New Haven is trying out a new pilot program to screen residents for type 2 diabetes at on e of the city's public housing developments. Mayor Toni Harp visited the complex this week to kick off the new program and talk with some of the residents and health officials.
James Pittman, 68, is one of the residents at the Constance Baker Motley housing complex for seniors. He has type 2 diabetes and is already feeling the benefits of the program.
"They are teaching us how to eat the proper food," he said. "Some nutrients for our body and that will scale down the diabetes increase of growth within us. Because we are elderly, we have to understand this. We want to grow in grace as we age."
The program is a collaboration between Hill Health and the New Haven Housing Authority, along with the city’s health department, and was funded through the Philip Marett Trust. If successful, the program has the potential to move to other public housing developments in the city.
Mayor Harp said this particular complex made a lasting impression on her.
"When I first ran for mayor I came to this building and over half of the people were in wheelchairs and it was because of diabetes," she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, with the most affected populations being the elderly, African-Americans, and Latinos. So far out of the 25 residents that have been screened at this development, 15 of them have type 2 diabetes.