HMAA and The Queen’s Health Systems Lead the American Diabetes Association’s 2013 Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes as Premier Sponsors

Raiatea Helm, the 2011-2012 Music Fellow Award Recipient, Will Help Kick-off the Event

For Immediate Release: March 2013
Contact: Leslie Lam
Phone: 808- 947-5979

Honolulu – The Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA) and The Queen’s Health Systems (QHS) are "Stepping Out" as the lead sponsors to support the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. The signature fundraising event of the ADA in Hawaii being held Saturday, March 16, from 7:00 a.m. (registration) to 10:00 a.m., at Queen Kapiolani Park will be attended by Raiatea Helm who will help to kick-off the event. Funds raised will support the ADA’s mission: To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

"HMAA is privileged to join the Association for its annual walk to raise funds to support research and programs to help those affected by diabetes and we are pleased to have Raiatea Helm join us in this fight to reverse the troubling national and local trends in diabetes," said John Henry Felix, Chairman, President and CEO of HMAA. "At the current rate, one out of three children born in the year 2000 in the United States is expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. In Hawaii, the proportion is even more dismaying – about one in two. Half our keiki could be at risk."

HMAA has been supporting the ADA for the past seven years and has raised its level of support each year for the past few years.

Sharlene Tsuda, Vice President of Community Development at The Queen's Health Systems and current Chair of the Hawaii Association's Community Leadership Board said, "Every day we see how devastating diabetes can be in our hospitals and clinics. That is why we are such strong supporters of the American Diabetes Association. Easy activities like regular walking can dramatically reduce a person's risk for diabetes and that is another reason why this fundraising event is very important. It also raises funds and creates awareness of the types of activities that help prevent and successfully manage diabetes."

"Our multi-ethnic population is traditionally one of Hawaii's strengths but when it comes to diabetes, it actually makes us more vulnerable," said Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter, President of the ADA's Community Leadership Board. "Native Hawaiians have the highest diabetes mortality rates, followed by Filipinos and Japanese."

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes provides an opportunity for employees, friends and family to come together for an enjoyable, healthy activity. It's an event for anyone who wants to support the ADA and raise critical funds to help Stop Diabetes. We thank our national and local sponsors for their outstanding dedication to help stop diabetes," said Leslie Lam, Executive Director for the Association's Hawaii Office.

Today, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. While an estimated 18.8 million have been diagnosed, unfortunately, 7 million people are unaware that they have the disease. Unless current trends are slowed or reversed, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.

For a sponsor list please visit To register for Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes, go to To volunteer or learn more, please visit our local website,, or the national website,, and please like us on Facebook! You may also call the local office at 808-947-5979. "Together we can stop diabetes," said Lam, "one step at a time."

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or the local office at 808-947-5979.