The Venice Family Clinic is receiving a two-year grant that will be used to update its diabetes self-management class curriculum and add a part-time health educator.
The Medtronic Health Access Grant, one of eight made in Los Angeles, is provided by the Medtronic Philanthropy to expand access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide.
The Los Angeles grants total $500,000, and are given to organizations in recognition of their ongoing commitment to improve access to LA-area healthcare services for underserved populations, with an emphasis on diabetes.
The Venice Family Clinic provides healthcare for more than 24,000 low-income, uninsured and homeless individuals each year.
According to the LA County Department of Public Health, diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the county. It is also one of the most costly chronic conditions, with medical expenses for people with this serious health issue averaging more than twice as much as for those without diabetes.
Results from the 2011 LA County Health Survey confirm the disease is still on the rise among adults. From 1997 to 2011, the percentage of adults with diabetes increased from 6.6 percent to 9.9 percent in LA County, with more than 685,000 adults countywide affected.
The direct medical cost of treating diabetes for one year in LA County is $6 billion, according to the report. Nationally, the figure is estimated to be $116 billion with another $58 billion spent nationwide annually on indirect costs such as disability, productivity losses and premature death.
“Here at Medtronic, we’re dedicated to improving access to healthcare for people with diabetes,” says Francine Kaufman, M.D., chief medical officer and vice president of global clinical affairs for Medtronic Diabetes. “Through Medtronic Health Access Grants we’re thrilled to be able to partner with community-based organizations that have found creative ways to provide much-needed services to underserved communities right here in Los Angeles, where so many of our Diabetes business unit employees live and work.”
The Diabetes business at Medtronic offers integrated diabetes management systems, insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems and therapy management software.