Duke University Medical Center is working with Durham County to map diabetes in the community in a new health IT effort to track and manage the disease.

Duke and the Durham County Department of Health and Human Services will receive $6.25 million over five years to develop and implement programs to help people manage type 2 diabetes. They will be joined by the National Center for Geospatial Medicine, based at the University of Michigan.

The effort is sharing in $18.4 million in grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb‘s (NYSE: BMY) charitable arm, which is working to fight diabetes.

The Durham effort will use geospatial mapping, which employs diabetes and healthcare information to create a physical map of the community. This map allows researchers to see relationships and patterns for diabetes and the resources available to patients. The geospatial data will also provide continuous feedback on diabetes project efforts.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation awarded eight grants intended to foster “community-driven ways to prevent and treat diabetes.” The effort is part of “Together on Diabetes,” the foundation’s five-year $100 million initiative. This latest round of grants focused communities or populations with high rates of type 2 diabetes: Native Americans, Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta region, urban and rural poor, people who are food insecure and people who suffer from both depression and diabetes. Since its launch last year, Together on Diabetes has awarded 17 grants totaling more than $32.5 million.

Diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the country’s population. Durham officials say the rate is higher in Durham County, more than 10 percent, according to Durham County Health Department Director Gayle Harris.

“Only through community interventions like the Durham Diabetes Coalition can we really change the trends in new cases of diabetes and improve the care of persons with diabetes,” she said in a statement.

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