UB CIGBS Announces Stop Diabetes Progression, a New Global Community Health Site Initiative

By Laurie Kaiser and Rebecca Brierley

Published October 18, 2023

Person testing their diabetes blood sugar.

The University at Buffalo (UB) Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS) has announced plans to launch, Stop Diabetes Progression, a new health initiative, focusing on the creation of community-based education networks in Western New York, Jamaica and Zimbabwe to engage individuals with pre-diabetes and those with an established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. The goal of this new initiative is to stop the progression of the disease for both groups.

“This initiative will shine a spotlight on the urgent need to focus on this diabetes pandemic and provide seed funds for establishing community education sites. ”
Gene Morse, PharmD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy Practice and director for the UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo

The World Health Organization recognizes that diabetes is a global epidemic with approximately 6% of the world’s population (420 million+ people) living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. This number has quadrupled since 1980 and is expected to rise beyond half a billion by the end of the decade.

Current CIGBS community partners will lead this initiative with future expansion to other community sites experiencing high incidences of pre-diabetes and diabetes mellitus including those part of the Regional Equitable Health Infrastructure Network (Rethink) Western New York Community Health Collaborative. This collaborative, established during the COVID-19 pandemic, will work with a network of faith-based health programs and community centers to enhance understanding and knowledge of diabetes to their community members. In Jamaica, CIGBS collaborates with the Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise and the State University of New York - University of the West Indies - Health Research Consortium to build capacity to address regional health challenges. In Zimbabwe, CIGBS works with the Health Galaxy Park’s Infrastructure and Technology Skills Coordination Center located in Harare, and the Perseverance, Adherence, Responsibility and Integrity Support Group and the Zvandiri Africaid-Zimbabwe Adolescent Program.

These sites will function independently but also collaborate on various program initiatives. In addition, OneGuild (formerly the Peter Sheehan Diabetes Care Foundation), CIGBS Public Health Corps Fellows and students from the Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equity, and Mission at Niagara University and UB’s Experiential Learning Network will contribute to developing a health provider education platform for underserved communities. They will also participate in community-based diabetes projects, strengthening participation in the Stop Diabetes Progression initiative.

“Education through community networks is a key step in providing a framework for individuals with pre-diabetes or established diabetes to seek support and take action to prevent diabetes progression,” said Gene Morse, PharmD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and CIGBS director. “This initiative will shine a spotlight on the urgent need to focus on this diabetes pandemic and provide seed funds for establishing community education sites.”

Other project leaders include Reverend Kinzer Pointer, Liberty Missionary Baptist Church; Rolanda Ward, Niagara University; Tiffany Lewis, George K. Arthur Community Center; University at Buffalo: Dorothy Siaw-Asamoah, Gina Prescott and David Milling; University of Zimbabwe: Tinashe Mudzviti, Celia Matyanga and Charles Maponga; Nicola Willis, Zvandiri- Zimbabwe; and University of West Indies Mona: Michael Boyne and John Lindo.

About CIGBS: CIGBS is a global health, research and sustainability incubator that has established capacity building programs that focus on innovative research, community engagement and sustainable development in Western New York, and with global partners in Africa and the Caribbean region. 

For over 135 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 14 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.