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What India Can Teach Indiana About Fighting Diabetes

By Mark Leon Goldberg

Amy Israel is the global health thought leadership and policy director for the health and pharmaceutical company, Lilly.  In that role, she's recently launched a new pilot project to combat high rates of diabetes in three neigbourhoods of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. But this is a global health story, because the pilot project is using a model for health intervention that was pioneered in the developing world. This is often called the community health worker model, and global health nerds will be familiar with its basic outlines. But in short, it is the idea of training people of the community to be first points of contact between their neighbors and the health care system.   In our conversation, Amy discusses how the pilot project will work with three poorer neighborhoods of Indianapolis, where rates of diabetes are exponentially higher than in wealthier parts of the city and state. We discuss the link between diabetes and poverty and also, more broadly, how health ideas created in the developing world are being applied here in the United States.    

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