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CVS' MinuteClinic helps raise diabetes awareness in Chicago
May 14th, 2012
CHICAGO – MinuteClinic is teaming up with a coalition of groups aimed at raising diabetes awareness among families on Chicago's South Side.
The CVS Caremark retail health clinic subsidiary said Monday that the coalition is working with the Perspectives Charter School Calumet Campus to educate, screen, diagnose and provide follow-up care to students diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes.
A diabetes overview for Perspectives parents was held in April, and this week students are eligible to receive a diabetes screening that includes measuring height, weight and body mass index (BMI), as well as a blood glucose test if needed.
Besides MinuteClinic, coalition members include the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, Chicago Medical Center; Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corp.; Jay Cutler Foundation; Chicago Diabetes Project; and Access Community Health Network.
"The epidemic of obesity in America affects 17% of all children and adolescents, and more than 215,000 youth under 20 have already been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes," Tobias Barker, M.D., vice president of medical operations for MinuteClinic, said in a statement. "Through this program, MinuteClinic and other coalition members can help a group of children on Chicago's South Side whose diabetes might otherwise go undiagnosed or untreated until serious health complications result."
Students diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes will get a free follow-up visit at Access Community Health Network and may also choose to receive care from a University of Illinois Hospital specialist. Students from other schools in Chicagoland can visit one of Access Community Health Network's 60 area health centers to get a diabetes screening.
MinuteClinic has walk-in medical clinics in 35 CVS/pharmacy stores in the Chicagoland area, including Illinois and northwestern Indiana.
The idea for the screening program arose when the Jay Cutler Foundation and CVS Caremark approached the Greater-Auburn Gresham Development Corp. (GADC) about conducting a childhood diabetes awareness campaign. GADC, which fosters and promotes the revitalization of low- to moderate-income Chicago neighborhoods, sees the campaign as an extension of its community health fairs, which are sponsored by CVS Caremark.
"GADC recognizes that the health and the education of Auburn-Gresham children are fundamentally linked," stated Carlos Nelson, GADC executive director. "Partners like the Cutler Foundation and CVS Caremark allow us to help influence the lives of young people in positive, healthy ways."
The pilot facilitated by GADC will be a model for the Cutler Foundation's expansion of diabetes testing to other Chicago neighborhoods.
"Our foundation is very excited to be teaming up with all these great partners to help to spread awareness about diabetes to students and parents in Chicago's South Side," commented Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who is a diabetes patient. "I personally know what a serious condition diabetes can be, and it's a good thing to make sure the community is educated about diabetes as well as having these students receive proper screening."