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December 15, 2011

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Receives Diabetes Grant

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for American Indian Health was awarded $2.2 million from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation to implement community-focused interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes in tribal communities in the southwestern United States. The collaboration is part of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Together on Diabetes® program, a $100 million initiative to prevent type 2 diabetes in communities disproportionately affected by the disease.

Over the next two years, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health will pioneer intergenerational, family- and community-focused interventions in four tribal communities. The interventions will adapt a family health coach model to address diabetes prevention and care, screening and diagnosis, healthy lifestyle behavior change and patient/family self-management. American Indians and Alaska natives suffer the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the nation. Rates are as high as one in three in the Navajo and Apache communities.

“Diabetes, which has become a leading cause of morbidity around the world, affects Native American populations at disproportionately high rates. There is an urgent need to investigate innovative, community-driven ways to prevent and treat diabetes,” said Mathuram Santosham, MD, MPH, director of the Center for American Indian Health and a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of International Health. “In the past century, research conducted in collaboration with Native American populations has led to medical interventions that have saved millions of lives around the world,” added Santosham. “I believe that Native American populations will once again pave the way to groundbreaking research to tackle the global burden from this dreadful disease.”

Additional information about Together on Diabetes® is available at
Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or