This week on WCLK's The Local Take(Saturdays 8am) we're talking Diabetes with Tracey D. Brown, President and CEO of the American Diabetes Association. She recently released a statement regarding the alarming rate of COVID-19 in underserved communities mostly in the Black and Latinx areas.
Diabetes has been an underlying health challenge in our communities for decades. She posits that the high rates of COVID-19 exist for the same reasons that there are high rates of diabetes. Lack of access to healthcare, food and recreation. This is another systemic and institutional form of racism that exist in our country. This issue should be addressed on the local and national levels. In our country 10 - 20% of the population suffers from this chronic health disease that puts a strain on our entire healthcare system.
I ask Brown to share exactly what is DIABETES. She speaks to it being a chronic disease when your blood glucose (sugar) is too high. She describes the three types of the disease that exist. Tracey D. Brown has lived as a Diabetic for 16 years and knows that managing your behavior is the way you manage your disease.
I ask Brown about heath equity and the cultural habit in our community of waiting until we are at death's door and can no longer stand the pain before even seeking help. She speaks about the healthcare community meeting us where we are and attempting to establish trust and empathy. She also speaks about the unconscious bias that exist in the healthcare system. She speaks about slow thinking vs. fast thinking and the polices that have been ingrained in our country since the 1600’s.
She also speaks to the need for our community to establish new habits even with the barriers that currently exist. The CDC states that over 100 Million Americans are diabetic. Nearly 1 in 4 adults in the USA are living with the disease. In the Black community those numbers are even higher.
Brown is urging governors to bring health into these communities. Addressing the access to healthcare, food and recreation will go a long way in reducing health disparities.
For more information on preventing and living with Diabetes go to www.diabetes.com or call 1-800-DIABETES and on social media find Tracey D. Brown @TYPE2CEO