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The Merck Company Foundation Launches Five-Year Effort to Close Healthcare Disparity Gaps
Date:2/25/2009

New Alliance Aims to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes Prevention and Management Among Most At-Risk Populations

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Merck Company Foundation (Foundation), the philanthropic arm of Merck & Co., Inc., today announced the launch of The Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes (Alliance), a new initiative designed to improve healthcare delivery among those populations most at risk for diabetes -- African-American, Hispanic, and Native American adults. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) joined the Foundation in support of the Alliance's goal to mobilize community-based partners and enhance the delivery of proven, collaborative approaches that can close gaps in diabetes care.

Research shows insufficient health resources, poor disease management, inadequate patient education and support, and individual perceptions about how difficult it is to manage and prevent diabetes all contribute to healthcare disparities. These problems are more acute in low-income, disadvantaged communities. To help enhance care and reduce disparities, the Alliance will support proven, community-based and collaborative approaches to comprehensive diabetes prevention and management. The initiative will engage a range of healthcare stakeholders, including patients, providers and health system leaders, to assist at the grassroots level in five U.S. communities and mobilize additional allies at the national and state levels.

"We cannot and should not ignore the growing physical and economic toll of inadequate healthcare on the lives of many individuals in the United States," said Richard T. Clark, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Merck & Co., Inc. "Innovative, community-based programs are making real progress reducing the critical gaps in care that are so difficult for
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SOURCE Merck Company Foundation
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