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Overcoming Socioeconomic Disparities in Diabetes Care
June 04, 2014

Overcoming Socioeconomic Disparities in Diabetes Care

Nadia S. Islam, PhD, shares her experiences with overcoming ethnic disparities in diabetes care regarding her work in the Asian American communities of New York City. She explains that her research primarily relies upon the active participation of community members and academia, focusing more specifically on the extraordinarily diverse Asian American population.
Nadia S. Islam, PhD, shares her experiences with overcoming ethnic disparities in diabetes care regarding her work in the Asian American communities of New York City. She explains that her research primarily relies upon the active participation of community members and academia, focusing more specifically on the extraordinarily diverse Asian American population. Each Asian American community varies wildly between 16 different ethnic groups, each sharing in various nationalities, cultures, and religions.

Dr Islam discusses the role of community health workers, saying that they help improve healthcare management and prevention within these sub-groups by acting as the bridge between the patient and the healthcare system. “It negotiates cultural and linguistic barriers to health and helps others become active participants in their own health, so this idea of really increasing self-advocacy,” says Dr Islam.

Dr Islam’s intervention and curriculum that utilizes community health workers focuses on the many needs of individuals in different sub-groups in connection with the recent rise in diabetes cases. Many of these cultural members understand what has to be done in recognition of these current health risks, but are unsure of how to do it—which is where Dr Islam’s intervention program comes into play.

Her research focuses on substituting rather than changing an individual’s diet, as well as increasing physical activity and promoting education and language. She said she has found success in these methods and will continue to integrate community health workers into all areas of the industry as a way to create a more unified health system for minorities. 



 
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