The Utah Women's Health Information Network (UWIN), a program of the University of Utah's Center of Excellence in Women's Health, has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve health care for Utah women.
UWIN will focus first on diabetes, since 50,000 Utah women are diagnosed with the disease. An estimated 14,000 have not been diagnosed. The state ranks 10th in diabetes death rates among U.S. females. The U. will partner with community and public health groups, including the Utah Department of Health, Association for Utah Community Health and Utah Navajo Health Centers Inc. to distribute health information to providers and patients and implement preventive-care programs. It plans to create an infrastructure for distributing health information to providers and patients and implement the four major components of the UWIN project, including:
• Making more information available to health-care providers and patients, including using telehealth and Web-cast seminars. The Utah Diabetes Conference will feature issues targeting women. And community clinics and public libraries will work together to make health information available using the state's health education network, Utahealthnet.
• Evaluating physical activity and nutrition interventions at the community level. Two pilot programs are being implemented in community clinics to improve physical activity and nutrition among patients, one specifically for parents of teens to teach healthy nutrition choices.
• Improving tracking of gestational diabetes and using a project to improve outcomes. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death among Utah women, a number that is higher for American Indians. The Sweet Success project encourages early recruitment into diabetes and pregnancy programs among the Navajos, while another is a provider-directed education program that promotes women's physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.
• Introducing a statewide diabetic retinopathy program that will promote retinal screening and develop a virtual retinal reading center.
The projects will be implemented in the Salt Lake Valley, Ogden, Bear Lake, Provo and the Four Corners region over the next three years.