More than 29 million Americans—approximately 9 percent of the population—are living with diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vulnerable and underserved populations bear a disproportionate burden of diabetes and its related complications. These populations also experience persistent inequities in access to high-quality diabetes care.
Promoting health equity among people with diabetes requires a multifaceted approach that improves the delivery of health care while addressing the complex array of interrelated factors that influence health. Intersectoral collaborations can reduce health disparities by integrating high-quality medical care with resources drawn from the social and environmental sectors, such as food, housing, and neighborhood and physical environments. For example, intersectoral collaborations can help improve access to nutritious food and options for physical activity, which are important to better outcomes.
The goal of the Merck Foundations' Bridging the Gap program is to improve access to high-quality diabetes care and reduce health disparities among vulnerable and underserved populations with type 2 diabetes in the United States. The Foundation is committing $10 million over five years to support Bridging the Gap and its program partners in selected communities across the country.