Health Equity Advancement Lab
The Health Equity Advancement Lab (HEAL) works to understand and change the care provided to people of color with diabetes.
Approximately 1.6 million people in the United States have type 1 diabetes. The incidence of T1D is increasing across all populations, most significantly among Hispanic youth. Numerous type 1 diabetes-related health inequities exist across racial and ethnic groups.
Compared to non-Hispanic White people with diabetes:
- Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black people with type 1 diabetes have higher A1c levels.
- Non-Hispanic Black people with type 1 diabetes are 2.5 times more likely to have one or more DKA episodes and 2.5 times more likely to have had one or more severe hypoglycemic even in the previous 12 months.
- Non-Hispanic Black people with type 1 diabetes have twice the mortality rate.
T1DX-QI data reveals inequities exist in diabetes technology use, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequitable burden of disease.
To achieve equity for patients with type 1 diabetes by piloting innovative approaches in the T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative.
“The HEAL program is a work in progress that will bring the best of population health science, quality improvement and health equity,” explains Ori Odugbesan, Manager of Quality Improvement and Population Health at the T1D Exchange.
The T1DX-QI HEAL Program is a network of health equity clinical and research leaders aiming to provide thought leadership around the T1DX-QI health equity initiatives. The HEAL Program will contribute to best practices regarding equitable type 1 diabetes care through multiple strategies, including but not limited to:
- Revising or developing new measures for health equity
- Providing advice and feedback on grants
- Piloting new health equity initiatives
- Applying evaluation rigors to make recommendations on equitable policies
- Sharing learning and best practices nationally
Gathering data goes far beyond simply assessing a person’s health and noting their race or ethnicity. Health outcomes are never the result of just one or two variables.
Instead, HEAL is collecting data on details such as safe housing, education level, employment status, literacy, ability to understand medical documents, access to health insurance, access to transportation, access to food, and much more.