Advocacy Accomplishments – 2014 Highlights
Increased Government Commitment to Stop Diabetes
- The Association succeeded in its efforts to increase federal funding for diabetes research and programs as Congress:
- Added $51 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 and another $5.4 million in FY2015 to funding for diabetes research at the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) for total annual funding of $1.749 billion;
- Increased funding at the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Diabetes Translation by $76 million, a 125% increase in funding for total annual funding of $137.1 million;
- Provided $20 million over the course of FY2014 and 2015 for the National Diabetes Prevention Program;
- Reauthorized the Special Diabetes Program providing $300 million, half for research on type 1 diabetes and half for programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities; and
- Included language in the FY2014 funding bill supporting the Veterans Administration’s Million Veterans program, which seeks to better understand diabetes in the veteran population, and adding diabetes as category for funding from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.
- The Accelerating Medicines Partnership, a new initiative by the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, ten biopharmaceutical companies, and several non-profit organizations, including the Association, added $58.4 million for diabetes research over five years.
Expanded Success in the Safe at School Campaign
- Through legislative victories in Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, and statewide policy action in North Dakota five more states meet the key tenets of the Association’s Safe at School campaign by providing access to insulin and glucagon and appropriate diabetes self-management. Additionally, four other states strengthened their school laws and policies. Twenty-seven states now meet the main tenets of the Safe at School campaign, an increase of twelve states in the last three years.
- A landmark joint statement from the ADA, the American Nurses Association, its California affiliate, and the California School Nurses Organization states it is a safe and effective practice for unlicensed school personnel to be trained to administer insulin and other diabetes medications when such care is permitted by a physician’s order.
- Four Advanced School Advocacy Trainings added 46 new school advocates to the ranks of those providing workshops and support for families across the country.
- Published the first position statement on the rights of young children with diabetes in childcare programs.
- Launched a new Spanish language Safe at School website, Segura en la Escuela.
Strengthened Our Voice in Washington, DC and State Capitals Across the Country
- Capitol Hill Advocacy Day included over fifty dedicated Diabetes Advocates from across the country whose Members of Congress sit on the powerful Appropriations Committees. Advocates held 125 meetings explaining the need for additional funding for diabetes research and programs.
- The Association also raised its public policy voice through testimony for five Congressional hearings, increased in-district meetings with Members of Congress, leadership on Congressional sign-on letters, 29 state advocacy days, summits, briefings and caucus meetings, tens of thousands of emails and phone calls to elected officials, and collaborations, including establishing Friends of NIDDK, a coalition composed of 28 organizations working together to increase federal funding for NIDDK.
Reached Out to the Health Care Community
- Health care professionals participated in sessions on Advocacy at the Association’s Scientific Sessions, Postgraduate Course, and Clinical Conference on topics ranging from health reform to helping patients facing discrimination.
- Continued a series of articles in Clinical Diabetes with pieces on keeping patients with diabetes employed and safe at work and addressing the socioecological determinants of prediabetes and diabetes.
- Added 350 health care professionals to the Association’s Health Care Professionals Legal Advocacy Network for a total of 1150 doctors, nurses, dieticians, diabetes educators and others working to end discrimination based on diabetes.
Focused Advocacy Efforts on Those at High Risk
- Created a new Diabetes Disparities Action Council to help address the unique needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native populations and to build an advocacy base within urban and tribal communities.
- Engaged media to reach high risk communities through key blogs and interviews, an on-line policy chat hosted Diabetes Hand Foundation, and webinars and town halls hosted by the Administration and partners such as Telemundo.
- Lead by our Science and Medicine Division, collaboration with the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Diabetes Coalition resulted in a new position statement lowering the recommended Body Mass Index for screening Asian Americans for diabetes. Other coalition work included co-hosting a scientific/policy conference, publishing a call to action article in a primary care journal, and providing training to local advocates.
- Passed first bill to establish a Commission on Health Disparities in the District of Columbia.
Inspired Advocates to Action
- Advocates in Action webinars trained grasstops advocates on topics including building local advocacy capacity and advocacy for events, outreach to communities hit hardest by diabetes, fundraising and advocacy, hometown media engagement, and mobilizing advocates to meet with elected officials. Another series of Legal Advocacy webinars engaged college students with diabetes, school advocates, attorneys, and parents of children with diabetes in learning about our anti-discrimination efforts and resources.
- Increased the number of on-line Diabetes Advocates by 7% to a total of 287,541.
- Advocates in Action Step Out teams numbered 65 strong and raised over $108,000, a 6% growth in donations and a 47% increase in the number of teams.
Fought to Improve Diabetes Care and Coordination
- The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a new draft recommendation on screening for type 2 diabetes aligning with the Association’s Standards of Medical Care. When finalized, it will be used by health care providers in making decisions about patient care and will enable most at-risk patients to get this vital testing free of charge. As individuals with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes are identified, they can then begin proper disease management or take action to prevent diabetes. The USPSTF also finalized improved screening guidelines for diabetes in pregnant women.
- Continued efforts to improve access to quality health insurance through numerous official comments, letters, legal briefs, and meetings with Administration officials. Affordable Care Act (ACA) focus was on expanding coverage for low income Americans, consumer protections, and implementation of state marketplaces. Over half of the states have now moved forward in expanding Medicaid eligibility, providing coverage for vulnerable people with diabetes and five states improved Medicaid coverage for people with diabetes. Medicare focus was on consumer protections, ensuring access to disease management tools, and primary prevention.
- Diabetes Action Plan Legislation, providing for state coordination on diabetes and development of an action plan, was enacted in six states, part of an impressive total of 44 state legislative and regulatory victories.
Advocated for Public Policies to Prevent Diabetes
- Successfully advocated for proven diabetes prevention programs through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, securing additional funding for the program and providing evidence of cost savings through coverage by Medicare.
- The Association and coalition partners obtained the broad coverage they sought in the final rules on menu labeling in chain restaurants and vending machines. Efforts to create a loophole in important school lunch standards were defeated.
- Primary prevention laws passed in six states promote access to healthy environments for children and adults in the school, community, and workplace setting.
Protected Legal Rights
- With redesigned and improved sections on Legal Advocacy in the Association’s website, and broad outreach, realized a 44% increase in page views over the last three years. Outreach efforts included Diabetes Docket, a quarterly electronic newsletter providing tools for people with diabetes and their advocates, and a series of infographics on discrimination topics garnering over 700,000 impressions through social media channels.
- Filed friend of the court briefs in important cases involving issues of school segregation and placement, improper application of job standards, and failure to hire.
- Working to improve the care of people with diabetes who encounter law enforcement officers, the Association began providing annual training for group of 250 training sergeants at the New York City Police Academy, and submitted testimony to the U.S. Senate on the proper response of law enforcement to diabetes emergencies.