DIABETES CAUCUS FORMED BY ILLINOIS STATE LEGISLATORS
On March 31, Illinois lawmakers formed a Legislative Diabetes Caucus made up of a bi-partisan group of state legislators impassioned by the impact of diabetes. Its goal is to engage in outreach that not only mitigates the burden of diabetes, but provides support for those who suffer from the disease. According to a Huntley Patch article, Tom Cross (R-Oswego) mentions that "almost ten percent of Illinoisans suffer from either Type I or Type II diabetes." Cross has a child living with Type I diabetes and is personally affected by this issue.
According to the article, Representative Cynthia Soto's (D-Chicago) district has the highest percentage of people living with diabetes. She states, "Along with my colleagues and diabetes caucus members, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and bring clear awareness and education to our state and to the people and families affected by the issue."
Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus Goals
The Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus will support public policy and programs that will improve the lives of those affected by diabetes while working with advocates and stakeholders to create awareness for the detection, prevention and management of the disease.
To hold informal meetings for members and staff here in Springfield to acquaint agencies, staff and members of relevant changes in the delivery, support, education, treatment and research of this disease.
Ensure that diabetes is adequately addressed in all relevant legislation and regulations.
Urge all committees of the Illinois General Assembly to support diabetes programs and patient care though letters and testimony
Continue to build and support the Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus into a sustainable dynamic entity, information clearing house and constituent outreach services organization.
The Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus will promote sound diabetes policy development including the:
Education of colleagues on key issues from consumer, family, and caregiver perspectives;
Establishment of a forum to develop political strategies to advance diabetes issues;
Development of local district-centric awareness activities;
Evaluation of legislative and public policy changes for the advancement of diabetes education, prevention and treatment,
To Educate and facilitate the dissemination of information regarding the differences between type I and type II diabetes and,
To Create a forum for dialogue, learning and communication with varied stakeholders.
The Caucus can be found here.