& Vascular

Published on January 5th, 2018


Dr. Bhatt Shares News of New Diabetes Awareness Program

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you know, diabetes is one of the most significant health challenges facing the communities served by St. Luke’s University Health Network. According to the Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare’s 2017 Type 2 Diabetes Report, 48.3 percent of men and 51.7 percent of women of working age (18-64) in the Lehigh Valley have been diagnosed with diabetes.*

And the problem is getting worse. The percentage of Lehigh Valley adults diagnosed with diabetes increased to 45.4 percent in 2016, climbing 2 percent in only two years.

Changing this trend will not be easy, but I am happy to inform you that St. Luke’s University Health Network will be launching a new campaign to combat this epidemic. In November, St. Luke’s joined forces with Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and Eli Lilly and Company to inform our patients, employees and the general public about the connection between diabetes and heart disease. St. Luke’s – the first health system selected to partner with BI – will leverage the resources of the For Your SweetHeart public health campaign. Leading cardiologists and endocrinologists have reviewed and validated elements of the campaign.

A steering committee has been convened to develop tactics to address the growing prevalence of diabetes among St. Luke’s patients and employees and the public. Under my direction, it is comprised of members of marketing, development, community health, employee health, quality, and analytics and business departments, as well as BI/Lilly representatives.

Currently underway is a public education campaign that will include:

  • Information on the St. Luke’s website
  • Social media posts
  • A Health Now TV program to air in February

In the coming months, the committee will develop a more comprehensive program to help people with diabetes manage their illness better and individuals at risk from developing the disease. We will keep you abreast of components of the campaign as they develop. We consider your involvement vital to our success as the majority of people with diabetes are diagnosed by primary care physicians.

We look forward to working with you later this year when we roll out the patient component of the campaign. Until then, best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year,

Bankim Bhatt, MD
Chief, Division of Endocrinology

*The report was produced by Sanofi U.S. (Sanofi), in conjunction with the Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare (LVBCH) – http://www.lvbch.com/upload/file/LVBCH_2017_Diabetes_Report_FINAL.pdf

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