Teens and young adults with diabetes are the demographic least likely to seek a doctor’s care to treat the condition, which overall costs Americans close to $240 billion each year, according to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Inc.

Jennifer Raymond, clinical diabetes director at the East Hollywood hospital, is looking to make inroads with younger diabetes patients and was awarded a $1.4 million grant to expand a team approach to encourage the population to seek more medical care.

“We need to focus on improving the care we provide before we ask families to give up their time to come to clinic,” Raymond, who is also an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, said in a statement.

Raymond’s Team Clinic model, which she honed for six years at a health care clinic in Colorado, encourages young patients with diabetes to meet with each other in addition to seeing their physician.

The group meetings not only empower patients with Type 1 diabetes to become more involved with their health care, she said, but make for more satisfied adolescents and young adults.

This encourages them to comply with a federally recommended four doctor visits a year – and helps patients better manage chronic diabetes.

The grant, given by an undisclosed donor, will allow Raymond to develop an online toolbox to share the Team Clinic approach with other hospitals and clinics.

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An Israeli disaster relief network launched an outreach program last month in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and it’s finding traction among doctors in the regions.

The IsraAID Humanitarian Professionals Network expanded its reach into the United States by offering Americans training and a chance to respond to disasters that range from wildfires in California to refugee response across the world.

Two events leading up to the official Jan. 10 program launch drew nearly 50 doctors who said they’d join the global disaster relief network, which has deployed to 49 countries with current relief efforts in 19 nations.

“IsraAID will make Los Angeles more secure by leveraging their unique expertise in disaster response to train professionals in our community,” said Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz, in a statement.

The 18-year-old international nongovernmental organization based in Tel Aviv trains doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and mental health professionals in disaster response and sends them around the world to help save lives.

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