To reduce racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care and outcomes, it is critical to integrate health care and community approaches. However, little work describes how to expand and sustain such partnerships and initiatives. We outline our experience creating and growing an initiative to improve diabetes care and outcomes in the predominantly African American South Side of Chicago. Our project involves patient education and activation, a quality improvement collaborative with six clinics, provider education, and community partnerships. We aligned our project with the needs and goals of community residents and organizations, the mission and strategic plan of our academic medical center, various strengths and resources in Chicago, and the changing health care marketplace. We use the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change conceptual model and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to elucidate how we expanded and sustained our project within a shifting environment. We recommend taking action to integrate health care with community projects, being inclusive, building partnerships, working with the media, and understanding vital historical, political, and economic contexts.
Keywords: diabetes; disparities; equity; intervention; quality of care; race.
© 2014 Society for Public Health Education.