Approximately 11% of adults in the Richmond area have diabetes, which is above the national average. In response to this community need, the YMCA of Greater Richmond has developed a community-oriented diabetes self-management program. The program has served over 300 individuals to date.
The goal of this partnership between the YMCA of Greater Richmond and the VCU Departments of Family Medicine and Psychology is to build research capacity regarding diabetes self-management in Richmond. The YMCA has engaged VCU to collaborate on evaluating their diabetes self-management program and to develop recommendations for program sustainability. This project will act as a catalyst for:
- Identifying best-practices for community-oriented diabetes self-management programs, especially concerning the bi-directional relationships between diabetes and depression.
- Developing opportunities to engage VCU students at the University of Michigan in community-based research and service-learning.
- Building sustainable research capacity for diabetes within the Richmond community through the mutual exchange of expertise, training, and resources.
As part of this project, the YMCA of Greater Richmond Diabetes Wellness Team sponsors Community Advisory Board to support diabetes-related research efforts. The Community Advisory Board facilities the co-learning process between the YMCA practitioners and academic researchers and provide a means of engaging community members and stakeholders in diabetes research. It supports the mutual exchange of expertise, training, and resources throughout our ongoing and future diabetes-related research, and provides a platform for the dissemination of scholarship via public events, and newsletters.