Established in 2004, the Diabetes Advisory Council at the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) worked to create a comprehensive statewide plan in order to reduce the burden of disease. In September of 2011, transitional meetings began to take place to turn the Diabetes Advisory Council into the Cardiovascular and Diabetes Coalition of Indiana (CADI), which expanded its scope to include heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In January 2012, the council and coalition coordination meeting took place, followed by members of the coalition receiving their first email from CADI on April 12th, 2012. CADI helped to develop the Better Together Plan (BTP), which addressed all three chronic diseases together in 2015, and this plan was launched in 2016. The three main goals of the BTP were:
- All Hoosiers are living risk free of risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Individuals with increased risk levels for disease do not develop heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.
- Individuals with heart disease, stroke, or diabetes experience improved quality of life.
After developing the BTP and establishing its goals, BTP went on the road to be presented in 4 counties around Indiana in 2017. The four counties included South Bend, Gary, Fort Wayne, and Evansville.
Currently, CADI has moved to the Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), located on the Indiana University Purdue University (IUPUI) campus, in order to utilize the connections of the coalition established through Purdue University and Indiana University. In 2019, CADI joined the Connections IN Health team and developed a new mission statement and vision for the coalition. CADI looks forward to helping with the burden of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and stroke around the state through education, collaboration, awareness, advocacy, and access to care.
Jenna Wozniak, MS, received a Master of Science in Global Health degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2018. During her studies, she worked in community engagement to propel research efforts in onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, and nodding syndrome in rural communities of Northern Uganda. Since becoming the Director of the Cardiovascular & Diabetes Coalition of Indiana (CADI), Wozniak has applied her global health background and perspective to her work with the coalition as they engage with local communities within Indiana to work hand-in-hand towards the improvement of chronic disease health outcomes.
Moving forward, Jenna seeks to build upon the previous work of the coalition through continued promotion of collaboration among state and community entities across Indiana. This is done collectively in an effort to address factors contributing to the burden of cardiovascular related diseases, diabetes and stroke statewide.