Cities for Life is a program led by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation with support from Sanofi US to connect people living with diabetes to community-based resources that can help them manage their condition.
The results of the program, which launched in April 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama, suggest that the Cities for Life model helps improve diabetes management for people living with the disease and may help others reduce their risk for developing the disease. Cities for Life announced results from the program at the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessions (3-page PDF file). Three analyses of data were presented at the meeting, showing the program helped decrease blood glucose (HbA1c) levels and systolic blood pressure, increased patient belief in their ability to self-manage their disease and improved community awareness of diabetes and support for the disease.
For other cities interested in implementing the Cities for Life model, Cities for Life has developed an online toolkit of best practices to help other cities implement the Cities for Life model. The toolkit is available on our website
Currently, it is projected that nearly 26 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes, including seven million who are undiagnosed. Cities for Life sought to alter this trend by addressing some of the challenges of diabetes management today. Since diabetes is a disease that requires 24/7 management, Cities for Life used a patient navigation model housed in primary care practices to link people living with diabetes to community resources to help them manage their disease, providing them with a “surround-sound” system of support.
The Cities for Life model integrates primary care with community support for the day-to-day management of diabetes. The clinical component of Cities for Life included primary care practices that referred 179 patients living with or at risk for type 2 diabetes to patient navigators who worked with patients to identify the best programs and resources to help them manage their diabetes. The community component of Cities for Life was driven by a Community Action Team of more than 80 organizations drawing from local primary care, health, civic, business, faith, and media organizations with programs and activities that can help those with diabetes. Led by a Steering Committee, the Community Action Team helped supplement these resources on the My Diabetes Connect website, a free searchable database that alerts people to the availability of local programs and services.