Dr Robert Gabbay Outlines How the Health Equity Now Initiative Addresses Diabetes Care Disparities


Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association, explains the Health Equity Now initiative and how it shines a light on health disparities.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is working with like-minded organizations to tackle health disparities and inequities, said Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer at the American Diabetes Association.


Can you discuss the Health Equity Now initiative and what it covers?

The American Diabetes Association's Health Equity Now initiative is really addressing a problem that has existed for some time now, if anything COVID-19 has shined a bright light on, and that is the incredible health disparities that exist in this country and the inequities that exist in terms of health care, access, a whole host of things. In many ways, diabetes is a poster child for this.

We see all sorts of examples of diabetes being twice as likely in Black [patients] compared to White [patients]; amputation rates in Black [patients] is 3 times that of White [patients]. Really, across the board, there are significant disparities in health, and the Health Equity Now platform is a national initiative to address these issues. It includes, amongst other things, a patient bill of rights [which states] that everybody should have access to healthy food to be able to manage their diabetes, access to the right technology, access to the right care, all of those things.

We've been partnering with like-minded organizations to tackle these issues at a deeper level—whether that is working with large groups and organizations like Walmart, or Abbott, or Baxter—all focused on how can we eliminate some of those systemic barriers to better outcomes for people with diabetes.

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