Prevention and Wellness: Sanofi US Focuses on Diabetes and Minority Populations
In part 1 of our discussion with Sanofi US Vice President of Chronic Disease Prevention, Wellness & Innovation Angela Moskow, she talked about her 17 years of work in the field of diabetes and how that has aided in her transition into her current role of building partnerships to help improve the nation’s health. Today, Angela talks about more ways Sanofi US is making health partnerships and also some of the ways she continues to help those living with diabetes.
Q: There have been specific wellness and prevention efforts to focus on the senior, minority and female populations at Sanofi US. Can you tell us more about what is being done there and why this has been identified as an area of focus?
A: Simply put, these are three very influential segments in healthcare, so we should be focused on them to better understand them and deliver needed healthcare solutions. With the “silver tsunami” upon us, Baby Boomers aren’t the seniors of yesteryear, not only by the sheer number of them today, but also because they’re savvier healthcare consumers and will demand a different, more engaged type of healthcare.
Last year Sanofi US partnered with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) in a pilot program, and Community Connections to Aging Well (CCAW), a diabetes self-management program targeted to seniors. It involved the active participation of our sales representatives in Atlanta, Baltimore County and San Antonio, who encouraged providers to refer Medicare patients with diabetes to diabetes self-management programs at nearby senior centers.
These six-week workshops provided patients with self-management support to increase their knowledge, skills, and improve their attitudes and behaviors to help manage their blood sugars. Applying the learnings of those pilot programs, this year Sanofi US will continue to partner with NCOA to promote diabetes self-management programs to mostly Hispanic seniors with diabetes in San Antonio.
We know that by 2050, or even sooner according to some analysts, minorities will be the majority in the U.S., and incidence of chronic disease among minorities is increasing at alarming rates. Women, in addition to being the “chief wellness officers” in their families, are also the nation’s caregivers and need engagement and healthcare solutions. We will continue to work with all three of these very important segments.
Q: Now let’s focus on diabetes. How important is prevention and early intervention in slowing down the diagnosis rates we see growing every year?
A: Prevention and early intervention are critical to reversing the acceleration of the people with diabetes in the U.S. Currently 8 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, up from just a few years ago. At current spending rates, diabetes-related spending is expected to triple – to $336 billion – by 2034 and this figure is before indirect costs are calculated. The dollars involved are important and must be addressed, but the personal toll that diabetes can have is even more devastating. The hopeful side to this issue is that with many working together to address the multi-faceted components of the situation, we may have a positive impact, help people prevent developing diabetes and improve outcomes for those already diagnosed.
Q: What suggestions might you have for our readers in terms of what they can be doing through their own networks and communities to aid in prevention or increase awareness of risk factors for diseases such as diabetes?
A: Start close to home – in your home, your neighborhood, your school, your community or your town. Start looking for ways to engage in prevention and wellness efforts, there are opportunities all around us and the key is start small. I recently had the opportunity to attend the Clinton Foundation’s inaugural Health Matters Conference and was struck by a comment President Clinton said, “Everybody’s health is everybody’s problem.” It’s so simple, and yet so very true. We need to bring his statement to life and do our part when it comes to activating ourselves and others in health and well-being.
Q: Is there anything else, we have not covered, that you would like to share with our readers?
A: The biggest thought I would like to leave people with is that we all have the ability to help make the U.S. a healthier place. No matter how small you think your contribution may be, you can make a difference. As an example, two things that I have committed to do personally is first, talk to the pastor at my church and get the monthly fellowship gathering to not focus on doughnuts, but rather healthier options. And second, become more active in understanding and reaching out around the food being served in my kids’ cafeterias. I believe big changes happen locally with small initial steps.
I find it refreshing that Angela is “walking the walk” – she’s making changes in her own life and community based on what she sees in her work. I’d like to thank Angela for making time to answer my questions and for being an inspiration in how health care companies can truly focus on a patient’s overall health and well-being.
All the best,