Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition works to stem disease in Eastern Kentucky

BSDC LogoThe Big Sandy Diabetes Coalition (BSDC) in Eastern Kentucky works to help the communities it serves take responsibility for ensuring quality systems of diabetes prevention and care are accessible and utilized by its citizens.

Passport is a proud sponsor and supporter of this coalition, which serves the Big Sandy Area Development District, which includes Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties in Eastern Kentucky. Its goal is to decrease the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of diabetes in these counties.

Toward these goals, the coalition held health fairs throughout the fall that offered diabetes screening and outreach programs. The fairs were a community effort, involving local hospitals, health departments, universities, colleges, and Medicaid managed-care organizations (MCOs) such as Passport.

Diabetes is more prevalent in Eastern Kentucky than in any other area of the state – the area served by the BSDC has a diabetes rate of 15.2 percent, compared to 10.6 percent statewide. Diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, blindness, and kidney failure, which often leads to dialysis.

Overall, Kentucky’s Appalachian diabetes rate is 13.6 percent, according to the 2015 Kentucky Diabetes Report. And the total cost of diabetes in Kentucky for 2015 is estimated to be $5.6 billion, according to the Kentucky Diabetes Data and Forecasts.

The BSDC meets bi-monthly on the last Thursday of the month and is open to anyone interested in joining the group. For meeting information, please contact Brittany Martin at 606 886-8546 ext. 1109 or by sending an email to