Inside INdiana Business

Lilly grant to expand Indy health equity program

The program is designed to tackle the underlying causes of Type 2 diabetes, including improving access to healthy food. (photo courtesy of the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has awarded a five-year, $5 million grant to expand the Diabetes Impact Project in Indianapolis, or DIP-IN. The project, run by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, is designed to improve health equity in three Indianapolis neighborhoods.

DIP-IN was launched in 2018 with a five year, $7 million grant from Lilly. The university says the project is focused on Type 2 diabetes control and prevention in communities in the northeast, near northwest, and near west sides of Indy, where residents are predominantly people of color.

“The pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color, and we do not yet know the scale of how life expectancy will be affected,” said Lisa Staten, principal investigator and associate professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Fairbanks School of Public Health. “This expanded funding from Lilly will allow us to continue working in partnership with the neighborhoods to develop effective and sustainable local solutions for diabetes prevention and control and ultimately improve health equity.”

IUPUI says in the three neighborhoods impact by DIP-IN, 83% of residents are people of color and about 10,000 live with diabetes, with prevalence rates of 20%. That’s higher than the average rate of 15% for all of Indianapolis and a global rate of 9%.

The new grant from Lilly will be used to expand the existing collaboration with the three communities to continue to tackle some of the underlying causes of diabetes, according to the university. The efforts seek to improve access to healthy food, reduce stress and “create an infrastructure and culture that support physical activity.”

“This expansion of the DIP-IN grant does more than provide additional services to our community,” said Patrice Duckett-Brown, executive director of Fay Biccard Glick Crooked Creek Neighborhood Center and a resident on one of the three local steering committees for DIP-IN. “This grant expansion focuses on prevention from an equity lens. The new grant provides our community with additional support but an abundance of leverage to change how we view our own health and address long-term barriers that narrate health disparities within our community.”

IUPUI says the grant expansion began August 1.

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