Novo Nordisk helps to expand Mattapan Diabetes program

Reporter Staff
Oct. 7, 2011

Mattapan Community Health Center is one of nine Boston-area organizations that will receive funding from the healthcare company Novo Nordisk this week to help pay for programs aimed at curbing diabetes-related problems in the state. In total, the Denmark-based firm will award $150,000 in grants to local organizations, including the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, the American Diabetes Association of New England and the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center.

In Mattapan,the money will advance the work of MCHC’s Diabetes WeCare Team, which conducts home visits to diabetic patients with an elevated HemoglobinA1C of 9.0 or greater. Advocates will provide diabetes counseling, social service referrals, nutritional guidance and overall self-care management and peer support for patients who are trying to improve their diabetes clinical outcomes by decreasing their hemoglobinA1c.

Mattapan’s population suffers from one the city’s highest rates of Diabetes mortality, according to city data. African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes and are at higher risk of developing complications due to this disease.

Joe Miller, health systems manager for Novo Nordisk, says that this is the first such dispersement of grant funding in the Boston area. The company, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of insulin, plans to issue these grants each year in an effort to step up awareness about the growing risks of Diabetes to the general population.

“Right not, almost 8 percent of people in Massachusetts — about 550,000 people — have Diabetes,” said Miller, adding that projections have that number rising steadily in the coming years. “This program is aimed at activating the community at a much higher level.”

The winning organizations submitted proposals that were reviewed by a local panel comprised of Mike Sheehan, CEO of Hill Holiday, Timothy J. Garvin, President of the United Way of Central Massachusetts and Susan Servais, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Council.