John Boltri, M.D., professor and chair of Northeast Ohio Medical University’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, has been named to the National Clinical Care Commission (NCCC), established in 2018 by an Act of Congress to help improve the prevention and treatment of diabetes in the United States. The commission met for the first time in October 2018 and will make recommendations to Congress and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Boltri is one of 12 non-federal members of the NCCC, which also consists of representatives from 11 federal agencies, such as the NIH, CDC, FDA, DOD, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The non-federal employees “have expertise in prevention, care, and epidemiology of complex metabolic or autoimmune diseases that result from insulin-related issues and represent a significant disease burden in the United States, including complications due to such diseases,” according to the NCCC website.
More recently, Dr. Boltri became the co-chair of a NCCC subcommittee called Prevention: Targeted Population, serving alongside Ann Albright, Ph.D., RDN, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This subcommittee will focus on people at the highest risk for developing diabetes, such as those with pre-diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol levels and high triglycerides. It will work with other NCCC subcommittees to make recommendations to prevent and reduce diabetes and its complications in the United States.
A problem close to home
Diabetes affects more than 10% of the residents of Portage County, in which NEOMED is located. Dr. Boltri helped NEOMED students start the SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic, which opened in September 2016 to provide interprofessional care to the underserved residents of Portage County and surrounding counties. The clinic is staffed by College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy students, who are supervised by licensed primary care physicians and pharmacists.
“It is particularly challenging for patients with limited resources to manage the complexity of diabetes – an illness that impacts every aspect of a patient’s life,” says Dr. Boltri.
He hopes that through an improved focus on high-quality care that considers patients’ access to care, resources and support systems, that the National Clinical Care Commission can make recommendations resulting in a decreased burden of diabetes in the United States – especially for under-resourced populations.