Residents of rural Kentucky have unusually high levels of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and diabetes. Lifestyle choices, environmental factors, inadequate health insurance and general lack of understanding of the healthcare system are often cited as contributing to this condition. Kentucky Homeplace was created to help address these issues.
In Kentucky, 54 of its 120 counties (45%) are considered Appalachian and are mostly located in Eastern Kentucky. Within these Appalachian counties, up to 16.3% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes compared to up to 10.5% in non-Appalachian counties. Residents of the State’s Appalachian counties are poorer, have lower levels of education and are less likely to have medical coverage than those in other parts of the state and nation. Nearly all clients are at 100%-133% of the Federal Poverty Level. To make matters worse, most of the state’s 120 counties are designated as medically underserved areas.
In July 2011, the Anthem Foundation, Inc., awarded Kentucky Homeplace a $150,000 charitable gift titled Improving Diabetic Outcomes (I DO) Phase I to reduce complications caused by diabetes and to improve quality of life. The program offers individual case management combined with nutrition, diabetic and general health education for Kentucky residents.
Due to the success of Phase I and the need to continue to reach clients diagnosed with diabetes and those at risk of becoming diabetic, the Anthem Foundation awarded Kentucky Homeplace with another $150,000 charitable gift to fund I DO Phase II. This will allow Kentucky Homeplace to expand into South Central and Western counties, many of which fall within the “diabetes belt” and to continue developing and expanding the program aimed at improving diabetic outcome measures and increasing diabetes disease self-management knowledge.
Improving Diabetic Outcomes is sponsored through a gift from the Anthem Foundation