A Partnership to Improve Kentucky’s Health and End Diabetes

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Kentucky is a place that boasts a rich history, breathtaking landscapes and an unbridled spirit in the people who call this Commonwealth their home.

Unfortunately, Kentucky is also a state that faces serious health-related challenges. Among them is the prevalence of diabetes, which recent studies indicate afflict more than 1 in 10 Kentuckians. The annual price tag for those with diabetes on Medicaid in Kentucky is about $1 billion. The total annual cost of diabetes in Kentucky for 2015 is estimated to be $5.6 billion. 

Bob Babbage testifies before a recent legislative committee discussing diabetes
Click here to download the full report on Kentucky's World Diabetes Day 2015

Diabetes threatens to overwhelm the Kentucky healthcare system without continued efforts to find innovative and efficient strategies for prevention and care. 

That’s why Novo Nordisk and Cofounder stepped in to take action. And as is the case with Cofounder, what was initially a client turned into a cause.

``Ky must break free of diabetes epidemic`` | Herald-Leader Op-Ed

A Plan of Action

Working hand-in-hand with legislative leaders and public and private health organizations, Cofounder helped write, define and pass the nation’s first comprehensive, statewide diabetes action plan, building bipartisan support and overcoming strong bureaucratic objections and roadblocks.  The result was legislation that mandated a detailed report on the effects of diabetes in Kentucky and a summary of action needed to address the epidemic.

Maintaining Critical Insurance Coverage

Cofounder worked to stop efforts to diminish the diabetes benefit as a part of health insurance in Kentucky. Working with the American Diabetes Association and numerous partner groups, a commitment to diabetes prevention in coverages by Kentucky health insurers was kept in place.

Bob Babbage and Novo Nordisk recognized before Lexington Urban County Council

A Focus on Education

When it comes to diabetes prevention, education is the key. To address this, Cofounder helped write and pass the nation’s first licensure program for diabetes educators.  The model law raised the level of professionalism for diabetes educators and enhanced standards of care.  Hundreds of new educators have been licensed in Kentucky since the legislation was enacted and the legislation has since been copied in Pennsylvania and Florida.

Results That Matter

Through education, prevention and the legislative measures taken to address diabetes in Kentucky, recent studies indicate that the prevalence of diabetes is beginning to decline. According to the American Public Health Association, the incidence of diabetes among Kentucky residents has declined each year since 2012.

Read the full America's Health Rankings report

More About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is the world’s leading diabetes care company, built on a legacy of scientific innovation and patient-centered care. 

For more than 90 years, Novo Nordisk has been committed to defeating diabetes, and they’re working just as hard to battle hemophilia, human growth disorders, and other serious conditions. 

We look at it from the perspective of the patient; it is important for us that diabetes patients everywhere in the world have an opportunity to have access to high quality, professionally manufactured medication.

Lars Sorensen, CEO, Novo Nordisk
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