American Diabetes Association Applauds the Passage of Louisiana Senate Bill 759

Alexandria,
June 18, 2012

The American Diabetes Association is pleased to announce the passage of Louisiana Senate Bill 759, a key piece of legislation in the fight to keep children with diabetes safe at school. This bill, which was signed by Governor Bobby Jindal on Friday, allows school employees to volunteer to be trained to help children with diabetes with essential care tasks. These tasks include administering insulin, which is needed multiple times a day, and glucagon, a hormone needed in the case of dangerously low blood glucose levels. This bill also allows children, if they are capable to do so, to self-manage their diabetes while at school. 

“The passage of Senate Bill 759 is a major step forward for all children in Louisiana living with diabetes,” said Eloise Keene, the Louisiana state advocacy chair for the American Diabetes Association. Keene’s daughter has type 1 diabetes, and her efforts were instrumental in the bill’s introduction and passage. “Now, children like my daughter will finally have access to the vital diabetes care they need to stay safe and healthy while at school.”

The bill was sponsored by Louisiana State Senator Ben Nevers (District 12), who took office in 2004. He previously served in the state House of Representatives from 1999-2003 and is committed to advancing health care for Louisianans. In the Louisiana House, the bill was carried by State Representative John F. “Andy” Anders, in office since 2006, who represents Louisiana’s 21st District.

“This legislation is an important advancement in ensuring the health care needs of all of our students are met,” said, Senator Ben Nevers. “Moving forward, no child in Louisiana will lack the support needed to manage their diabetes and their health, allowing all of our students to be medically safe at school.”

An estimated 215,000 children under the age of 20 are living with diabetes in the United States. Diabetes is a disease that must be managed 24/7, including the many hours spent at school, on field trips and in extra-curricular activities if these vulnerable children are to avoid blood glucose levels that can be life-threatening in the short term and lead to blindness, amputation, kidney failure and heart disease later in life. Every day, these children are put in dangerous situations if no one is present at school to help with insulin and glucagon administration. Senate Bill 759 will allow volunteers to be trained in every school in Louisiana 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.