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GDAHC Save Lives Save Dollars Initiative Launches Pilot Program for Diabetes Care Management
Date:12/21/2007

DETROIT, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Greater Detroit Area Health Council's (GDAHC) Save Lives Save Dollars (SLSD) initiative, in partnership with the American Diabetes Association, sanofi-aventis, and the Detroit Regional Chamber, recently launched a pilot program to help people with diabetes better manage their care. The pilot aims to help connect employers, community organizations and labor groups with worksite Diabetes Self Management Education (DSME) training that will help employees with diabetes practice better nutrition, weight control and exercise and succeed in performing complex treatment procedures as part of their daily lifestyle routine. Sanofi-aventis is providing funding and technical assistance to help start this project.

"One of the primary focus areas of Save Lives Save Dollars is diabetes, which is very prevalent in southeastern Michigan. Once diagnosed, it cannot be cured, but it can be controlled," said Vernice Davis Anthony, president and CEO, Greater Detroit Area Health Council. "By partnering to provide information and education to help people with diabetes better manage their care, as a community, we will be able to improve community health status, increase the quality of health care and encourage the prevention of the costly and common complications of diabetes - heart disease, blindness and amputation."

National data show that about half of the people with diabetes have had no formal training in making appropriate lifestyle decisions and maintaining a daily health care routine to manage this condition.

"Working with GDAHC to implement Diabetes Self Management Education training is a natural tie for the American Diabetes Association," says Debbie O'Leary, executive director of the ADA's Michigan/Northwest Ohio office. "We believe in empowering people with diabetes to take control of their disease and make the life long lifestyle changes necessary for successful self- management. We are pleased our Winning at Work program materials will be used in the DSME training to help educate people about the best ways to take care of themselves."

The pilot is modeled after a program conducted at worksites in St. Louis, Missouri that demonstrated that participants in the program increased knowledge, self-management practices and glycemic control. The St. Louis model outperforms the average improvement in glycemic control reported by an Agency for Health Research and Quality study of patient education services.

Employers and organizations that implement Diabetes Self Management Education training for workers with diabetes may experience reduced health benefit costs, a reduction in absenteeism and improved productivity.

For more information about the Diabetes Self Management Education program and how to implement a program at your site, contact Lisa Mason, program manager, GDAHC Save Lives Save Dollars, at 313-596-0811 or lmason@gdahc.org. Planning and development of this project was supported with technical assistance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality http://www.ahrq.gov.

The Greater Detroit Area Health Council is the leading multi-stakeholder, regional coalition dedicated to improving health care quality, access and cost in southeastern Michigan with an end result of improving community health status. It aligns stakeholders, convenes work groups, facilitates strategies and promotes action. GDAHC Save Lives Save Dollars is a GDAHC initiative focused on improving health care quality, decreasing health care cost and consumer education. The Health Council is a United Way agency. http://www.gdahc.org

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing services to hundreds of communities. http://www.diabetes.org

Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-Aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY). http://www.sanofi-aventis.us

The Detroit Regional Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in the country, with more than 23,000 members. The Chamber's mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, public policy advocacy, strategic partnerships and quality products and services for members. http://www.detroitchamber.com


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SOURCE The Greater Detroit Area Health Council
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