A program designed to improve access to care and health outcomes for children and adults with Type 1 diabetes will be expanded with a $7.6 million, three-year grant from The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The University of Florida and collaborators at Stanford University will share the award, with the UF Diabetes Institute getting about $3.3 million.
The program, called the Extension for Community Health Care Outcomes model, also known as Project ECHO®, is led in Florida by Dr. Ashby Walker, the director of health equity initiatives at the UF Diabetes Institute and an assistant professor of health services research, management and policy at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, and Dr. Michael J. Haller, a professor and chief of pediatric endocrinology in the UF College of Medicine.
The award comes after the successful completion of an 18-month pilot program that established a project that now encompasses 10 health centers around Florida and reaches an estimated 1,000 diabetes patients. Stanford operates a similar effort in California.
Participating health care providers receive virtual training and tele-education from the diabetes “hubs” at UF and Stanford. The physicians also get real-time help with challenging medical decision-making issues from diabetes professionals at UF Health.
The new grant will allow Project ECHO Diabetes to be expanded to 20 health care centers around Florida with an accompanying increase in diabetes care liaisons. The program also is expanding to people with Type 2 diabetes if their condition requires intensive insulin therapy.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 04