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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt daily life, healthcare providers are seeing rising rates in diabetes across urban settings. Primarily impacting communities of color, more than half of Latinos are expected to develop type 2 diabetes within their lifetimes. Resulting from a complex combination of family history, cultural barriers and access to care – what can we do to combat this rise? The answer may lie in a community-based approach.

Our Patient Perspectives Podcast Host, Desirea Richardson, sat down with Dr. Nilsa Graciani, Chief STEM Officer and Director of STEM at Esperanza College of Eastern University. Leading the work of “Champions of Hope: Latinos Preventing Diabetes”, one of Cities Changing  Diabetes Philadelphia’s Innovation Challenge winning projects for 2021, Nilsa shares with us the importance of engaging youth leaders as catalysts for health education, introducing prevention programming in underserved communities, and how community-based programs can help.