Together, the organizations will close care gaps by reaching the most vulnerable populations and providing diabetes prevention education
CHICAGO, Oct. 24, 2023 — There’s a new way to get connected to diabetes prevention in Chicago. The Illinois Public Health Institute, a statewide non-profit working to improve the health of communities, teamed up with Unite Us, one of the nation’s leading software companies enabling cross-sector collaboration to improve people’s health and well-being, to help close the education gaps for prediabetes in historically oppressed and disadvantaged communities throughout Chicago.
One in every three adults living in the United States has prediabetes. With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) offers a lifestyle change program with evidence-based classes for people at risk for type 2 diabetes. Chicago CARES to Prevent Diabetes was launched by the Illinois Public Health Institute in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health in 2018 to help address the disparities in diabetes prevalence across Chicago. While the program has helped launch over 90 programs hosted by 17 organizations across the city, receiving referrals for the program has been challenging. Partnering with Unite Us is a part of that solution.
Unite Us connects people to much-needed resources and services, such as assistance with food insecurity, housing, employment, and much more. Partners in the Chicago CARES network are connected through the Unite Us shared technology platform, which enables them to securely send and receive electronic referrals, address people’s social needs, and improve health across communities.
“While our network partners have reached over 1,000 participants at risk for diabetes in Chicago, the partnership with Unite Us will allow us to create a new referral entry point to the program,” said Janna Simon, Director of the Center for Policy and Partnership Initiatives at the Illinois Public Health Institute. “Community-based organizations and healthcare providers will be able to use the Unite Us platform to connect their clients to a DPP lifestyle change program near them.”
With a focus on Chicago’s west and south sides, Unite Us will use its cutting-edge software system to support collaboration between health and social services support organizations to coordinate care for those who need it most.
“Our partnership with Chicago CARES will connect individuals and families at risk for type 2 diabetes to more community-based resources through Unite Us’ robust, coordinated care network. By providing an accessible database for referrals, we’re helping improve health outcomes within the Chicago CARES community,” said Annika Gage, Director, Customer and Community Success at Unite Us.
“I started this program just before the pandemic. The first class was in person, and we had an opportunity to meet people, share stories, encourage each other, and get moving. After COVID-19 hit, our group started using Zoom to hold our meetings,” said Katherine, a former DPP participant. “That was different, but I enjoyed it because it allowed accountability. I was able to build some relationships, have accountability, receive encouragement, and experiment with some recipes, and I started exercising with the group. It’s a great program.”
Connecting to a DPP lifestyle change program can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Nonprofits, community-based organizations, and other providers who want to connect their clients and patients to the Chicago CARES DPP services within Unite Us’ network can reach out to uniteus.com/contact/
About the Illinois Public Health Institute
The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) mobilizes stakeholders, catalyzes partnerships, and leads action to improve public health systems to maximize health, health equity, and quality of life for people and communities. IPHI is a non-profit 501(c)3 focused on collaborative systems innovations addressing critical public health issues.
Illinois Public Health Institute Media Contact:
Aaliyah Sweet P. Bailey
About Unite Us
Unite Us is the nation’s leading software company, enabling collaboration across sectors to improve the health and well-being of communities. Unite Us’ secure solutions establish a new standard of care that identifies and predicts social care needs, helps connect people to services, and leverages meaningful outcomes data to further drive community investment. Through Unite Us’ national network and software, community-based organizations, government agencies, health plans, and healthcare providers are all connected to better collaborate and meet the needs of the individuals in their communities. Follow Unite Us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Unite Us Media Contact: