Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that poses a major health problem. Nearly 30.3 million people in the United States (9.4% of the population) have diabetes. About one-third of these people do not know they have diabetes. Each year, 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older. In Illinois, approximately 1.3 million (12.5% of the population) adults have diabetes, but roughly 341,000 of those don’t know they have it. It is estimated that about 3.6 million people in Illinois have prediabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death nationally and in Illinois.
Persons with diabetes may suffer from complications such as heart disease, vision loss, and amputations. The burden of diabetes is highest among minority populations, such as African Americans, Hispanics/Latino Americans, American Indians or American Natives, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
About the Program
As of July 1, 2010, the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, which had been part of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) since 1997, was transferred to IDPH.
With the return of the diabetes program, IDPH has been working to improve the health of people at risk for, or affected by, diabetes.
Starting October 1, 2018, the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will begin work on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 1815 grant and will focus on:
- Improving access to and participation in American Diabetes Association (ADA) recognized, and American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) accredited, Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support programs (DSME/S) in underserved areas.
- Increasing the engagement of pharmacists in providing medication management for DSME for people with diabetes.
- Collaborating with payers and relevant public and private sector organizations within the state to expand availability of the National Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered benefit for Medicaid beneficiaries, state/public employees, and employees of private sector organizations.
- Implementing strategies to increase enrollment in CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs.
- Developing a statewide infrastructure to promote long-term sustainability/reimbursement for Community Health Workers.
Diabetes Action Plan
In December 2016, IDPH set out to develop a Diabetes Action Plan to cover the period of 2018 through 2020. The process was funded by a grant from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and facilitated by the consulting firm, Leading Healthy Futures. The project brought together diverse stakeholders from both the private and public sectors in Illinois. IDPH, along with Leading Healthy Futures, and the stakeholders, engaged in developing goals, objectives, and strategies. From this, a ‘3-5-7’ strategic framework was developed. Implementation of the Diabetes Action Plan began in February 2018 and serves as a guide for diabetes stakeholders to support and sustain evidence-based lifestyle change programs for preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes. The plan calls for increasing knowledge and awareness; establishing mechanisms for referral, recruitment, and retention; using innovative delivery and care models; enhancing the quality of care; and driving policy and funding efforts.