History

Established in 1998, the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition was formed in response to community leadership concerns about the availability of high quality diabetes care for all people.  A grassroots organization coordinated the early activities of the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition and the American Diabetes Association (Gateway Chapter) provided fiscal management of project funds.

FORMATIVE YEARS: EARLY HIGH PROFILE SUCCESS

In the early years (1998-2002), the organization’s efforts were focused on (1) providing screening services and general education services directly to the community via large events and (2) developing unified standards of care for Type 2 diabetes across all health plans.   Promoted in partnership with health plans and employers/unions, so-called Diabetes Fair events drew more than 4,000 people over three years to a common place for lectures, counseling, lab services, and screenings (e.g., foot and eye exams).  The St. Louis Diabetes Coalition brought together medical specialists to develop a common set of guidelines to be used by the five  major health plans operating in the region.  The guidelines were first published in 1999 (updated in 2002) and distributed to all physicians in Missouri via partnerships with the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and many pharmaceutical companies.

PROVING THE POSSIBILTY OF QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

In 2002, survey research with approximately 300 people with diabetes pointed the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition in the direction of quality improvement within primary care office setting.  Since more than 85% of all people with diabetes recieve their medical care from family medicine and internal medicine physicians, this venue was deemed an excellent way to demonstrate system-level change.  Working in partnership with the International Diabetes Center, the Coalition faciliated a demonstration project in which 32 primary care physcians of SSM DePaul Medical Group achieved recognition under the NCQA Diabetes Physician Recognition Program (DPRP).  The project, made possible with support from the Missouri Hospital Association’s Community Parnterhip Grant Program and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, helped establish the importance of NCQA regonition across the market.  Today, the St. Louis metropolitan area is a national leader in the number of NCQA DPRP sites, especially where such distinction is not directly linked to pay-for-performance.

MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT THROUGH COMMITTEES AND SPECIAL PROJECTS

The first 5 years of the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition were made possible through committee work that involved more than 75 individuals.  The committees were Education Committee Provider Committee, organized with specific objectives

OPENING ACCESS TO SELF-MANAGEMENT EDUCATION

In 2002, survey research with approximately 300 people with diabetes

OPENING ACCESS TO SELF-MANAGEMENT EDUCATION

In 2002, survey research with approximately 300 people with diabetes