With our location on Chicago’s South Side, the Kovler Diabetes Center has close proximity to a number of local communities disproportionately affected by diabetes.
Our programs have a dual purpose:
- Improving diabetes-related health outcomes in some of Chicago’s most challenged communities
- Advancing knowledge about the disease, treatment and effect on patients and their families that we hope to apply more universally
Picture Good Health/Imaginate una Buena Salud
Picture Good Health/Imaginate una Buena Salud aims to improve the health outcomes of those with diabetes in the predominantly Mexican American community of South Lawndale/Little Village, a Chicago neighborhood with diabetes-related mortality rate that exceeds both national and city averages.
The program was started by Arshiya Baig, M.D., a University of Chicago assistant professor and general internist whose research focuses on improving diabetes outcomes in Latinos with the disease.
Dr. Baig and her research team have partnered with two neighborhood churches to implement this bi-lingual program. Because the church often has an important role in Latino cultures and families, working with churches to address diabetes is one method of tailoring diabetes programs to this community.
Picture Good Health uses an innovative technique called “photovoice,” in which participants receive disposable digital cameras to document their lives with diabetes. These photos are then used in weekly educational sessions, held at one of the partner churches, to guide discussions on problem solving and self-empowerment.
The program has shown positive results in helping low-income Latino adults with diabetes reduce their consumption of high-fat foods and increase their frequency of exercise.
Program participants also have access to exercise groups within the churches, as well as patient navigator services through Taller de Jose, a social service agency that connects clients to community resources. For example, patient navigators can help participants find a local primary care physician.