The actions of state legislators are vital to diabetes awareness and resource allocation as well as prevention and control measures. Aside from enacting sound policy, state legislators can benefit their constituency at the grassroots level in a variety of different ways. Below are examples of recent diabetes-related activities by legislators.
Recent Legislator Activities
In late February 2012, Maine Representative Stacey Guerin spoke at a local women's group meeting in her area, providing attendees with an informative presentation as well as educational materials and discussion. Guerin also worked with Women In Government to design an article for her local paper about diabetes prevention and control resources specific to her community.
"Diabetes is a serious problem to the people of Maine," said Guerin. "I'd like to do everything in my power to provide education on prevention measures."
To learn more about Representative Guerin, or contact her, please click here
Women in Government's Board Member and Diabetes Champion, Representative Patricia Bellock, has been pivotal in the fight against diabetes in Illinois. In HR 1442, Representative Bellock and other legislators urged congress to renew funding for Type 1 diabetes research in 2010 and multiple years thereafter. Representative Bellock was also one of many key legislators to designate November 2011 as Diabetes Awareness Month in her state.
On March 31, 2011, Illinois lawmakers formed the Legislative Diabetes Caucus made of a bi-partisan group of state legislators, including Representative Bellock, impassioned by the impact of diabetes. Representative Bellock was among the legislators who recognized the troubling implications of diabetes in the state, which currently has a diabetes rate of almost 11 percent and could see rates as high as 15 percent and costs as high as 19.5 billion by 2025.
To learn more about the Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus, please go to www.ilgadiabetes.com or http://womeningovernment.org/diabetes/illinois-caucus
To learn more about Representative Bellock, or contact her, please click here.
Women in Government Diabetes Champion, Representative Corinne Ching, has made diabetes a priority during the 2012 legislative session. In January 2012, Rep. Ching introduced Hawaii HB 2865, a measure focused on establishing, through the Department of Health's Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, a task force focused on diabetes and obesity prevention. "Health organizations and advocates have done a superb job assisting those affected by diabetes, but we need to understand why Hawaii is still among the highest in prevalence," says Ching. "This is the beginning step to address an issue causing tremendous heartache and fiscal complications to our economy.” (To see video of Rep. Ching addressing this bill, please click here: YouTube)
Rep. Ching has also participated in several measures to bring focus to the issue of diabetes, including making an appearance on the Fontaine Factor, a public access program hosted by Representative George Fontaine, to dicuss current policy measures that address diabetes. (To see video of Rep. Ching on the Fontaine Factor, please click here: YouTube).
To learn more about Rep. Ching's activities in the field of diabetes, or to contact her, please click here.
Women In Government would like to hear about the efforts of state legislators to push diabetes to the forefront of the healthcare discussion. Please keep us informed of any activities and events happening in your community and we will be sure to include them in our Diabetes Health Challenge newsletter as well as on the Diabetes Policy Resource Center.
To submit an activity or event, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.