Baylor Health Care System and the City of Dallas Join Efforts to Fight Diabetes in South Dallas
The new Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute is being called a new possible model for the care of diabetes nationwide
DALLAS, June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Baylor Health Care System announced today the opening of a new Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute in an underserved community in South Dallas that it believes will ultimately influence the way diabetes is treated and prevented around the country.
The Institute will bring treatment and prevention where it is needed most. Residents in the Institute’s ZIP code are three-times more likely to die from diabetes compared to those living in Dallas as a whole. With an average income of $9,000, many of the area’s residents cannot afford transportation to doctors’ offices or hospitals outside of the neighborhood, nor can they afford healthy food options or access to exercise classes and equipment–all essential to living healthfully with the disease.
Staffed by physicians, nurses, care coordinators and diabetes education specialists, the Institute will offer simple yet innovative approaches to combating the disease. For instance, the Institute will also provide:
- A weekly farmers market to sell fresh produce at discounted prices
- Cooking classes
- Exercise classes
- Wellness classes to help those who are at risk of the disease avoid it
- Affordable medications and other medical supplies
“Health care organizations need to expand their role in the communities they serve and this initiative is one example,” says Joel Allison, president and CEO, Baylor Health Care System. “Hospitals have not traditionally been in the business of providing cooking classes and farmers markets, but this new model of care represents the future. We are now working to improve the health of a community beyond the walls of a hospital.”
The Institute is the result of a unique public/private joint effort between Baylor and the City of Dallas. The City has helped Baylor bring diabetes treatment, education and healthy living programs to the area by allowing the health care system to invest $15 million in renovating and transforming an already established city recreation center.
“We need to create new and innovative ways to provide care to the communities we serve,” says Allison. “In this new health care environment, we are putting greater emphasis on prevention and wellness.”
Diabetes alone accounts for one-in-five health care dollars spent in the U.S. today. Each American right now spends $700 a year on this disease, whether they have it or not. And it is estimated that in ten years, one-in-three Americans will be diabetic.
“Diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” says Donna Rice, president, Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute. “We know that the simple diabetes education we will offer at the Institute can significantly reduce the chances of diabetes-related complications in patients and lower their cost of care by 15 percent.”
Baylor says this unique approach to the epidemic has already gained national attention.
“It will be exciting over the coming years to watch and see what this Institute does for the health of the area,” says Allison. “It is humbling to think that if successful, this initiative could change the way we as a country approach chronic disease.”
About Baylor Health Care System
Baylor Health Care System is a faith-based supporting organization providing services to a network of acute care hospitals and related health care entities that provide patient care, medical education, research and community service. Baylor serves nearly 1.4 million patients each year and recorded $3.4 billion in total operating revenue, $3.9 billion in total assets and $468 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2009. Baylor’s network of 212 access points includes 26 owned/operated/ ventured/ affiliated hospitals, 21 ambulatory surgical/endoscopy centers, 31 satellite outpatient locations, four senior centers and 131 HealthTexas physician clinics. HealthTexas is the largest group of employed physicians in the state of Texas.
SOURCE Baylor Health Care System