Diabetes and Obesity Consortium (DOC) Legs for Life Campaign Overview
During the past two plus decades, the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB) has been serving ethnic minority populations to reduce the disease burden of hypertension and cardiovascular related risk factors. In this time, ISHIB has learned that cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors often occur together. Furthermore, diabetes is a significant contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in ethnic minority and other underserved populations.
To this end, ISHIB has recently expanded its reach to include a Diabetes and Obesity Consortium (DOC) under the ISHIB umbrella.
The ISHIB DOC operates under the principles that:
• medication adherence is key
• aggressive management supports positive results
• cultural sensitivity is necessary for effective disease management
ISHIB DOC Legs for Life is a multi-year program devoted to improving the health of African Americans with diabetes and related disorders. Legs for Life is supported by educational grants from multiple corporate sponsors.
Legs for Life depicts a tangible representation of diabetes disease progression to promote patient self care, including preventing amputation. This program aims to give patients ‘ownership’ of their disease state to encourage behavior modification and self-management, including medication adherence, which will also decrease the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and dialysis in patients with diabetes and hypertension.
This campaign draws on thought leaders with expertise in behavioral science, education, and clinical practice to improve in health and self-care beginning within the context of the community.
Educational initiatives that communicate best care practices among community caregivers and apply effective strategies for sustained behavioral change will ultimately contribute to a reduction in health disparities among African Americans and other patient populations with a high risk of diabetes and related diseases.
A key facet of the Legs for Life Campaign is an emphasis on metrics, with the goal of establishing mechanisms for measuring impact on clinician behavior as well as patient care. The goal for ISHIB is to educate providers and manage patients with diabetes and hypertension to provide measurable improvements in outcomes leading to the reduction in healthcare disparities specific to diabetes, obesity, and related cardiovascular diseases among ethnic populations. Hard endpoints reflecting success will be reductions in HA1c, blood pressure, weight, and dyslipidemia.
The core initiative supporting the Legs for Life Campaign will be a diabetes control toolkit. The Legs for Life Toolkit is a three year initiative modeled after the success of the ISHIB IMPACT CV Risk Reduction Toolkit and focus on interventions at the community level and in the home.