CHLPI Releases Comprehensive Report on Diabetes in North Carolina

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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."

Providing Fresh Produce to Urban Food Deserts

Food Oasis

Photo: Peaches and Greens

Research conducted by Emily Broad Leib and the Food Law and Policy Clinic and published in the Harvard Law and Policy Review article “All (Food) Politics is Local: Increasing Food Access Through Local Government Action,” is featured in the April 16, 2014 Sustainable City Network news story "Providing Fresh Produce to Urban Food Deserts."

As excerpted from the news story:

"The two main challenges for mobile food vendors are permits and costs, Broad Leib said.

'In a lot of cities, mobile vendors are not allowed,' she said. A permit for operating a produce cart simply doesn’t exist and the majority of people don’t know how to apply for a variance. Cities that streamline the permitting process and reduce permit fees will reap the benefits of mobile food vendors, she added.

'Ultimately we want residents to use the mobile food vendors. Cities need to make it so they can operate affordably,' Broad Leib said."

Recent Web Forum: Food is Medicine

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Food is Medicine Web Forum: Integrating Food Programs into Health Care

Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation staff Sarah Downer, Maggie Morgan, and Malinda Ellwood conducted a webinar on how we can improve health outcomes and lower health care costs by recognizing the vital link between access to nutritious food and health.

The link between obesity and debilitating chronic illness is well-established, but access to healthy food remains problematic for many suffering from chronic illness. Healthy food is a key care component in handling an individual's overall health, especially when managing diabetes. For these individuals, food is medicine. Low income populations often bear a disproportionate burden of chronic disease. There are significant benefits to be realized by incorporating healthy food in a medical treatment plan, both in terms of improved health outcomes and significant cost savings to insurers.

Co-sponsors the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation Thursday, held the Dialogue4Health webinar, "Food is Medicine: Integrating Food Programs into Health Care." Discussion focused on how incorporating food-based interventions into health care can improve patient outcomes while dramatically reducing public and private insurer cost.

Learn more.

 

CHLPI New Jersey Diabetes Report Garners Attention

The recently-launched 2014 New Jersey State Report: Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) – An Analysis of New Jersey’s Opportunities to Enhance Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes, has gained attention both in New Jersey and across the country from healthcare policymakers, advocates, and the press.

Read below for a compilation of news items about the Report and related events.

American Pharmacist Association's Pharmacy Today: Harvard Law School: Include pharmacists on diabetes care teams.

NJ Spotlight: Report, Conference Recommend Ways to Reduce Rise of Diabetes in NJ.

Burlington County Times: Raising Awareness of Diabetes in NJ.

The Daily Journal: Fighting Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity in the Local Area.

PR Newswire: New Jersey Diabetes Leadership Forum Highlights Prevention and Management Solutions for Type 2 Diabetes.

CHLPI Website:  Syringes, Pens, and Pumps: New Jersey Diabetes Educator Demonstrates the Challenges of Managing Insulin Dependence.

CHLPI Website: From Open Streets to Cooking Classes, New Jersey PATHS Speakers Highlight Innovative Healthy Solutions.

CHLPI Website: Statistics Are Not the Whole Story: Dr. Anthony Cannon’s Keynote at New Jersey PATHS Event Makes the Diabetes Epidemic Personal.

CHLPI Website: CHLPI Clinicians and Students Travel to New Jersey to Launch Report on Diabetes.

Harvard Law School Clinical and Pro Bono Programs Website: Clinical Fellows and Students Collaborate on PATHS Report.