There are pervasive disparities in health outcomes for people living with diabetes based on socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity. These longstanding disparities are magnified by the devastating impact of COVID-19 for underserved communities with diabetes. As part of a Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO™) Diabetes outreach program in Florida and California, over 15 participating Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) were provided Diabetes Support Coaches (DSC) to facilitate patient engagement. DSCs hold invaluable expert knowledge as they live with diabetes, themselves, and reside in the geographic catchment areas they serve - combining a traditional Community Health Worker (CHW) role with peer support models. DSCs complete standardized training in health coaching and receive Diabetes Paraprofessional Level 1 certification through the American Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES). DSCs offer one-on-one peer support for interested patients, create local resource guides for diabetes management, host community events, disseminate information about technologies like continuous glucose monitors (CGM), and assist with appointment reminders and other engagement activities. Patient encounters with DSCs are documented in REDCap® and pre/post-test evaluation for patients includes HbA1c, the Diabetes Distress Scale, use of diabetes technology, and social support density. Preliminary data from n=19 adults with T1D and T2D (9 Hispanic, 10 Non-Hispanic Black) participating with DSCs at two FQHCs in Miami show statistically significant improvement in HbA1c mean ± SD: -1.21 ± 1.49, 95% CI (-1.93, -0.49) p<0.01). The mechanisms of patient engagement implemented by DSC became a critical tool for patient engagement during COVID-19. The use of DSC and CHWs, during COVID-19 and beyond, is critical for reaching underserved communities with diabetes.
A. F. Walker: None. S. L. Filipp: None. N. Cuttriss: Consultant; Self; Cecelia Health. L. G. Baer: None. L. Figg: None. K. K. Hood: Consultant; Self; Cecelia Health, Cercacor, LifeScan Diabetes Institute. R. Lal: Consultant; Self; Abbott Diabetes, Biolinq, Capillary Biomedical, Inc., Morgan Stanley, Tidepool. M. Basina: None. J. J. Wong: None. K. Yabut: None. D. M. Maahs: Advisory Panel; Self; Abbott Diabetes, Dompe, Eli Lilly and Company, Medtronic, Novo Nordisk, Consultant; Self; aditxt. M. J. Haller: Board Member; Self; SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc., Consultant; Self; MannKind Corporation, Other Relationship; Self; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sanofi. E. Sheehan: None. S. C. Westen: None. C. Anez-zabala: None. X. Roque: None. A. Bernier: None. L. Bain: None. M. J. Gurka: None.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust