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FrontPath Health Coalition To Lead Community-wide Group in Pilot Program

National Grant To Assist Local Efforts To Improve Diabetes Care

PERRYSBURG, Ohio, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking, Northwest Ohio program to improve the medical, humanistic and financial elements of diabetes care will receive funding from the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH). FrontPath Health Coalition, through its non-profit Western Lake Erie Health Quality Initiative of Perrysburg, Ohio, will lead this community-wide effort that includes the City of Toledo, the University of Toledo and a group of Toledo-area pharmacies.

FrontPath was one of 14 business health coalitions nationwide to be awarded a $25,000 diabetes seed grant promoting diabetes care improvement at a community level. The project is funded by Pfizer, Inc. and the Community Coalitions Health Institute (CCHI).

The local, one-year pilot grant will help to fund an enhanced diabetes management program for City of Toledo employees and their families who have been diagnosed with or are currently taking medication for Type II diabetes. Participants will work with one of the designated pharmacies in managing their diabetes over the course of the year. The University of Toledo's Pharmaceutical Care and Outcomes Research Laboratory in the College of Pharmacy will provide ongoing data collection and final analysis of the program.

Enrollment, limited to 150 City of Toledo employees and their dependents, is underway through February.

"We're thrilled to have received this funding," said Susan E. Szymanski, FrontPath CEO. "This program was developed by The Pharmacy Counter, and is modeled after the very successful 'Asheville Project,' a pharmacy-coordinated patient self-management program. As a result of this medication therapy management program, the patient becomes more educated, more interested and more empowered to better manage their own health."

"The University of Toledo is dedicated to improving the human condition," said Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, president. "By lending our academic expertise to this project, we will be able to maximize the return on investment and help more of our citizenry understand and manage their diabetes."

Program participants will contact one of the members of the Coalition of Toledo Area Independent Pharmacies, including The Pharmacy Counter, Erie Drug, Glenbyrne Pharmacy, Ryan Pharmacy and Kahler Pharmacy. During visits over the course of the one-year program, participants will meet with clinical pharmacists to raise the level of their awareness and learn about how to best manage their condition by utilizing the local resources available to them.

The Coalition of Toledo Area Independent Pharmacies provides easy access to clinical pharmacists who work and communicate with a patient's healthcare team, including physicians and specialists. They will create a customized plan to treat each individual's condition. In addition to collecting clinical data and suggesting lifestyle changes, pharmacists will teach patients how and when to use their medications and how those medications work to control their condition.

To measure the impact of the program on patients' health, several analytical procedures will be used. Dr. Sharrel Pinto, assistant professor and director of the University of Toledo research laboratory, will head the team conducting the analysis using a variety of statistical tests and measures. The goal of Dr. Pinto's research team will be to evaluate economic, clinical and quality of life-related outcomes for patients with diabetes, providing insight into improving the delivery and quality of care for patients with such chronic conditions. The research team will include pharmacy undergraduate and graduate students.

"More than one-third of the U.S. adult population has diabetes or is well on their way to getting it," said Andrew Webber, president and CEO of NBCH. "Diabetes care is expensive and if we can improve the quality of that care, we can reduce the cost to businesses and enrich the quality of life for employees."

After the pilot program is complete, a similar program will be offered to FrontPath members as a value-added service. FrontPath's membership currently represents 135,000 covered lives throughout Northwest Ohio.

"Through this local collaboration we hope to empower these patients to better self-manage their diabetes and improve their overall health," said Szymanski. "And our ultimate goal is to improve the overall health outcomes of diabetics in Toledo and the surrounding communities. We plan to take this message to the community at large, improving diabetes management and quality of life throughout the Western Lake Erie region."

About FrontPath Health Coalition:

FrontPath Health Coalition, a not-for-profit member-managed corporation, works with employers, unions, municipalities and public entities to provide members direct access to a broad network of health care providers. FrontPath also partners with these healthcare providers to improve the quality of healthcare delivered throughout the Western Lake Erie region. The Perrysburg, Ohio-based organization was established by eight Fortune 500 employers in 1988 as the Western Lake Erie Employers' Coalition.

About the National Business Coalition on Health:

The NBCH is a national, non-profit membership organization of nearly 60 business and health coalitions representing over 7,000 employers and 34 million employees and their dependents across the United States. Visit for additional information.

SOURCE FrontPath Health Coalition
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