For conducting this research, the author selected St. Paul, Minnesota, as a community for analysis. It was found that the residents of the community with diabetes have the following resources at their disposal: hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, insurance programs, state and national diabetes programs, support groups, and special education. For minority diabetics, receiving medical help is still a challenge due to the lack of cultural competence of the clinicians and a language barrier.
Community Resources for People with Diabetes
Community and national resources available for the residents of St. Paul, who have diabetes, can be divided into six groups: hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, insurance programs, special programs, support groups, and diabetes education.
Hospitals and Clinics
A number of hospitals and clinics suited for the needs of patients with diabetes are available in St. Paul or close to the area.
Mill City Clinic, located in Minneapolis, offers a coordinated healthcare in a small clinic. The clinic is recognized for its achievements in managing diabetes (Clinic overview, n.d., par. 1-5). The clinic works with various types of insurance plans and self-pay. It also offers a community care program for the patients in need (Financial information, n.d., par. 5).
Sanford Murray County Clinic in Fulda provides medical services for insured, uninsured, and underinsured diabetics. It also offers financial assistance (Clinic list for Minnesota, n.d., par. 63).
Allina Health West St. Paul Clinic offers hospital care, home care, medical transportation, and medical equipment, as well as interruption services. Financial assistance is available to people in need.
HealthEast Care System in St. Paul offers type 2 diabetes management services, including those for pregnant women (About HealthEast diabetes care, n.d., par. 6-7). Apart from insured patients, the system accepts uninsured ones and offers them a discount. Financial aid is available (Billing & insurance, n.d., par. 1, 15-17).
Many pharmacies in the area offer necessary products for diabetics.
Pro Pharmacy, located in South St. Paul, offers diabetes products and services, medical reviews, diabetes consulting, and a diabetes control newsletter (Pro Pharmacy Health Mart pharmacy, n.d., par. 2, 4). The same range of products and services is offered by another Health Mart pharmacy, West Seventh Pharmacy in St. Paul (West Seventh Pharmacy, n.d., par. 2, 4).
Allina Health has two pharmacies in St. Paul (Allina Health Ritchie Pharmacy and Allina Health United Pharmacy) and three in Minneapolis. Allina Health offers free mail delivery of prescriptions and safe unused or expired medicine disposal. The pharmacies serve the residents of the communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Allina Health patients (Allina Health Pharmacy, n.d., par. 1-4).
Walgreens at St. Paul offers various pharmacy services, including diabetes medications and Medicare reviews (Schedule appointment, n.d., par. 1-2).
Special insurance programs run by the state and federal government are available for the residents of the community. Minnesota State Insurance Department is responsible for providing the residents of the state with accurate information on insurance and aiding those, who have problems with insurance. Individuals can purchase insurance at State Insurance Marketplace. Some individuals are eligible for financial aid. For Minnesotans from low-income families, the state government offers Medicaid program. The children’s health insurance program (CHIP) exist for Minnesotans up to 19, whose parent are not eligible for Medicaid but cannot afford insurance. Individuals over 65 and disabled ones are eligible for Medicare.
Special programs are offered by the state government of Minnesota and the federal government for the individuals, who have diabetes. Among them is Minnesota Diabetes Program. There is also a wide range of diabetes management assistance programs available nationwide. The programs offer access to free or low-cost healthcare services, as well as they offer coverage for insulin pumps, special help for migrant workers with diabetes, special help for aged diabetics, preventive services, kidney dialysis and transplantation, Medicare prescriptions, therapies, access to Medicaid, legal assistance, reduced-cost insulin and other necessary medications, reduced-cost medical supplies and assistive devices, technological assistance, scholarships for prospective and current college students with diabetes, and financial aid for K-12 students with diabetes (Islets of Hope, 2007, p. 2-24). Can Do Canines offers specially trained dogs for diabetics. The dogs can smell the changes in the sugar level in human’s blood (Diabetes assist dogs, n.d., par. 1-2).
A high number of support groups is available for St. Paul resident with diabetes. American Diabetes Association mentions Aitkin, Andover, Baxter Adult Group, Blaine, Buffalo, Cottage Grove, Duluth, Fridley, Hastings, Hermantown, McGregor, Mora, Pine City, Shakopee, St. Paul, Stillwater, and Wadena as regular support groups available for St. Paul resident with diabetes. Additionally, there is a Minneapolis Support Group for African American adults, Minneapolis Elder Women’s Group, Minneapolis American Indian Adults & Elders Support Group, Minneapolis Seniors with Diabetes, and Minneapolis Adults with Vision Loss Group. Most groups for adults help people with type 1 and 2 diabetes. For children, the following support groups are available: Park Rapids Support Group (type 1) and St. Paul Children’s Support Group (both types). For their parents, there is St. Paul Parents of Children with Diabetes Group; helps the parents of the patients of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics with type 1 (Support groups, n.d., par. 1-37).
In long-term diabetes management, proper diabetes education is an essential step to a safe life. The members of the community are provided with resources for diabetes education.
Minnesota State Department of Health has announced Diabetes Self-management Education (DSME). DSME is aimed to provide adult residents of the state, who have diabetes, with relevant basic knowledge on long-term self-care. In the program, basic care skills such as measuring blood glucose level, keeping a healthy diet, maintaining proper physical activity, and dental care are introduced to the recipients (Programs & initiatives in communities – Diabetes prevention and management programs, n.d., par. 6-7).
Hospitals and clinics often provide diabetes education. For instance, diabetes management classes are offered by HealthEast System in three of its clinics in St. Paul. According to the system’s website, their qualified diabetes educators offer training in monitoring blood sugar level, planning a diet, medication use, dealing with stress and motivation, physical exercises, getting emotionally used to diabetes, and dealing with complications (Diabetes education, n.d., par. 3).
Potential Advantages and Disadvantages for Vulnerable Populations
Among the members of the selected community with diabetes, there are representatives of vulnerable populations, whose position certainly differs from that of the others. On the one hand, minorities receive special attention from the authorities, as they strive to provide health equity. For instance, there is a special office in Minnesota State Department of Health for multicultural and minorities health. Special programs are offered for minorities with diabetes. On the other hand, health disparity still exists in Minnesota due to the lack of cultural competence among the healthcare providers. Aside from that, some minorities face a language barrier while receiving medical help (Health disparities, n.d., par. 1-7).
For the residents of St Paul, Minnesota, who have diabetes, the following resources are available: hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, insurance options, state and national programs, support groups, and special training. Despite the efforts of the state government, health disparity still exists. Receiving help is a problem for minority diabetics due to the lack of cultural competence and a language barrier.
About HealthEast diabetes care. (n.d.). Web.
Allina Health Pharmacy. (n.d.). Web.
Billing & insurance. (n.d.). Web.
Clinic list for Minnesota. (n.d.). Web.
Clinic overview. (n.d.). Web.
Diabetes assist dogs. (n.d.). Web.
Diabetes education. (n.d.). Web.
Financial information. (n.d.). Web.
Health disparities. (n.d.). Web.
Islets of Hope. (2007). Assistance programs for diabetes supplies, insulin pumps, free and reduced-cost insulin and prescription medications, scholarships. Web.
Pro Pharmacy Health Mart pharmacy. (n.d.). Web.
Programs & initiatives in communities – Diabetes prevention and management programs. (n.d.). Web.
Schedule appointment. (n.d.). Web.
Support groups. (n.d.). Web.
West Seventh Pharmacy. (n.d.). Web.