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CHLPI Releases Comprehensive Report on Diabetes in North Carolina


The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School released its 2014 North Carolina State Report Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) – The Diabetes Epidemic in North Carolina: Policies for Moving Forward.

In addition to the full report, the project released the following related materials:
Executive Summary
PATHS North Carolina Fact Sheets:
Background on Type 2 Diabetes in North Carolina
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Physical Activity Infrastructure
Healthy Food Access
Type 2 Diabetes Self Management

The report is funded through a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and was released during the CHLPI Diabetes Leadership Dinner on May 29 and Strategy Forum on May 30 in Raleigh. The report was also presented to the North Carolina Diabetes Advisory Council (NCDAC) at its spring meeting on May 30. The NCDAC advises the state government on diabetes prevention and management.

The report is a result of extensive research and over 90 interviews with policymakers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that are playing a role in the state’s diabetes response. It provides a comprehensive summary of the type 2 diabetes landscape in the state, including a discussion of the policies that impact type 2 diabetes and policy recommendations to help reduce its prevalence and consequences. It was created to empower diabetes advocates and local and state governments in their planning to promote positive policy change and efforts to address the impact of type 2 diabetes within NC communities. “Diabetes is a rapidly growing affliction in North Carolina with rates having almost doubled since the 1990s,” said Robert Greenwald, Director of CHLPI and Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “These numbers continue to grow, and our hope is that the report will inspire a collaborative, integrated approach that supports improvements to the built environment, access to healthy food and education programs, and access to necessary medical and lifestyle interventions.”

To launch the report, CHLPI hosted the PATHS Diabetes Leadership Dinner on Thursday, May 29, and the North Carolina PATHS Diabetes Strategy Forum on Friday, May 30. The events convened elected and appointed officials and healthcare and nonprofit leaders to discuss the report’s findings and identify opportunities for synergies based on the report’s recommendations, which included:

  1. promoting team-based, whole-person models for delivery and financing of diabetes care;
  2. increasing access to diabetes prevention and self-management programs;
  3. expanding evidence-based telemedicine programs to help alleviate provider shortages;
  4. expanding access to durable medical equipment and insulin;
  5. improving behavioral health services for people with diabetes;
  6. increasing economic access to healthy food;
  7. increasing geographic access to healthy food;
  8. increasing opportunities for physical activity in the built environment;
  9. improving nutrition and cooking education opportunities; and,
  10. expanding early childhood, school food, nutrition, and wellness programs.

To continue its efforts, CHLPI will host the Western North Carolina Diabetes Strategy Forum on June 9 at UNC – Asheville. The event will convene leaders in the Western region and focus on issues specific to rural communities.

PATHS staff member Sarah Downer was interviewed and quoted for the June 2, 2014 news article on North Carolina Public Radio “Report: Left Unchecked, Diabetes will Cost NC Billions.”

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