Collaboration for Equitable Health

Health Disparities and Inequities

Collaboration for Equitable Health

Learn how the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is working with partner organizations to address health disparities and inequities in underserved communities through the Collaboration for Equitable Health.
Smiling Latino grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter on steps

Over 133 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancers and doubles the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Those in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities are more than 50% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives are twice as likely. Location, transportation access, education level, employment status, access to care, and access to healthy food also put these communities at higher risk of developing life-threatening chronic diseases, such as diabetes, certain types of cancer, and heart disease. 

The connection between these diseases and the disproportionate impact on communities of color further underscores how by working through collaborative partnerships with local organizations and community members, we can begin to achieve health equity for all.

    Where the ADA Is Working

    The ADA is committed to addressing the root causes of health disparities in communities of color by analyzing ZIP code–level data. To inform a place-based, community-centric approach, the ADA will focus on the following five cities and within these cities, local communities with higher diabetes rates. 

    These areas face health equity issues, including food insecurity, food deserts (low access to grocery stores or nutritious food), poor mental health, and limited internet access—which restricts access to telehealth. 

    What the ADA Is Doing

    Through the collaboration, the ADA aims to:

    • Multigenerational African American family gathered outside on sunny day
      Activate and engage the community through staple ADA programs, including Project Power, a lifestyle change program that provides youth and adults with the information and skills to make healthier choices.
    • Increase access to care by partnering with community health organizations to increase knowledge around diabetes.
    • Advocate for change by working with communities to form coalitions creating change at the city level and training community members in grassroots advocacy.

    About the Collaboration for Equitable Health

    Too often, where someone is born and lives affects their ability to lead a healthy life. Health inequities for Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and Native American communities are a long-standing systemic challenge.

    The Collaboration for Equitable Health, powered by Bank of America, is a four-year initiative in 11 cities, which brings together the ADA, the American Cancer Society®, the American Heart Association®, and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. It aims to improve health outcomes in communities of color, specifically focusing on heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes by: 

    • Providing educational materials, technical support, and guidance 
    • Providing access to health screenings and quality health care 
    • Using our collective voices to advocate for change to achieve health equity. 
    Large group of diabetes grassroots advocates dressed in red standing on the U.S. Capitol front steps.

    Transforming Lives with Action

    Our advocacy efforts include supporting government funding for diabetes research and programs, improving access to affordable medications and technologies, ensuring access to health care, supporting insulin affordability, preventing type 2 diabetes, fighting discrimination, and much more.
    Big group of people putting their hands together in a circle

    Empowering the Community

    Community health workers (CHWs) play a vital role in improving the health and well-being of the communities they serve and are critical to the prevention and management of diabetes. This short continuing education (CE) program aims to increase CHWs’ understanding of diabetes and diabetes management.
    <h3>Learn more about the collaboration and see what our partner organizations are doing to advance health equity in their communities.</h3>

    Notes and References:

    1. "Zip-code level data" are estimates based on ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs), which are “generalized areal representations of United States Postal Service (USPS) ZIP Code service areas.” Reference: U. S. Census Bureau (2022).  Zip Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs).  Accessed April 13, 2023.
    2. PLACES (2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Accessed April 3, 2023. 
    3. Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Health (2023). City Health Dashboard. Accessed August 23, 2023.