UHA Health Insurance CEO Howard Lee Commits to Chairman’s Sponsorship of $30,000 in Support of American Diabetes Association’s 2014 "Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes"

For Immediate Release: January 2014
Contact: Leslie Lam
Phone: 947-5979

Honolulu – Howard Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of UHA Health Insurance, has embraced his role as the Corporate Recruitment Chairman of the 2014 "Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes" by committing to a $30,000 sponsorship. Lee pledged to make exercise and healthy eating a part of his lifestyle. His goal: To raise awareness of the impact of diabetes; raise $550,000 in corporate sponsorships and walker donations; and to recruit 2,300 people to participate in the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. The event will be held on Saturday, March 15, from 7:00 a.m. (registration) to 10:00 a.m. at the Queen Kapiolani Park.

This year, the Chairman is incorporating a park-wide "Zumba" dance as part of the warm up for the Walk. An "instructional video" will be placed on YouTube and on the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes website: diabetes.org/stepouthawaii so participants will have an opportunity to practice the Zumba dance prior to March 15th when the live warm up will occur at 7:30 a.m.

"We all know family or friends who are affected by diabetes, and UHA invites everyone to join us in this walk to Stop Diabetes," Lee said. "We must make it a priority in our community to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases and ensure more people have access to information on how to live healthier lifestyles and to better manage the disease."

"Diabetes is a very serious disease," said Sharlene Tsuda, Chair of the American Diabetes Association's Community Leadership Board. "The Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes is a great way for family, friends and co-workers to join together and raise money to fight this disease that impacts so many in our community. It’s also a nice time to enjoy an educational and fun-filled morning," said Tsuda.

At the end of the Walk, participants are able to learn more about the disease through a health expo held in conjunction with the event that features a variety of health care professionals and other exhibitors who promote health and well being.

"The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and all its burdens," said Dr. Mark E. Tafoya, President of the American Diabetes Association&'s Community Leadership Board. "Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people with diabetes. Funds raised at the Step Out Walk will make a big difference in our efforts to reach the more than 113,000 people here in Hawaii who live with diabetes and its complications."

Leslie Lam, Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association Hawaii office said, "In our community, diabetes is highly prevalent and some contributing factors may include ethnicity, diet and life choices. 363,000 Hawaii adults over 20 years old are estimated to have pre-diabetes. It is one of the most serious, common and costly diseases in the country. We are very grateful for all of the support we have received thus far and ask for the community's dedication and help as we take steps to increase awareness and stop diabetes."

To find out more information about the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes or to volunteer please visit the local American Diabetes Association website, www.diabetes.org/Hawaii, or the Step Out website, www.diabetes.org/stepouthawaii. More information is also available at the Association's local Facebook page www.facebook.com/ADAHawaii or call the local office at 808-947-5979.

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.

UHA (University Health Alliance) was founded in 1996 by a group of physician faculty at University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. UHA provides medical, drug and vision plans to more than 4,100 Hawaii employer groups and 50,000 members. By meeting strict quality standards to ensure clinically sound decision-making that respects the rights of patients and medical providers, UHA received accreditation in Health Utilization Management through URAC. For information, visit www.uhahealth.com.