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A slow killer: East Texans are diagnosed with diabetes at a higher rate than the national average

Health care workers in East Texas said easier access to health insurance — such as Medicaid — could help drive down the number of people living with uncontrolled diabetes.

by Kim Krisberg, Public Health Watch, and Hannah Levitan, Investigative Reporting Workshop
Yolanda Seaton opens a box of diabetes medication at her home in Tyler. Seaton receives diabetes care at a local clinic that serves the working uninsured. The access has saved her vision.

Bethesda Health Clinic, located in Tyler, serves working, uninsured residents in East Texas.
Aaron Dudley has been treating patients at the county health clinic in Lufkin for 14 years. He often sees the “worst of the worst” in severe diabetes outcomes.

A Slow Killer

Diabetes educator Marci Wright offers classes through Diabetes University, a program that has grown by 41% since its launch of telehealth services last year.
Physician William Roberson cares for low-income and uninsured patients at Crossroads Family Care, a safety-net clinic in East Texas. Data suggest his insured patients have more success managing their diabetes than those without coverage.

Coverage Makes a Difference

One Day at a Time

Nohemi Luviano of Tyler is one of many patients who received quality care from Bethesda Health Clinic.

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