As community leaders and healthcare advocates, in the DC area, GSP seeks to fundamentally change the healthcare system, in response to the problematic history of health inequities in Black and Brown communities in Wards 7&8 and the DMV. Diabetes is a growing health concern among low-income communities and a leading cause of chronic health issues for racial minority groups in the District of Columbia. The root causes of this disparity include limited health care accessibility, minimal knowledge of diabetes prevention, lack of participation in diabetes management programs, primitive coping strategies for stress and trauma, few fitness and exercise opportunities, subpar nutritional resources, and insufficient healthy grocery store options in comparison to the more affluent areas in the District of Columbia.
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s disturbing racial issues is having a traumatic impact on minority communities. These communities have been shattered by the lack of access to critical services that support health and wellness, affecting the most basic human needs for health, food security and safe shelter. To make matters worse, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted people living with diabetes, which has contributed to lower life expectancy, quality of life and higher health care costs. GSP believes that left unaddressed, these cumulative factors will continue to have a chaotic impact on the health and survivability of these communities.
By leading thoughtful and innovative strategies/interventions to drive change to improve the health, wellness, and vibrancy of African American women in Wards 7&8, GSP put forth innovative and “reality-based” community-driven and participatory strategies. GSP provides a level of convenience and increased access to healthcare, using Grassroots, community engagement and “Boots on the Ground” campaigns to reach people directly in their communities, who need it the most. We designed our program to ensure equitable, accessible, and community-centered priorities. GSP deploys strategies founded on community voices and resident needs. Through advanced planning for long-term outcomes, GSP empowered community members to leverage their relationships with worship centers, grocery stores, counseling centers, government agencies, and businesses to provide services and goods necessary to improve their overall wellness and health.
Due to the overwhelming request to expand our project, GSP wants to “widen our net” to include intergenerational cohorts and invite daughters/nieces to join their Grandmothers, Mothers, Aunties, Godmothers, to give them tools/resources to help break the cycle of generational diabetes.