American Diabetes Association Applauds the Final Passage of the District of Columbia’s Law 20-192, Commission on Health Disparities Establishment Act of 2014

Alexandria, Virginia
April 15, 2015

The American Diabetes Association (Association) applauds the passage of the District of Columbia’s Law 20-192, Commission on Health Disparities Establishment Act of 2014. This bill, signed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser on November 21, 2014, officially became law on March 10, 2015, following a Congressional review. The law was then published on April 3, 2015.

The bill, which passed unanimously, was introduced by the Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia Chairman Phil Mendelson, and Councilmembers Yvette Alexander, Marion Barry, Anita Bonds, David Catania, David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie and Vincent Orange.  The law creates a commission to study the increased incidence of chronic diseases, including diabetes, among the District of Columbia’s minority populations including African Americans, Hispanics and other communities. The commission will be made up of experts from a variety of fields including: health disparities, social and human services, early learning and education, minority communities, economic development, ecology and the environment.

“The American Diabetes Association would like to thank the Council of the District of Columbia for their leadership and support of Law 20-192, Commission on Health Disparities Establishment Act of 2014. This legislation is critical to understanding how we can better improve health within minority communities, which are disproportionally affected by chronic disease, including diabetes.” said Daniel Kohrman, Washington D.C. Advocacy Chair for the American Diabetes Association. “Because of this law, the District of Columbia can take another step forward in its effort to Stop Diabetes®.”

Devoted Association volunteers Daniel Kohrman, and Guadalupe Pacheco, MSW, a member of the Association’s National Advocacy Committee who testified before the Council in support of the law, were instrumental in securing amendments to ensure that patient advocacy organizations like the American Diabetes Association had a voice on the commission. The Association’s Executive Director in the District of Columbia, Mary Merritt, was also steadfast in her support throughout the process.
   
An estimated 60,000 residents are diagnosed with diabetes in the District of Columbia, costing the government an estimated $600 million each year in direct medical costs and indirect costs from lost productivity. According to the latest predictions, unless we change our current course, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. Complications from the disease are severe and include blindness, amputations, end-stage kidney disease, heart disease – even death.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)