Unlocking Health Equity and Type 1 Diabetes

Where you live, your race, your ethnicity, how well-educated you are and your income level should not determine your health and well-being.  

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But for millions of Americans, these and other factors can impact access to health-sustaining resources and can lead to negative health outcomes or health disparities. 

Health disparities affect numerous populations—including members of the diabetes community—but disproportionately affect Black, Hispanic and Native American people as well as people living in rural and underserved communities. 

At a Glance: Diabetes and Disparities  

Health Equity and Diabetes

As the largest nonprofit funder of research to discover T1D cures and a passionate advocate for policies and treatments that improve the quality of life for the T1D community, JDRF believes every individual with T1D should: 

  • Receive a prompt and correct diagnosis from an expert clinician; 
  • Have access to the full spectrum of affordable, live-saving treatments and resources to help manage their T1D; 
  • Be embraced by a supportive, diverse and inclusive community that understands the unique challenges of living with T1D;  
  • Have hope for a world in which no one has to live with the burden of T1D. 

Meeting these conditions would help move us to a state in which every individual with T1D has the same, obstacle-free opportunity to live a healthy, fulfilling life: a state of health equity.

What JDRF Is Doing to Help    

JDRF is committed to addressing health disparities experienced by members of the T1D community. Our work includes initiatives in the following areas: 

Advocacy

Education and Support

  • We offer educational programs and resources to support all who are living with T1D, as well as their friends, family members and communities.
  • Through the JDRF–Beyond Type 1 Alliance and other initiatives, we offer Spanish-language and culturally-relevant programs and resources for the T1D BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community.
  • We ensure that our education and support materials—such as the Bag of Hope and No Limits Teen and Adult care kits—are available to underserved communities.

Community Building

  • JDRF is developing meaningful and interactive diversity and inclusion training for staff and volunteers.
  • To further educate our community about health equity issues, we are partnering with peer organizations that are agents of change in this space. One such organization is the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to ensuring that high-risk racial and ethnic populations receive optimal health care.

Research

  • As an institution, JDRF seeks to promote gender equality and increase diversity, in all of its forms, throughout its programs. Studies have demonstrated that often subtle, unconscious, and implicit biases exist in academic science, which have the potential to negatively impact outcomes in review processes. To that end, we instruct our research grant reviewers to be aware of potential implicit biases when reviewing, scoring and discussing candidates and applications throughout the review process so that we can work together to combat their potential negative impact.
  • We recognize that members of the BIOPC community  are underrepresented in clinical trials and are committed to helping recruit more diverse participants.

A More Diverse, Inclusive Organization 

JDRF is making changes to become a more diverse, inclusive and culturally-aware organization–internally and externally. 

In 2020, we launched our Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, which will guide our efforts to foster a culture where everyone feels supported, respected and appreciated. These efforts will help address our critical need to better engage, maximize impact and improve health outcomes for diverse populations burdened with diabetes. 

More to Come 

JDRF will share updates as our diversity and inclusion initiatives develop and catalyze change for underserved members of the T1D community. 

Learn more about JDRF’s commitment to improving diversity and inclusion across our organization