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REACH in Action

What changes are happening in REACH communities?

  • The South Eastern African American Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities in Diabetes program (SEA-CEED) at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing implemented healthcare education delivery system improvements for African Americans with diabetes, specifically by increasing knowledge and awareness around diabetes self-management and prevention in South Carolina’s Charleston and Georgetown counties. These efforts resulted in a 44% reduction in amputations for African Americans.
  • Boston’s Community Asthma Initiative (CAI) addresses health disparities in neighborhoods and schools most affected by asthma. Through their efforts, not only were school absences greatly reduced, but there was a 68% decrease in asthma-related emergency-department visits and an 84% decrease in hospitalizations.
  • In Los Angeles, California, the Community Health Council (CHC), in collaboration the African Americans Building a Legacy of Health program, worked to increase access to healthy and affordable food and beverages through efforts to change institutional practices and promote local investment. Specifically, these efforts have helped to leverage support from California’s $200 million Fresh Food Financing Fund that seeks to eliminate food deserts and fight childhood obesity.
  • The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, located in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, engaged local Latino communities across New England through community-based systems of care and education to eliminate health disparities related to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases and conditions. These efforts have improved cholesterol levels for Latino patients such that 71.9% of those with diabetes were able to bring their total cholesterol under 200mg/dL.
  • Smoking prevalence for Asian men in four REACH communities in California, Washington, and Massachusetts declined significantly. These decreases, ranging from 2.6% to 5.7%, were greater in REACH communities compared to the national decline.

What are some health outcomes of the REACH programs?

REACH Risk Factor Surveys, which gather health and behavior-related information from select REACH communities about chronic diseases, diet, exercise, preventive services, and adult immunizations, indicated that:

  • From 2009 to 2011, cholesterol screening increased among African Americans 74% to 78%, Hispanics 58% to 71%, and Asians 53% to 72% in REACH communities, while screening decreased or remained constant among the same population groups nationwide.
  • From 2001 to 2009, the percentage of Hispanics who reported having hypertension and were taking medication for it increased from less than half to more than two-thirds.
  • During the same period, pneumonia vaccination rates increased from 50.5% to 60.5% in black communities, from 46.0% to 58.5% in Hispanic communities, from 37.5% to 59.7% in Alaskan/Pacific Islander communities, and from 67.3% to 78.7% in Native American communities.