Bristol-Myers SquibbThe Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation 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."

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.