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July 1, 2014

Community Partnership to Launch New Diabetes Pilot

Project to Measure Effects of Our Nutrition Services on Diabetics

Chronic illnesses take a terrible toll on individuals and families, on the healthcare system, and on our economy. We have been on the front lines in the fight against one such illness, HIV/AIDS, for more than a quarter century. Now, another chronic illness is having a similarly devastating impact on the Washington, DC, area. Diabetes was recently noted as the 6th leading cause of death in the District. According to the DC Department of Health, 8.3% of the District’s population report having been diagnosed with diabetes.

For those with diabetes, proper nutrition is a key weapon in battling the challenges associated with their illness. Consistent access to healthy food can play a powerful role in preventing and treating diabetes and its secondary problems such as heart failure, amputation, or kidney failure.

With this in mind, Food & Friends, in partnership with GW Medical Faculty Associates and the Rodham Institute, will be executing a pilot program called Alliance for Nutrition in Health and Disease to measure the effects of our services on the health outcomes of individuals with poorly-managed diabetes.

Through the Alliance for Nutrition in Health and Disease pilot program, 100 adult patients with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes will be enrolled in our Freshly-Prepared Meals Program. They will receive nutritious and home-delivered meals specifically tailored for diabetics—breakfast, lunch and dinner—six days per week, for 15 months, along with nutrition counseling from our registered dietitians.

This pilot will rely on the chronic illness and evaluation expertise of clinicians and researchers at the George Washington University Heart & Vascular Institute (GWU HVI) and Rodham Institute. GWU HVI will refer diabetic patients who have complications indicating poorly-managed diabetes. GWU HVI will also collect patient health data both before and after the project to measure the impact of healthy eating and nutrition education on these individuals.

The results of the pilot study will be used to determine whether Food & Friends should permanently extend services to those whose primary illness is diabetes. Positive results will also be used to advocate for the importance of our services in improving health outcomes for individuals with all life-challenging illnesses.

We are currently securing funding to support this pilot program. The estimated cost of the 15-month program is $380,000. As we look towards improving health outcomes of people living with critical illnesses in our community, we hope you will consider supporting our strategic partnership to improve the health of DC area residents living with life-threatening chronic diabetes. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, either as an individual or as a company, contact Daniell Griffin at dgriffin@foodandfriends.org or (202) 269-6870.


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