About the programme and activities
In November 2019, Cities Changing Diabetes – Philadelphia became the second US city and 25th city globally to join the network.
The Cities Changing Diabetes program invested more than a year researching the diabetes epidemic in Philadelphia. A community-wide assessment identified certain neighborhood characteristics that were strongly associated with diabetes in urban settings and that have implications for neighborhood residents’ engagement in diabetes prevention activities.
Philadelphia’s November 2019 launch event was hosted jointly by the Cities Changing Diabetes Philadelphia Advisory Board members, including the Healthcare Improvement Foundation, Public Health Management Corporation, and Novo Nordisk with nearly 100 health, faith, business, and community leaders from across the community in attendance.
The research in Philadelphia builds on the approach used in Houston and takes it to the next level: the neighbourhood. The research underscores the importance of community in addressing health and wellness and wellbeing. The Cities Changing Diabetes – Philadelphia coalition will use this information as it begins to develop and ultimately implement new programs to support diabetes prevention.
In 2020, as the Philadelphia program was getting underway, COVID-19 emerged, changing daily life and work around the world.
Because of COVID-19, the Cities Changing Diabetes – Philadelphia project team had to reimagine how the collaboration and co-creation of ideas — the hallmark of Cities Changing Diabetes — could happen, and how this innovation in public health could take place safely during a pandemic. The project team adopted a web portal to create a venue for stakeholder engagement, communication, and collaboration that is essential to the success of Cities Changing Diabetes.
The result was a virtual Innovation Challenge that generated 43 ideas from nearly 400 stakeholders – far surpassing the program goal of 25 ideas. The panel of local public health, healthcare, academic and community experts then selected 12 ideas for how to improve diabetes prevention and care in the city. The 12 idea teams took part in a 10-week virtual Boot Camp where participants further shaped their ideas and developed proposals to be pitched for preliminary funding from Novo Nordisk and development under Cities Changing Diabetes.
On January 13, 2021. the five selected ideas and their Action Workgroups were recognized and began the Action process. Each of the selected initiatives represents an innovation in disease prevention, care or management, and is supported by well-established Philadelphia-based non-profit/health care organizations. Combined, they create a set of powerful and diverse projects that people and organizations from across the city will collaborate on to help address health inequities and bend the diabetes and obesity curve in Philadelphia.
Activate! Advocates for Diabetes Prevention
Developed by the Health Promotion Council (HPC) and Public Health Management Corporation
This initiative will train three cohorts of youth ages 13 to 18 to become community advocates for policy and environmental change solutions to prevent the rising epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and pre-diabetes among young people. Through youth/adult partnerships and the use of new media platforms, these youth leaders will work to solve systemic public health challenges and collaboratively create solutions. Their work will include a social media campaign and workshop series designed to engage other youth in conversations about obesity and type 2 Diabetes prevention strategies and to empower them to advocate at the city and county levels to transform the underlying social and environmental factors of obesity and diabetes.
City of Hope: Latinos Preventing Diabetes
Developed by Esperanza and Jefferson Health System / Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Center for Urban Health / Thomas Jefferson University College of Population Health & College of Nursing
This inter-generational Latinx diabetes prevention program will engage youth leaders as catalysts for community health education. The program's cornerstone will be the empowerment of youth across the K-14 educational pipeline and the training of Community Health Workers drawn from a network of local community residents. The youth leaders and Community Health Workers will work together to build capacity and momentum for sustained obesity and diabetes prevention programming in Hunting Park – the heart of Hispanic North Philadelphia. The program’s core components will result in effective population-based screening and educational programs maximizing digital health to engage and track outcomes.
Developing a Peer & Community Approach for Managing Diabetes in Disability
Developed by Temple University’s College of Public Health
This community-based program will design a peer-based approach to connect individuals from disability communities experiencing Spinal Cord Injury, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and Serious Mental Illness to sustainable and accessible resources necessary to manage their diabetes and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Faculty from Temple’s College of Public Health will train and employ a peer workforce to support individuals with disabilities to identify person-centered approaches to treating and preventing diabetes. The peer workforce, comprised of individuals experiencing disability and diabetes, will play an essential role in supporting others with disabilities, educating health professionals, and serving as a critical voice for improving the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities.
Eat to Live
Developed by Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc., American Heart Association, Health Promotion Council, Public Health Management Corporation, and Sanctuary Farm.
This initiative will scale up the original Eat to Live pilot program, which integrates personalized non-medical interventions into the primary care services that patients already receive; and provides participants with a peer support network, monthly produce baskets, nutrition lessons, cooking demonstrations, and behavioral health support. The program will be replicated at Congreso and expanded to nine other Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The intention is to increase access to the program across the City of Philadelphia in FQHC settings that are already familiar and trusted for the target population. The goal is to serve 1,000 clients and minimize the challenges of limited access to healthy foods and unhealthy eating habits that contribute to higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension in underserved populations across the City.
Prison Pre-Release Healthy Initiative
Developed by The Food Trust, City of Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, Thomas Jefferson University College of Nursing, Action Wellness Health Services, Temple University College of Public Health Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Philadelphia Department of Prisons and Community-based Reentry/Recovery houses (10-15 houses)
This initiative is a nutrition education/cooking series to help address obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. The 6-week series is designed for inmates and returning citizens to help them make healthier food choices in prison and learn how to shop and prepare healthy meals upon returning home. In Philadelphia, one in six residents have been incarcerated. Approximately half of individuals in prison report having a chronic condition, including obesity and diabetes, often connected to an unhealthy diet. Individuals returning to the community after incarceration face financial insecurity and food insecurity, leading to challenges purchasing and eating healthy foods, resulting in a negative impact on health.
• American Diabetes Association
• American Heart Association
• Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists
• Congreso de Latinos Unidos
• Drexel Medicine
• Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
• Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
• Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health
• Greater Philadelphia Health Action
• Health Care Improvement Foundation
• Health Promotion Council
• Independence Blue Cross
• IBX Foundation
• Keystone First
• Independence Blue Cross
• Penn Asian Senior Services, Inc. (PASSi)
• Penn Medicine
• Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine
• Philadelphia Corporation on Aging
• Philadelphia County Medical Society
• Public Health Management Corporation
• Temple Health System
• Temple School of Public Health
• The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
• Thomas Jefferson Health System
• Thomas Jefferson Center for Urban Health
• Thomas Jefferson School of Population Health