Press Release: Diabetes Rates Soar among Latino Families:
Press Release: Diabetes Rates Soar among Latino Families:                        Research Begins To Understand Causes and Solutions

Press Release: Diabetes Rates Soar among Latino Families: Research Begins To Understand Causes and Solutions

Santa Barbara, CA---As diabetes takes aim at the Latino community, the William Sansum Diabetes Center (WSDC) just launched Mil Familias, an initiative to find out why Latinos are at a much greater risk for type 2 diabetes and what can be done to reverse the alarming trend. Santa Barbara residents will play a key role in landmark research that could have a global impact on the Latino diabetes epidemic. This fall, the first participant was enrolled in Mil Familias. The program will ultimately recruit 1000 local families, who have at least one family member with type 2 diabetes.
Latinos make up 43% of the population in Santa Barbara County and have nearly double the rate of diabetes compared to the rest of the population. Mil Familias will research previously unrecognized factors including: stress, poverty, culture, crime, education and pollution. This ground-breaking research will help us understand and reduce the high rate of diabetes among Latinos. It could also help other vulnerable populations across the globe.
Mil Familias is also providing specialized diabetes education, professional skills, and employment opportunities to local Latinas who historically served as volunteer diabetes educators (called Promotoras) for William Sansum Diabetes Center. The Mil Familias Promotoras are also being trained in clinical research and have been hired by the Center. They call the new opportunity, “a dream come true and a priceless benefit” for their families (Photos attached of Promotora Martha Meza after enrolling first participant and Promotoras learning how to screen for diabetes).  
Mil Familias is the result of a collaboration between WSDC and Eli Lilly and Company to improve the lives of Latino people impacted by diabetes through research, education and care. Right now, WSDC is reaching out to physicians to help refer participants. The organization is also bringing more partners on board for the 10-year initiative. WSDC is strengthening the local Latino advisory committee who will oversee and advise Mil Familias research. Mil Familias major local partners include Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, UCSB, Cottage Health, and Westmont Downtown.
Press Contact: Regina Ruiz 805-335-0569
For more information in English/Spanish: Arianna Larez, 805-335-0124
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