Closing the Gap on Diabetes Care in Minority Populations

Andrea Gerard Gonzalez, MD; Mark Harmel, MPH, CDCES


August 09, 2022

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Hello, everyone. As you might be aware, there's a big disparity gap in diabetes care in the minority population, including Latinos. I am a pediatric endocrinologist at the Barbara Davis Center, where we have been trying to close this gap.

Some of the strategies that we have been implementing is the Barbara Davis Center Latino program, which is a culturally sensitive, language-appropriate, group-visit appointment. We tailor materials to try to improve care in all patients that we serve. We have had great success in terms of increased technology uptake and improvements in A1c.

There's much to be done. We try to implement telemedicine and we found also many challenges with our Latino population. We not only lack understanding in the technology but also the inability to obtain data. There's much to discover on how we can adapt telemedicine to better serve underserved communities. It's been my lifelong passion to bridge this gap.

At the Barbara Davis Center, we have implemented group appointments. We started by creating culturally sensitive materials adapted to our patient needs. Through these groups, the patients have peer-to-peer interactions, which has seemed to improve their openness about their challenges. We have great satisfaction data and rotation data, which is great.

We have been able to evaluate some of the barriers associated with socioeconomic status, literacy, and numeracy. We have a better understanding of how these families go home and struggle to care for their families or their child. We have better outcomes nowadays, but there's still a large amount of work to be done.

Through the Barbara Davis Center group appointments, we have been able to increase technology uptake. Nowadays, we know that diabetes technologies are life changing. They provide better quality of life and better diabetes outcomes.

We understand that Latinos have a harder time taking up diabetes technologies, and through these group appointments, we have been able to increase the uptake of both continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. After the implementation of newer technologies, we have seen an improvement in A1c and quality of life.

As future steps, we're evaluating challenges and barriers associated with staff and providers. Once we understand what those barriers are, we are going to implement newer strategies to provide better skills to providers and continue to provide better care for our patients and families.

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