American Diabetes Association Applauds the Signing of Hawaii’s Safe at School Bill

Alexandria, Virginia
July 10, 2015

Hawaii marks the 30th state to enact laws establishing the rights of students with diabetes to receive fair treatment and safe care at school

The American Diabetes Association is thrilled to announce the passage of Hawaii House Bill 10, the latest victory in the Association's ongoing fight to keep children with diabetes medically safe at school. This bill, signed in to law this week by Governor David Y. Ige, will allow school staff to volunteer to be trained to provide basic diabetes care, including administering insulin, and will allow children, if they are capable to do so, to self- manage their diabetes while at school. School staff are already allowed to administer glucagon in the case of a diabetes emergency per previously passed legislation.

"The American Diabetes Association thanks Governor Ige, and the bill's sponsor State Representative Roy M. Takumi for their support of House Bill 10, the Hawaii Safe at School legislation. This legislation is critical to protecting the health of all children with diabetes in Hawaii," said Dr. Jane K. Kadohiro, DrPH, APRN, CDE, FAADE, American Diabetes Association Hawaii State Advocacy Chair.

An estimated 208,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. These children have a disease that must be managed constantly, including the many hours spent at school, on field trips and in extra-curricular activities. Every day, children with diabetes are put at serious risk if no one is available at school to help with daily and emergency diabetes care. The passage of House Bill 10 will remove that risk by allowing school employees who volunteer to be trained to assist with the diabetes care these children need 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.

"This is a HUGE step forward to improve the lives of Hawaii's students with diabetes, their families and the many others who have worked tirelessly for years in our state toward this exciting day," said Dr. Kadohiro. "Now that our students will have more kokua (assistance) during school and school related activities, they will be able to focus more of their daily attentions on achieving their full learning potential and other developmental achievements that these school years are all about. Mahalo to the American Diabetes Association, the endless numbers of people, organizations and just plain hard work and encouragement of all who made this happen."

Devoted Association volunteers, including said Dr. Jane K. Kadohiro, Gino Soquena, Dr. Laurie K. S. Tom, Iris Okawa, Morris Atta, Mufi Hannemann, Chrissy DeRamos, the Hawaii Advocacy Committee and the Hawaii Community Leadership and Advisory Board were instrumental in advocating for Safe at School legislation in Hawaii.

"Daily life for children with diabetes and their families is not easy by any means. Knowing that HB 10 is now law in Hawaii means the world to me and my family. Being the mother of two children with diabetes, it is comforting to know that they will be safe at school," said Chrissy DeRamos, parent of two children with type 1 diabetes in Hawaii.

About the American Diabetes Association

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and every 21 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association) is the global authority on diabetes and since 1940 has been committed to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To tackle this global public health crisis, the Association drives discovery in 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 provides support and advocacy for people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETESS (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)