California State Briefing

March 28, 2012, Sacramento, California

Women In Government's California State Briefing

On Wednesday, March 28, 2012 in Sacramento, California, Women In Government and host Assemblywoman Fiona Ma held a State Briefing featuring information on diabetes and diabetes disparities. The event for state legislators and invited guests was held from 11:30am – 1:00pm at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel. The California State Briefing featured an introduction to Women In Government followed by two presentations on diabetes from experts in the field.

An estimated 26 million adults and children in the U.S. have diabetes. Of these, seven million cases have gone undiagnosed. Even more troubling is that 79 million U.S. adults have pre-diabetes, a condition that can increase a person’s risk of diabetes type 2, heart disease, and stroke. If the trend continues, one in three Americans could have diabetes by 2050.

In January 2011, responding to these compelling statistics, Women In Government launched a three-year campaign, the Diabetes Health Challenge, with the intent to help state policymakers fight this rising epidemic of this debilitating disease through enacting sound public policies. As a result of these ongoing efforts, Women In Government recognized the need for a forum through which policymakers can access up-to-date information and data specific to their states, share best practices, and brainstorm effective policy solutions.

In 2010, the rate of diabetes in California was 10.14 percent, ranked 27th highest of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  If current trends continue, California’s rate of diabetes could reach almost 15 percent by 2025, affecting an estimated 6.6 million people.  Additionally, 39 percent of all individuals with diabetes in California are Hispanic American, compared to eight percent for African Americans, eleven percent for Asian Americans, and two percent for Native Americans.  This demonstrates a unique area of focus and concern for both prevention and control efforts. Furthermore, in 2007, the direct and indirect cost of diabetes within the state amounted to $24.42 billion, a significant financial figure.  

The goal of the state briefing was to both inform – through use of specific state data – a wide group of state stakeholders about diabetes and discuss opportunities in their state to increase legislative or policy activity around the topic. Invited participants included all women state legislators, as well as other legislators interested in diabetes policy, and stakeholders from the healthcare industry, medical practitioners, and patient advocacy organizations.  The first speaker at the event was Eric Tozer, a native of Los Angeles, California, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 22.  Mr. Tozer discussed the importance of the advocacy community in positively impacting the lives of patients through his experience with competitive cycling on Team Type 1.  The second speaker was Dr. Edward Chow, Executive Director, Chinese Community Health Care Association.  Dr. Chow spoke about diabetes specific to the Asian Pacific Islander Populations in California as well as what can be done to address the growing disparity.

To learn more about their presentations, please use the links below:

For more information on the speakers and Women In Government, visit the links below:

For additional policy information, please contact: 
Brenna Kehew
Policy Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 211

For future sponsorship information, please contact:
Sarah Mier
Development Manager
202.333.0825 ext. 246

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