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Grant will combat diabetes in Hmong community


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Sacramento State has received the first $200,713 of a $780,449 grant to help members of the city’s Hmong community receive better treatment for advanced cases of diabetes. The grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities was announced by Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office.

Prior to settling in the United States after the Vietnam War, the Hmong had no familiarity with diabetes and, as a result, are more likely to put off treatment until the disease has reached an advanced stage called T2DM (Type 2 diabetes mellitus). That can lead to disproportionate rates of heart disease, kidney failure, loss of vision and damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system, such as in the feet or legs.

Diabetes Grant

The grant will, among other things, provide for community health care workers who will conduct home visits and help clients navigate the health care system and get proper services, says Professor Dian Lorene Baker, the project manager.

The project is a community-based participatory research partnership overseen by a community advisory board whose members are of Hmong descent and include health care workers and community leaders.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the Hmong community to do research and outreach within the community,” Baker says.

“Sacramento State is proud to be a leader in improving the health of people in our region, and this grant will help us fight the terrible effects of diabetes in the Hmong community,” University President Alexander Gonzalez says.

“Prevention and early treatment of disease are critical components to achieving better health outcomes and reining in health care costs,” Matsui says. “Sacramento State is a leader in the region, and I am pleased that this grant will allow them to help ensure all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, are receiving the preventative services they need.”

The University provided excellent services in getting the grant written, says Baker. “Grants like this occur when we have academic partnerships with the community, and this is another example of Sacramento State reaching out to the community and working to reduce disparities,” she says.

For more information about the program, call Baker at (916) 278-7243. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho