Group of researchers at computer.The rates of diabetes and related comorbidities are disproportionately high in Western Tidewater compared with the rest of Virginia, as indicated by the Sentara Obici Hospital Community Needs Assessment from 2019. With higher rates of undereducation and obesity compared to their Hampton Roads counterparts, Western Tidewater residents have a significantly higher rate of hospitalization due to cardiovascular and diabetes-related complications. Thus, determining impactful methods for reducing the prevalence of diabetes, caring for those with diabetes, and reducing rates of both hospitalization and death from diabetes and its comorbid conditions will significantly impact healthcare costs and the use of healthcare resources in the region.

In UNITED, Improving, & Tracking Diabetes in Western Tidewater - commonly referred to as Western Tidewater UNITED - Medical and Health Professions students will have the opportunity to participate in a longitudinal clinical programs that aims to improve access to diabetes-related education and care in Western Tidewater. The program aims to identify and enroll participants with prediabetes and diabetes through widespread community screenings in the region and provide eligible individuals with multiple educational programs and clinical care interventions.

Students will:

  • Participate in the development of the community outreach and educational programs.
  • Coordinate and participate in diabetic screenings, assisting in consenting participants and obtaining demographic and clinical data.
  • Participate in patient education and behavioral support for all participants.

Goals for Western Tidewater include reducing the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes and its complications in Western Tidewater. Additionally, longitudinal aspects of the program aim to reduce Emergency Room visits and hospital admissions by providing targeted diabetes educational programs and care coordination. Read more about Western Tidewater UNITED's activities in this recent article.

Learn more about Western Tidewater UNITED's initiatives in this recent article and downloadable handout.

For additional details on Western Tidewater UNITED, you can download the handout: HERE

You may also contact Community-Engaged Learning for any additional questions.

Students, report your CEL hours: HERE