ECU News Services

youtube twitter facebook rss feed

Grant to help fight diabetes among African-American women

Dr. Doyle Cummings
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (June 24, 2011)   —   East Carolina University has received $300,000 to help African-American women fight type 2 diabetes.

The two-year grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation will help fund efforts by ECU faculty members to begin a "small changes" approach to help women with diabetes improve their health and better manage their disease. The project will be led by ECU faculty members, and the educational work in the field will be done by lay health worker teams in four rural communities in eastern North Carolina.

With a small changes approach, patients, rather than health care providers, identify one lifestyle change, such as a better diet or walking for exercise, they are confident they can successfully implement.

ECU researchers involved in the project are Dr. Doyle Cummings, a pharmacist and professor of family medicine; and Dr. Lesley Lutes, an assistant professor of psychology.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 10 black women age 20 and older has diabetes. After age 55, the rate more than doubles to one in four. blacks also suffer high rates of diabetes' most serious complications, such as blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

ECU was one of five recipients nationwide of a total of $1.5 million in grants from Bristol-Myers. The grants are part of Bristol-Myers' five-year, $100 million "Together on Diabetes" project to improve health outcomes of people living with type 2 diabetes in the United States by strengthening patient self-management education, community-based supportive services and broad-based community mobilization.

The University of Virginia, Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, the Black Women's Health Imperative in Washington, D.C., and United Neighborhood Health Services in Nashville, Tenn., also received grants.

More information is available at

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent charitable organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes around the world for patients disproportionately affected by serious disease.

Dr. Lesley Lutes
Dr. Lesley Lutes


Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2482