Diabetes Education Dons a Multicultural Approach

Article excerpt

Diabetes disproportionately affects the 50% of our population composed of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaskan Natives. Untreated or undertreated, the dis ease mutilates and kills, making a multicultural approach to diabetes education a matter of life and death.

Donna Rice, R.N., American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) president, explained, "There is no cookiecutter approach to diabetes education." AADE wants to stress to its members that patients' medical needs reflect their individual history.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and other pharmacy-related organizations are also aware of the need for a multicultural approach to diabetes education. The NACDS Foundation, the associations philanthropic arm, recently gave a $ 15,000 grant to the Latino Diabetes Association (LDA) in Los Angeles to assist in LDAs education and outreach programs.

"This is an outstanding program, a relatively young program that is reaching out specifically to the Latino population to treat this disease," said NACDS Foundation president Phillip Schneider. "We want to help it make sure it includes the role of the pharmacist in its outreach."

The LDA experience could end up enhancing pharmacy care nationwide, said Schneider. "Our plan is to magnify the results of this program with a replicable model for including pharmacists in multiethnic approaches to diabetes education," he said. "We'll watch what they are doing and see what they achieve."

LDA is unique in that it is the only diabetes organization focusing on inner-city Latinos, predominantly serving those in the greater Los Angeles area. …

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