November 2014 National REACH Coalition Newsletter
"Advancing Racial and Ethnic Health Equity"

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

NRC Recognizes Diabetes Awareness 

Each month, the National REACH Coalition joins organizations across the country committed to providing resources and support to communities, particularly racial and ethnic communities, burdened by chronic diseases. 

This edition of the NRC Newsletter recognizes Diabetes Awareness and Prevention. This is the time of year when national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies work together to encourage Diabetes prevention and provide greater access to services available to those at risk for these health disparities.

In support of this cause and to spread awareness throughout communities across the nation, NRC recognizes Diabetes Awareness Month.
NRC Mission:
To Increase the capacity of underserved racial and ethnic communities across the U.S. to achieve health equity.

About Us:
The National REACH Coalition (NRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located in Washington D.C., that is committed to the elimination of health disparities and the achievement of health equity among racial and ethnic minorities.

This NRC Newsletter Edition Features Stories On:
The Health Equity Leadership & Exchange Network (HELEN)
Support the National REACH Coalition's work to promote, develop, and implement innovative techniques aimed at the elimination of health disparities within communities of color. Contribute to our efforts by making a generous donation to the National REACH Coalition's Annual Fund.


During the holiday season, Support NRC's efforts as we advance racial and ethnic health equity into the new year. Donations are tax deductible.

Diabetic Trends Among Racial and Ethnic Groups

According to the American Diabetes Association, African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. While there may be other contributing factors, these groups  are more likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure. The graph below displays the prevalence of diabetes among racial and ethnic groups.

Diabetic Trends By Race/Ethnicity



Diabetes Awareness Makes a Difference

While some things that contribute to the development of diabetes are beyond a person's control, there are also a number of modifiable risk factors. By making healthy changes in these areas, people can reduce their risks or delay the development of diabetes and improve their overall quality of life.  
Those factors include:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
    In addition to causing damage to the cardiovascular system, untreated high blood pressure has been linked to the development of diabetes. Learn more about high blood pressure and how to control it.
  • Abnormal cholesterol (lipid) levels
    Low HDL "bad" cholesterol" and/or high triglycerides can increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes.  Both of these abnormalities can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.  A healthy eating plan, sufficient aerobic physical activity, and a healthy weight can help improve abnormal lipids.  Sometimes medications are necessary.
Did you know?  Diabetes affects an estimated 23.6 million people in the US (90 percent to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes) - 17.9 million have been diagnosed, but 5.7 million are unaware they have the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association.

NRC's Capacity Building Technical Assistance and Contract Services 

On October 29th, the National REACH Coalition hosted a webinar on its Capacity Building Technical Assistance and Contract Services program. Drawing upon lessons learned and the experiences of the REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) grantees who founded the Coalition, the NRC provides capacity building technical assistance and contract services in the areas of racial and ethnic health equity, program planning and development, research and evaluation, strategic communications and marketing, and resource development and sustainability planning.
A key facet of the program is flexibility; Clients can choose the areas they would like to focus, and can combine capacity building with a contract for specific services, such as completing evaluations or community health needs assessments. 
The National REACH Coalition's approach is based on its Model for Social Change, which holds at its center the belief that the achievement of racial and ethnic health equity is through Community Engagement and Empowerment. The NRC's work is motivated by a recognition of the unique knowledge and experience of a community’s collective history.  It emphasizes the importance of culturally tailoring all strategies, messages, and materials to reflect the unique characteristics of each community we work with.
The NRC’s decade of experience, along with a national network of experts, staff, and consultants have achieved impactful results for community-based programs across the country. Phyllis Clark, Founder and CEO of Healthy Heritage Movement, a NRC network member said, “I am a pro…and have been doing this a while.  But you have taught me so much more, NRC has strengthened my knowledge, given me more confidence.”  Katie Tupua, Program Coordinator of the American Samoa Community Cancel Control coalition, another NRC network member said, “Technical Assistance provided by the NRC for our REACH project  has been invaluable, specifically in the areas communications and evaluation.”  
Working on a community-based public health project and need some help with a community needs assessment, writing a work plan, creating an evaluation plan or surveys and analysis, communications?  Interested in more information?  Please visit the NRC’s website and complete the Service Assessment form: and submit it to Also access the detailed webinar on NRC Services.


ACA Enrollment Period Begins November 15th

The Open Enrollment period for the 2015 coverage through Health Insurance Exchange begins on November 15, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015.

If you are currently enrolled in a 2014 Marketplace plan, your benefit year ends December 31, 2014. To continue health coverage in 2015, you can renew your current health plan or choose a new plan through the Marketplace during the 2015 Open Enrollment period.

For more information regarding Important Marketplace deadlines, visit

HELEN members can access state Health Insurance Exchange and Medicaid Expansion information on

King v. Burwell, No. 14-114

On Friday, November 7 the Supreme Court agreed to hear a new challenge to one of the most central aspects of the Affordable Care Act.The case concerns tax subsidies for private health insurance plans.Nearly 4 out 5 people currently enrolled receive subsidies, which average about $246 a month. A Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the subsidies will determine whether they continue. If the Court rules against subsidies, many of those currently enrolled would have to pay additional fees and may not be able to afford their insurance plans. The court is set to hear the case in the first week of March.

Are you a HELEN Member?

The Health Equity Leadership Exchange Network (HELEN) is a collaborative effort between the National REACH Coalition, Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Collaborative for Health Equity.

HELEN is a national network designed to support and strengthen health equity leadership and the exchange of ideas and information relative to the advancement of health equity in laws, policies, and programs. The HELEN forum connects health equity champions, provide timely and essential data that informs strategies and approaches at the local, state, regional and national level.

HELEN utilizes social media, webinars, conferences, and events to empower individuals, organizations and communities that play a significant role in the development of health equity laws, policies and programs.
To learn more about the project and become a HELEN project member, please visit:   

Support HELEN by making a donation today!

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Do you have an idea for a future article or is there a specific topic/issue you'd like us to cover? Please feel free to e-mail us at and let us know. We want to hear from you!

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