How Americares partner clinics in the United States are helping low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients address food insecurity and manage their health through technology
The Social Welfare Board clinic in Saint Joseph, Missouri, is one of several free and charitable health clinics in the United States working to help area residents currently living with or at risk of developing diabetes through an innovative Americares program. It combines education, technology and access to healthy food options to address both diabetes prevention and food insecurity in their communities. The Americares Diabetes Prevention Program provides diabetes education and support to those that otherwise would not have been able to receive it due to financial constraints, lack of transportation or internet access, the inability to access healthy food, and more.
"Through the funding assistance from the Baxter and Americares initiative, the Social Welfare Board has seen a vast improvement with the outcomes for our diabetic patients," said Linda Judah, Executive Director at The Social Welfare Board. "This program has improved patient and provider communication, access to diabetic recommended foods, improved A1c's and glucose monitoring tracking, weight reduction and overall decreased co-morbidities."
In 2020, Baxter funded a new program to incorporate a platform from CareSignal that enables text-based remote patient monitoring. More than 700 people across five Americares partner clinics have received clinically validated automated text messages and phone calls to their personal mobile or landline phones with reminders and tips specific to their medical conditions. The program also helps alert clinic staff when participants might need additional help and follow-up assistance.
As one patient at The Social Welfare Board stated, "I love receiving the text messages because they keep me accountable to regularly check my blood sugars. My wife is now involved to improve my blood sugars."
"This program has not only given our clinic partners the resources necessary to implement an innovative approach to supporting patients with diabetes, but it has also resulted in measurable improvements in patient health outcomes," said Americares Chief Program Officer Dr. M. Rashad Massoud. "We are continuously striving to produce quality programs that are effective, and, thanks to Baxter’s support, this program is a great example."
In 2017, Baxter also supported an Americares diabetes program, where participants who attend ongoing educational sessions for diabetes prevention received healthy food boxes. Receiving regular access to healthier food helped program participants maintain lifestyle changes and better manage their health.
“We are proud to have partnered with Americares on these programs, helping clinic staff to empower area residents to take control of their health through education, nutrition, and digital technology," said Verónica Arroyave, senior director of Global Community Relations at Baxter. "We believe all patients deserve access to care that will support their best possible health outcomes, which is why Empowering Our Patients is one of the three pillars guiding our 2030 Corporate Responsibility Commitment."
Aligned with the company's 2030 Commitments to Empower our Patients, Baxter looks forward to continuing to provide funding to Americares for this innovative program with a new grant awarded in 2022. The additional funding will help Americares to continue the program among the clinics currently participating as well as the opportunity to enroll additional patients. At the same time, Americares will explore potential uses for the aggregate health outcome data generated through the texting program to raise broader awareness of the benefits for participants.
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