Disease Prevention and Management

Lawndale Diabetes Project

Year two of our funding of the Lawndale Diabetes Project is yielding measurable improvements in the health of residents in North and South Lawndale.

Since 2011, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) has invested $1.7 million to fund a program by the Sinai Urban Health Institute where community health workers go block by block in the Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago’s west side to identify those with diabetes and help them manage their condition. The program also works to identify those at high risk and helps prevent them from becoming diabetic.

The preliminary findings are a story of success: 40.5 percent of all diabetics in North Lawndale, a predominately African American community, and 66 percent of all residents with diabetes in South Lawndale, an almost entirely Latino population, have improved their A1C (blood sugar) values between their initial home visit and follow-up visits.

Even more drastic are the measurable improvement in those with uncontrolled diabetes. The Sinai team found that 47.7 percent of North Lawndale residents with uncontrolled diabetes who completed follow-up visits had improved their values. In South Lawndale, a staggering 86.7 percent improved, according to initial results.

Impressed with the early outcomes of this new model of care, BCBSIL plans to continue to support the Lawndale Diabetes Project to build on the success to date.