Abbott and the American Diabetes Association Launch First-of-Its-Kind Community Initiative in Columbus, Ohio, to Advance Access to Diabetes Care and Technology

Press release

Abbott and the American Diabetes Association Launch First-of-Its-Kind Community Initiative in Columbus, Ohio, to Advance Access to Diabetes Care and Technology

Community program seeks to understand how to increase access to health technology for underserved diabetes communities

Abbott and the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) announced today the launch of their first joint community health partnership. The community initiative, which is the first program under the ADA's Health Equity Now™ platform1, will launch in Columbus, Ohio, and be conducted in partnership with the National Center for Urban Solutions (NCUS), a Columbus-based organization focused on providing solutions in workforce development, education and wellness. The program seeks to better understand and address healthcare disparities for people of color living with diabetes, while fostering accessibility of diabetes care technology within the community. 

As part of the program, NCUS will provide up to 150 Black adults living with diabetes in the Columbus community with health education and access to Abbott's FreeStyle® Libre flash glucose monitoring technology. By removing existing barriers to tools and technology, this program aims to demonstrate how continuous glucose monitoring can help improve diabetes management and quality of life for Black people living with diabetes in the Columbus community.

Black Americans are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes2 and much less likely to have their condition well managed largely because care can be cost prohibitive. Further, Black Americans are at the most pronounced disadvantage when it comes to access to continuous glucose monitoring3. This is one of the reasons why this project was established — to create awareness of healthcare disparities and find holistic solutions to drive improved health outcomes. 

"Diabetes is one of the most pressing health issues of our time, particularly for people of color," said Charles Henderson, chief development officer of the American Diabetes Association. "Our Health Equity Now platform serves to tear down the healthcare barriers for historically underserved communities. The program in Columbus will gather real-time data that will help us understand the challenges preventing healthcare equity and uncover solutions to minimize disparities."  

ADA's Health Equity Now platform aims to ensure that the more than 122 million Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes2, along with millions more at risk for diabetes, have equal access to health resources in cost, care, cure, community and cuisine that can create a future without unjust health disparities. 

"At Abbott, we believe that the best healthcare product is the one that helps the most people," said Badia Boudaiffa, divisional vice president of U.S. commercial operations for Abbott's diabetes business. "That’s why this partnership is so important — it will improve health outcomes by building access to affordable, integrated diabetes solutions. There is a strong connection between the health of a community and its overall wellbeing."

Abbott's FreeStyle Libre technology was built with access and affordability in mind to make it broadly available to all people with diabetes. This aligns to Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan, which has a clear focus on innovating for access and affordability with the goal of improving the lives of one in every three people on the planet every year by 2030. 

"Engaging the community in prevention programming and health awareness campaigns is key to saving lives while strengthening our communities as a whole," said John Gregory, president of NCUS. "We look forward to the participation of members of our community to help strengthen the health and wellbeing of Columbus residents."

"Black individuals across Ohio are twice as likely to die from diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites," said Dr. Joshua Joseph, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, The Ohio State University. "New technologies such as continuous glucose monitors make diabetes management easier and lead to better control of glucose and may close the disparities in diabetes mortality. Unfortunately, Black populations have lower access and usage of such devices. Thus, approaches like the ADA’s Health Equity Now, getting continuous glucose monitors to those who need them most, are critical to advancing diabetes equity."

For information about participating in the community program, contact NCUS at ugotthis@ncusolutions.com.

This program is also being supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

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About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 81 years the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the nearly 122 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn). 

About Abbott:
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 109,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries. 

Connect with us at abbott.com, on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/abbott, on Facebook at facebook.com/Abbott and on Twitter @AbbottNews.

Indications and Important Safety Information

FreeStyle Libre 2 system: Failure to use FreeStyle Libre 2 system as instructed in labeling may result in missing a severe low or high glucose event and/or making a treatment decision, resulting in injury. If glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick value from a blood glucose meter for treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate or contact Abbott at 855-632-8658 or freestyle.abbott/us-en/safety-information.html.

Abbott Media:
Lindsy Delco, 510-239-2690 
Brandi Martin, 614-208-1852  

ADA Media:
Sabrena Pringle, 202-213-5129

1 The American Diabetes Association’s Health Equity Now platform is sponsored by Abbott. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
2 diabetes.org/healthequitynow
3 diabetes.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/ADA%20CGM%20Utilization%20White%20Paper.pdf