Desmond Schatz, MD
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Desmond Schatz, MD, is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Director of the General Clinical Research Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville. In addition to treating youth and adolescents with diabetes in his clinical practice, Dr. Schatz is a noted researcher on type 1 diabetes.
A former member of the Association’s Board of Directors, Dr. Schatz is actively involved in the Association’s Safe at School Campaign, which seeks to make sure students with diabetes are medically safe at school. In Florida, Dr. Schatz was instrumental in passing legislation that requires Florida schools to provide diabetes care to students. Dr. Schatz has also participated in the development of position statements on “Diabetes Care in the School and Day Care Setting”, and “Diabetes and Employment”.
Dr. Schatz played a critical role as medical expert in Kapche v. Holder, a case that involved a challenge to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s hiring policies for people with insulin-treated diabetes. When Jeff Kapche was told the FBI wouldn’t hire him as a Special Agent because he manages his diabetes with injections rather than an insulin pump, Dr. Schatz responded to a request from Kapche’s lawyers to help as a medical expert, providing expert testimony about the differences between administering insulin via injections and via an insulin pump. From the witness stand, Schatz helped the jury understand that both multiple injection therapy and insulin pumps could be utilized to effectively manage diabetes. Using a baseball analogy to explain this to the jury, he stated:
“If I make an analogy, because I’m a sports fan, of a baseball player and a 20-game winner in the major leagues, like Nolan Ryan, he had an overpowering fastball and he won 20 games and he was just great. Greg Maddux, on the other hand, had finesse. You wouldn’t change what Greg Maddux was doing to look like Nolan Ryan because both of them were different and both achieved the same goal. Injections are capable of achieving the same outcome as are pumps in the right individual with the right set of circumstances and support.”
- Testimony of Dr. Desmond Schatz
Kapche v. Holder, D.C. District Court, May 2009
In 2010, Dr. Schatz, along with the rest of the Kapche Litigation Team, received the Association’s Public Policy Leadership Award for his work in defending the right of people with diabetes to live free of discrimination. See “UF diabetes expert wins award for leadership in litigation” .