areas of the Salt Lake Valley; 32 percent of those tested did not speak English as their mother tongue and the majority were uninsured. While helping the state deal with the unprecedented public health crisis, we have never lost sight of our true mission: to provide education and screening for diabetes.

In our fourth year, the online school programs we developed taught over 90,000 students how to develop healthy habits. Health coaching programs have guided over 2,000 people to implement and personalize lifestyle changes that have been proven to last.

Our clinical programs increased the number of patients they saw by providing care through telehealth platforms, and our homeless programs improved the infrastructure of resource centers. Funding for diabetes research at U of U Health reached a record high of $ 43 million, representing growth of over 26% in just two years.

Challenge Grant

Diabetes researchers We are excited about the future of the life-changing Driving Out Diabetes Initiative and delighted that the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation has announced a challenge grant for the University of Utah and the local community. For $ 3 million raised, the foundation will generously donate the equivalent. The grant will support DODI’s expansion and significantly strengthen the initiative through new programs and service areas. This next phase will expand the scope of the program and deepen its impact. From the start, DODI has been committed to continuous and sustainable improvement, building on what works and adapting other areas to better meet the needs of our community.

The impact of the program was recognized by our wider community, including the State of Utah, which will support the Clinical Diabetes Management Program and other community outreach programs such as the Wellness Bus, school-based programs, and the Intensive Education and Support Program. diabetes.

Historic breakthrough

U’s Driving Out Diabetes initiative is pleased to announce so many advancements during the month that shine a light on diabetes and its heavy impact on millions of families. November 14, 1891 is the date of birth of Frederick Banting, the Canadian medical scientist who discovered insulin as a treatment for people with diabetes whose pancreas has closed and no longer produces insulin. It is one of the most important medical achievements of all time. This discovery dates back a century to 1921. Insulin injections have kept millions of people alive but have not cured the debilitating disease or prevented complications. The University of Utah Health is proud to be an academic healthcare community committed to ensuring the safety and health of people with diabetes while supporting research that will end diabetes once and for all.


Angie Fagerlin, PhD

Angie Fagerlin is Director of Driving Out Diabetes, a Larry H. Miller family wellness initiative. She is professor and chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Utah Health. She is also a Research Scientist with the Salt Lake City Veterans Health Care System. Prior to Utah, Fagerlin was at the University of Michigan, where she was professor of internal medicine and co-director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Studies.

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