Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Grants to Help African American Women Fight Type 2 Diabetes

Together on Diabetes® partners with University of Virginia, East Carolina University, Whittier Street Health Center, Black Women’s Health Imperative and United Neighborhood Health Services

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today awarded five grants totaling $1.5 million to organizations that will empower African American women with type 2 diabetes to better manage their disease while also leveraging their standing as leaders in their families and communities to influence the health of those around them.

The grants are part of Together on Diabetes® a five-year, $100 million initiative 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. Consistent with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s mission to reduce health disparities, the initiative targets adults disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 10 African American women age 20 and older has diabetes, a rate that more than doubles to one in four for African American women over 55. African Americans also suffer high rates of diabetes’ most serious complications such as blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

“African American women represent one of the country’s highest risk groups for developing and suffering the impact of type 2 diabetes,” says Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “With these grants specifically focused on African American women, Together on Diabetes® is supporting innovative efforts to make self management programs work for African American women in the context of their lives.”

As president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Eleanor Hinton Hoytt is on the front lines in the battle against type 2 diabetes in the African American community. “With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions among black women nationwide, we cannot underestimate the importance of innovative public-private partnerships that support community-driven health initiatives,” says Ms. Hinton Hoytt.

“As a national organization dedicated to advancing the health and wellness of black women, we at the Black Women’s Health Imperative have seen firsthand the devastating toll diabetes has taken on the population we serve. Through this unique partnership with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, we and our fellow grantees now have the opportunity to build on experience designing gender and culturally specific health initiatives and demonstrate the effectiveness of a self-care management model that empowers black women to take charge of their health.”

The following five organizations were selected to each receive $300,000 two-year grants:

  • University of Virginia received a grant to undertake a comparative study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Call to Health model which includes supportive text messaging, “buddies,” group visits in clinic and community-based settings and community resource referral and mobilization in partnership with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Obesity Task Force.
  • East Carolina University received a grant to implement a behaviorally centered "small changes" approach and care navigation delivered by lay health worker teams in four rural communities in eastern North Carolina.
  • Whittier Street Health Center working with the Boston Housing Authority and Boston YMCA, received a grant to connect African-American women living in public housing with comprehensive diabetes management, including health education and support by a certified diabetes educator and peer supporter, nutritional counseling by a dietitian, social service navigation, and a tailored program for physical activity in Roxbury.
  • Black Women's Health Imperative working with clinical and faith based partners, received a grant to implement a comprehensive self-management, social support and empowerment program for African American women age 40 and older and their families living in three wards in the District of Columbia.
  • United Neighborhood Health Services received a grant to implement a comprehensive diabetes self-management program that includes a robust physical activity component and the development of community resources in Nashville, Tennessee.

You can learn more about Together on Diabetes® at

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes around the world for patients disproportionately affected by serious disease.


Bristol-Myers Squibb
Frederick J. Egenolf, 609-252-4875
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  New York  Africa

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Women  Health  Pharmaceutical  Philanthropy  Diabetes  Consumer  Foundation