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PRC Member, The Food Trust Awarded Funding to Fight Diabetes and Obesity via Prerelease Initiative

WFMZ-TV: Novo Nordisk - January 13, 2021

Five innovative community-based programs have been selected to receive preliminary funding to help combat diabetes and obesity in Philadelphia through Cities Changing Diabetes. Cities Changing Diabetes is a global program sponsored by Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company, that brings together the private and public sectors to find new ways to change the trajectory of diabetes, including reducing obesity which is considered the biggest modifiable risk factor of diabetes, in their neighborhoods and communities. The winning programs were selected by a coalition of local public health, healthcare, faith, academic and community leaders.

Each initiative represents an innovation in disease prevention, care or management, and is supported by a coalition of Philadelphia-based non-profit and health care organizations. Together these programs create a set of powerful and diverse projects that will help address health inequities and bend the diabetes and obesity curve in Philadelphia. Each of the five selected programs will receive $20,000 in preliminary funding from Novo Nordisk and will begin rolling out later this year.

"These five initiatives that came out of Cities Changing Diabetes – Philadelphia represent a collaborative, city-wide effort to improve health and health care in our city. As our city and our country grapple with other pressing public health concerns with COVID-19, it's inspiring to see our community coming together to create new ways to address chronic disease in their own neighborhoods," said Wendy Nickel, MPH, President, Health Care Improvement Foundation of Philadelphia, convening partner of Cities Changing Diabetes –Philadelphia and member organization on the program's Advisory Board. "Together, we will bend the curve of diabetes and obesity in our city."

Prison Pre-Release Healthy Initiative

Developed by The Food Trust, City of Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, Thomas Jefferson University College of Nursing, Action Wellness Health Services, Temple University College of Public Health Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Philadelphia Department of Prisons and Community-based Reentry/Recovery houses (10-15 houses)

This initiative is a nutrition education/cooking series to help address obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions in a recently incarcerated population. The 6-week series is designed for inmates and returning citizens to help them make healthier food choices in prison and learn to shop and prepare healthy meals upon returning home.

"In 2020, together we faced a global pandemic and challenges to our economy. 2020 also cast a light on racial and social injustices facing the U.S. These dynamics have forced us to take a closer look at how we, as a society, manage chronic diseases and specifically what more needs to be done to address health inequities in communities across the country," said Doug Langa, executive vice president, North America Operations and President of Novo Nordisk Inc. "We know that it takes more than medicine for meaningful, sustainable change to occur. Through collaborations like Cities Changing Diabetes can we address some of the unique factors that make neighborhoods in highly affected areas of our country vulnerable to chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity."

The initiatives are grounded in Cities Changing Diabetes public health research. A year-long assessment identified certain neighborhood characteristics that were strongly associated with diabetes in urban settings and that have implications for neighborhood residents' engagement in diabetes prevention and management activities. The project teams can apply that knowledge to create programs tailored to Philadelphia neighborhoods' and communities' unique challenges to help people live healthier lives.

The Philadelphia neighborhood assessment was conducted by the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and UTHealth School of Public Health, the latter of which is the lead research partner for Cities Changing Diabetes in the US. The assessment was sponsored by Novo Nordisk.

To learn more about the new initiatives and the ideation and selection process, visit

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