Barbers & Clinicians Unite to Address Urgent Need for Diabetes Screening in Minority Communities

MANHATTAN, N.Y. - June 16, 2023 - PRLog -- DKBmed LLC is working with the University of Texas Southwestern Health Center to produce a quality improvement program targeted towards Dallas-based barbers and clinicians serving communities with large Black and Hispanic populations. Entitled Fade Out T2D: Barber and Clinician Outreach, this multipronged initiative is a companion to Fade Out HIV – a quality improvement program that fostered partnerships between barbers and clinicians and sought to screen Black adult men for HIV in the Los Angeles area. To date, Fade Out HIV has educated more than 385 barbers and 297 clinicians and delivered 308 HIV tests.

Although the prevalence of T2D is rising nationwide, the metabolic disorder disproportionately affects members of racial minority groups residing in the United States. Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health indicate that the rate of diabetes among Black men and women is 60% higher than that of non-Hispanic White people. Additionally, Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black individuals with diabetes are more likely to remain undiagnosed and untreated than non-Hispanic White individuals. These disparities in outcomes result, in part, from various systemic inequalities classifiable in the social determinants of health framework. Because of poor treatment, Black communities also tend to distrust health systems and access care less frequently than members of other racial groups.

"I'm excited to be part of this program because I believe we can address these disparities by joining the Black and Hispanic communities at the barbershop and giving them the knowledge they need, where they need it," notes Maria Esparza, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Fade Out Diabetes Program Director.

Fade Out T2D: Barber and Clinician Outreach endeavors to close these longstanding gaps in diabetes care with several interventions that hinge on the relationship that barbers have with their clients. For years, barbershops have been widely recognized as effective venues for delivering healthcare interventions. Barbers often view themselves as informal counselors and naturally cultivate trusting relationships with their clients; this affinity for their customers makes them ideal partners for education and facilitators of healthcare access. Previous initiatives in hypertension, diabetes, and HIV implemented in barbershops for Black men in urban areas of the United States were successful, with increased screening and linkage to care.

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