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Diabetes Educ. 2014 Jul;40(4):453-461. Epub 2014 Apr 21.

Development of a Mapped Diabetes Community Program Guide for a Safety Net Population.

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Institute for Community Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (Dr Zallman, Ms Ibekwe).
Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (Dr Zallman).
Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (Ms Thompson, Dr Ross-Degnan, Dr Oken).



Enhancing linkages between patients and community programs is increasingly recognized as a method for improving physical activity, nutrition, and weight management. Although interactive mapped community program guides may be beneficial, there remains a dearth of articles that describe the processes and practicalities of creating such guides. This article describes the development of an interactive web-based mapped community program guide at a safety net institution and the lessons learned from that process.


This project demonstrated the feasibility of creating 2 maps: a program guide and a population health map. It also revealed some key challenges and lessons for future work in this area, particularly within safety net institutions. Our work underscores the need for developing partnerships outside the health care system and the importance of employing community-based participatory methods. In addition to facilitating improvements in individual wellness, mapping community programs has the potential to improve population health management by health care delivery systems such as hospitals, health centers, or public health systems, including city and state departments of health.

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