American Diabetes Association Applauds the Passage of Georgia House Bill 879

Alexandria,
April 16, 2012

The American Diabetes Association is pleased to announce the passage of Georgia House Bill 879, a key piece of legislation in the fight to keep children with diabetes medically safe at school. This bill, which was signed by Governor Nathan Deal earlier today, allows volunteer school employees who are properly trained to assist children with diabetes in administering their insulin, if needed. This bill also allows children, if they are capable to do so, to self-manage their diabetes while at school.

“Today is a victory for all of the children who are living with diabetes in the state of Georgia,” said Elissa Holder, an advocacy volunteer for the American Diabetes Association. Holder testified in support of the bill and is the mother of Melissa, who attends middle school in Fayetteville, Georgia and has type 1 diabetes. “The American Diabetes Association’s focus is always on the health and safety of children with diabetes. We applaud the passage of Georgia House Bill 879, which will provide school children across the state with the access to diabetes care they need to stay healthy, learn and be safe at school.”

The bill was sponsored by Georgia State Representative Matt Ramsey, HD72 (R – Peachtree City), who practices law in Fayette County, Georgia and took office in 2007. His daughter, Anna Lynne, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes approximately one year ago. The bill was carried in the Senate by Senator Ronnie Chance, in office since 2004, who represents Georgia’s 16th District.

“I am thankful to Governor Deal for signing this important legislation for children with diabetes,” said Representative Matt Ramsey. “This bill will ensure that children with diabetes in Georgia receive the disease management support necessary to strive for, and achieve, their very best in a safe and healthy school environment.”

An estimated 215,000 children are living with diabetes in the United States. For children using insulin, diabetes must be managed 24/7, including the many hours spent at school, on field trips and in extra-curricular activities. Every day, these children are put in dangerous situations if no one, including a school nurse, is present at school to help with insulin administration. House Bill 879 will allow volunteers to be trained in every school in Georgia to provide the diabetes care these children need, and deserve, to learn and be healthy.

To address barriers to diabetes care at school, the Association created its Safe at School campaign. Through this campaign, the Association is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunity as their peers.

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 (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.