Hundreds of Diabetes Advocates Arrive on Capitol Hill to Urge Congress to Stop Diabetes®

Alexandria, Virginia
March 11, 2015

Nearly 200 Diabetes Advocates from the American Diabetes Association will meet with their Members of Congress this week as part of the Association’s premier national advocacy effort, Call to Congress. Held March 11 – 13, 2015 in Washington, DC, advocates will urge policymakers to support federal funding for diabetes research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); advocates will also ask Congress for a multi-year reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program.

With the 114th Congress newly underway, advocates will ask their Members of Congress to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, which acts to educate Members about diabetes and to support legislation that improves diabetes research, education, treatment, and prevention.

During this exciting 3-day event, Diabetes Advocates will have the opportunity to network with other advocates from around the country, have face-to-face meetings with Members of Congress or their staff, and strategize on bringing diabetes advocacy back to their communities. The Association will also deliver a petition with more than 28,000 signatures calling on Congress to do their part to Stop Diabetes. Attendees will include children and adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, family members of individuals with diabetes, and researchers and other health care professionals who are committed to advocacy efforts at the local, state and national levels.

“Call to Congress brings diabetes advocates from across the country together in the movement to Stop Diabetes and provides them with the opportunity to tell our federal government how important it is to fight this deadly epidemic,” said Janel Wright, JD, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association. “As diabetes takes a physical and financial toll on this country, federal funding is critical in our nation’s response to this epidemic.  Congress must provide leadership and invest in research and prevention programs that will ultimately Stop Diabetes.”

Currently in the U.S., there are nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and an additional 86 million are estimated to have prediabetes. The national price tag for diabetes and prediabetes is an astounding $322 billion per year. To help address these alarming statistics, Diabetes Advocates will call on Congress to provide $2.066 billion in FY 2016 funding for diabetes research through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.  Advocates will also ask Congress to support and prioritize vital diabetes prevention activities at the CDC through the efforts of the agency’s Division of Diabetes Translation by providing $140.1 million in next year’s budget.  Additionally, advocates will call on Congress to provide $20 million for the National Diabetes Prevention Program and reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program for three years.

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)