Puerto Rican Diabetes Association Uses AHRQ's Effective Health Care Summary

Comparative Effectiveness
August 2012

The Puerto Rican Diabetes Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes prevention, diagnosis, and management of diabetes, uses AHRQ's Effective Health Care (EHC) summary "Premixed Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes: A Guide for Adults" to supplement educational materials provided to its members and the community.

Elba Blanes, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Diabetes Association, says, "The EHC summary supports our work and provides reliable scientific information to help patients understand and manage their diabetes."

The Association serves not only its members and individuals at risk of developing diabetes but other populations as well. Services offered to the community include education and advice to help improve health and quality of life. An in-house nutritionist and diabetes educator provide diet counseling and diabetes information to approximately 200 individuals. Those visiting the nutritionist receive a copy of AHRQ's EHC summary on diabetes. The group also reaches out to the community by participating in health fairs, conferences, and other events, and a radio program that airs public service announcements through the island's media outlets.

Another initiative of the Association is a week-long exhibit at "Plaza las Americas," the largest shopping center in the Caribbean, which receives 50,000 visitors daily. In its booth, the Association offers free glucose screening, nutritional and diabetes information, weight control screenings, and other services provided by dieticians, medical technologists, certified diabetes educators, and other health professionals. According to Isabel Candelario, Medical Technologist for the Association, over 75 of AHRQ's EHC summaries were distributed at this event in 2011.

Every year, the Association develops a series of community events in the cities of San Juan and Mayaguez. This event, called "EXPO Diabetes," is the only convention in Puerto Rico fully dedicated to diabetes, seeing more than 3,000 visitors annually. Blanes says, "The goal is to look for opportunities outside the office and to be present where the community and family gather. Sometimes an initial glucose test triggers the need to see the doctor and to get more information about diabetes and how to control high blood sugar levels or prevent the condition."

Candelario adds, "We offer the test free of charge as a service to our community. Puerto Rico has the highest incidence of diabetes within the United States and its territories. The EHC summary is always distributed to all attendants who get the glucose screening."

The Puerto Rican Diabetes Association has been serving families in Puerto Rico since 1988, with headquarters located in San Juan.

The Spanish-language EHC consumer summary, "Premixed Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes: A Guide for Adults," is available at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageaction=displayproduct&productID=511.

Impact Case Study Identifier: 
AHRQ Product(s): Effective Health Care Program
Topics(s): Chronic Care, Diabetes
Geographic Location: Puerto Rico
Implementer: Puerto Rican Diabetes Association
Date: 08/01/2012
Page last reviewed August 2012