Life in East Los Angeles was hard even before the coronavirus infections in Latino communities far outpaced the rest of California. Many in this region are essential workers who often don't have the luxury of working from home. Having diabetes makes life that much harder.
I related the example in one of my Medscape videos of a close family friend who lost his health insurance after being laid-off from his job which cascaded to delaying care for a diabetic foot ulcer that wouldn't heal. After an ER visit and aftercare in a skill nursing facility he contracted COVID-19 and died from a deadly combination of the virus, poorly controlled diabetes and loss of his job.
At our clinic in East Lost Los Angeles there have been many challenges trying to deliver effective telemedicine. Patients do not have access to smart phone or computers and do not have devices, like glucose sensors, that make diabetes management easier (and more accessible for cloud-based visits). To help our patients with type 1 diabetes we were able to receive grant funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, to support the health and well-being of vulnerable people living with T1D impacted by COVID-19. This extra support is allowing our staff to outreach to our most vulnerable patient and provide education and patient management.
Additionally, we were able to work with Insulin for Life, another nonprofit organization. They donated Libre continuous glucose monitors so that our patients now have a way to remotely share glucose information with the clinic. In addition to shipping supplies, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, Martha Walker, RD, has been working overtime to train people how to use the CGM and link data to the clinic. Our staff continues to receive referrals and are doing what they can to help those in need to manage their diabetes.
If you would like to support our COVID-19 emergency response, you can donate online at: or send a check to our Westside Diabetes Research Center at 150 N. Robertson, Ste. 210, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Checks should be made out to: USC Anne Peters Diabetes Fund. Please put Act# 23-5120-4220 in the memo line.