CDC hires FHI 360 to prevent spread of type 2 diabetes

ATLANTA: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given FHI 360 a $1.8 million contract to help it take a proactive stance against the spread of type 2 diabetes.

ATLANTA:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given FHI 360 a $1.8 million contract to help it take a proactive stance against the spread of type 2 diabetes.

FHI 360, along with subcontractor Porter Novelli, will assist six organizations with the promotion of upcoming programs they will launch to prevent people from getting diabetes, according to Laura Zauderer-Baldwin, communications and partnership team lead for CDC's division of diabetes translation. The six groups collectively received $6.7 million in grants from the CDC.

One of those organizations is America's Health Insurance Plans, which will work with member health plans such as Aetna, EmblemHealth, Florida Blue, and Molina Healthcare to offer lifestyle-change programs in Florida, New Mexico, New York, and Texas. Those programs will target groups that have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, including black and Hispanic Americans and women who developed diabetes while pregnant.

FHI 360 will assist AHIP and others with communications strategy to increase awareness among high-risk groups about type 2 diabetes and encourage them to enroll in evidence-based lifestyle-change programs to be launched by AHIP's members.

Zauderer-Baldwin called the promotion of the programs crucial. “If we don't get people to enroll in the programs and participate, we're not going to be successful,” she said.

Aetna says targeting minorities with its efforts is the best course of action.

“We know there are gaps in care. Aetna has collected race and ethnicity information from nearly 6 million Aetna members that indicate Aetna's African-American and Hispanic members do not seem to get the same health results compared to whites,” said Wayne Rawlins, national medical director at Aetna.

EmblemHealth is planning a marketing mix of community involvement, PR, and advertising to communicate with members and providers in the Harlem and Cambria Heights neighborhoods in New York City. It also plans to use both traditional and new media to promote the program.

“This program affords us an immense opportunity to raise awareness about the risk of diabetes and inform how taking healthy measures may prevent complications from diabetes, such as stroke, visual impairment, amputation, or kidney failure,” said Ann Marie Gothard, director of communications strategy at EmblemHealth.

FHI 360 did not return a request seeking comment.

A few months ago, the CDC hired the organization to support the second phase of its "Testing Makes Us Stronger" HIV effort.

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