Tri-County Diabetes Partnership Working to Improve the System Trhough Individual Action

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Health Care is one of the hottest topics in our nation. Everyone is talking about the “system” and what is broken and needs to be fixed or thrown out completely. One group in the area is looking at the “system” in a whole different way. 
 
The Tri-County Diabetes Partnership (TCDP) is made up of partners from Magoffin, Johnson and Floyd counties, working to strengthen the system of care and improve the health status of residents. 

This partnership is sponsored by The Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation, which promotes 10 core principles to improve health and health care in Kentucky including access, cost, and shared responsibility.   The group is focusing on Diabetes because the rate of the disease in the Commonwealth of Kentucky has been rising faster than the median for the US, with an almost 2% increase over the median from 2004 to 2006. Contributing factors such as being overweight, not having a healthy diet, and not getting enough exercise continue to cause the rate of Diabetes to climb. And, despite the tremendous progress that has been made in diabetes prevention and management, not all Kentuckians are benefiting equally from existing health care services. “If the problem is in the community, the solution is in the community,” states Dr. Gil Friedell, founder of The Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation. 
 
Building on Recommendations of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build A Healthier America’s 2009 Report, the TCDP believes that where people live affects their health. The report states, “What constitutes health includes the effects of our daily lives—how our children grow up, the food we eat, how physically active we are, the extent to which we engage in risky behaviors like smoking, and our exposure to physical risks and harmful substances—as well as the neighborhoods and environments in which we live.”
 
The Tri-County Diabetes Partnership believes the Health Care System belongs to everyone and that individuals must identify where they can make improvements in their own health and where society can help them achieve optimal health. 
 
“Our goal is to reduce those Diabetes-related complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, adult-onset blindness, and lower limb amputations by getting people to think about prevention and taking care of themselves before one of these devastating health events occur in their lives, “ said Deirdra Robinson, Tri-County Diabetes Partnership Project Coordinator.  
 
TCDP meets on the second Tuesday of the month and is open to anyone interested in joining the group. For meeting information, please contact Deirdra Robinson, at 606 233 3400 or Drobi3@email.uky.edu or Kathy E. Borders, R.N., at 606-349-6212 or KathyE.Borders@ky.gov.