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Nationally-Recognized Georgia Diabetes Project Honored

ATLANTA, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Sonny Perdue today released a proclamation commending the nationally-recognized Healthy Georgia Diabetes and Obesity Project, an initiative of the Center for Health Transformation, founder by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The proclamation was presented at a ceremony honoring the achievement of dozens of Georgia organizations whose work on the Project has led to significant strides toward improving the quality of care for those with diabetes and those at risk of developing the disease. The event was held at the UPS Corporate Office in Atlanta.

As part of the Project, the collaboration launched one of the nation's largest pay-for-performance projects in the country. The event today celebrated the first annual distribution of quality incentives to participating physicians. As a result of the project, the number of physicians recognized as delivering best standards of diabetes care in Georgia has grown from only 5 to 147. More than 1200 patients with diabetes received care from the physicians who were recognized.

The organizations recognized for their participation in the Project included twenty-seven employers, led by UPS, AT&T, Southern Company and the State of Georgia, as well as all the major Georgia insurers, hundreds of physicians and a number of key pharmaceutical companies.

"It was a celebration of the accomplishments and participation in The Center's Healthy Georgia Diabetes and Obesity Initiative," said Laura Linn, Project Director for the Center for Health Transformation. "We truly have a collaboration of public and private sector leaders dedicated to improving the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes and to promoting early diagnosis and prevention of diabetes, including decreasing the prevalence of obesity."

An estimated 18 million Americans have diabetes, including almost 6 million who don't know it. Another 41 million are pre-diabetic, a condition that will likely progress to diabetes without appropriate preventive treatment. An additional concern is the increase in obesity; a major risk factor in developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a common, serious and costly disease in Georgia. Approximately 7% of the adult population in Georgia has diagnosed diabetes. For every two patients diagnosed with diabetes, another has not been diagnosed. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is increasing throughout Georgia, including children and adolescents. In 2000, diabetes was the 6th leading cause of death in Georgia, killing approximately 1500 Georgians. Diabetes can contribute to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputations, and early death, particularly when best standards of care are not followed. In Georgia, the cost of diabetes due to medical care, lost productivity and premature death is over $4 billion per year.

"Transforming health and healthcare in America is foremost about saving lives," said former Speaker Newt Gingrich. "When it comes to diseases like diabetes, prevention and quality care are essential. These organizations have not only recognized this fact but they have also allocated precious resources to curb the growing obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country."

The Center's Healthy Georgia Diabetes and Obesity Initiative has several goals:

-- Reduce the incidence of diabetes and obesity as well as the

complications and death rate associated with both conditions through

consistent implementation of best practices.

-- Reduce health disparities in racial and ethnic populations

disproportionately impacted by diabetes and obesity.

-- Improve public awareness and patient understanding of diabetes and

its control.

-- Promote better self-management among those with diabetes and obese


-- Accelerate the migration from paper to electronic record keeping so

that access and accuracy of information will be improved.

-- Improve health care providers' understanding of diabetes and its

control and rapid adoption of proven best practices.

-- Promote policies that increase prevention and improve the quality of

and access to diabetes care.

"Today's event is an opportunity for us to honor an amazing collaboration of leaders and the work they have done to help create a healthier Georgia," said Center for Health Transformation CEO Nancy Desmond "While there is much work ahead of us, we thought it was important to take a moment to recognize the amazing progress made by these remarkable organizations."

Honored at the event were:

AT&T, Aetna, , BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia, ChoicePoint, CIGNA, Columbus Research Foundation, GE, Georgia Ports Authority, GlaxoSmithKline, GulfStream, Humana, IBM, , International Paper, Kaiser Permanente, Marriott International, Medical Association of Georgia, Morehouse School of Medicine, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, members of the Savannah Business Group on Health, Southern Company, the State of Georgia, Synovus, The Institute for Wellness & Education, United Healthcare, UPS (hosting the event), WellStar, and Xerox.

About the Center for Health Transformation

The Center for Health Transformation is a high-impact collaboration of private and public sector leaders committed to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money for all Americans. The Center is a for-profit, bi-partisan membership-based organization with over 100 members who participate in member meetings, collaborative workshops, training sessions and workgroups, and projects such as the Healthy Georgia Project, Ending Cancer as a Cause of Death, Developing a Roadmap to Cure Alzheimer's, Affordable Coverage for All Americans, Diabetes Transformation, etc. The Center, through CHT Press, has recently published The Art of Transformation by Newt Gingrich and Nancy Desmond. For more information, visit

SOURCE Center for Health Transformation
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