Merck Foundation launches effort to improve diabetes care in vulnerable populations

The Merck Foundation is undertaking an effort that it says will improve diabetes outcomes among underserved U.S. populations. The Kenilworth, N.J.-based foundation has committed $16 million in funding over five years for its Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care initiative.

The program, according to the foundation, will bring high-quality medical care with services and resources from outside the health system to address such factors influence diabetes outcomes as healthy food access and spaces for physical activity.

“We need to look beyond the usual health care solutions to address the growing burden of diabetes, especially among vulnerable populations in the United States,” Merck Foundation CEO and Merck chief patient officer Julie Gerberding said. “Through Bridging the Gap, we are pleased to bring together these eight diverse organizations, and look forward to leveraging their expertise to help more people effectively manage their diabetes and improve their overall health.”

The Merck Foundation has selected eight organizations that will implement programs to build partnerships between the healthcare sectors and others, redesign healthcare systems to improve diabetes care delivery and improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes. The foundation said the University of Chicago would be sercing as the National Program Office for the initiative, supporting grantees in their efforts.

The following organizations were awarded grants, with the key goal of the effort being finding and promoting best practices in primary transformation and multi-sector strategies to improve access to high-quality diabetes care:

  • Alameda County Public Health Department (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics (Orofino, Idaho)
  • La Clínica del Pueblo (Washington)
  • Marshall University (Huntington, W.Va.)
  • Minneapolis Health Department (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Providence St. Joseph Health (Renton, Wash.)
  • Trenton Health Team (Trenton, N.J.)
  • Western Maryland Health System (Cumberland, Md.)


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