The National Minority Health Month Foundation (NMHMF) has awarded the Bernardo Alberto Houssay Award to Scripps Health’s Project Dulce, a community-based collaboration that effectively treats the unmet diabetes management needs of culturally specific populations in San Diego County. Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder accepted the award on behalf of Project Dulce, the Whittier Institute for Diabetes and Scripps Health at the annual NMHMF Summit in Washington, D.C. on Apr. 11.
Project Dulce, operated by the Scripps-affiliated Whittier Institute for Diabetes, was initiated in 1997 and now operates at 17 clinic sites after reaching more than 6,000 participants. Project Dulce uses nurses, dieticians and specially-trained peer educators (known as “promotoras”) to counsel diabetes patients while educating them to support other individuals with diabetes within their own cultural groups. Diabetes management classes have been adapted for Hispanic, African American, Filipino and Vietnamese populations and are taught in the patients’ native languages.
“Our commitment to providing for community needs often involves reaching beyond the walls of our institutions,” said Van Gorder. “Project Dulce has been a great model for collaborations to allow us to find creative and effective solutions to meet the community health needs.”
The Bernardo Alberto Houssay Award recognizes annually an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the elimination of diabetes in minority communities. The award’s namesake, Argentinean-born Houssay, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1947 for his discovery of the anterior pituitary lobe hormone’s role in the metabolism of sugar.
The National Minority Health Month Foundation was established in 1998 to strengthen national and local efforts to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness in racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations through the use of evidence-based, data-driven initiatives.