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Changing Diabetes Day at the Massachusetts State House

Friday, November 15, 2013

On Nov. 14, in honor of World Diabetes Day, Joslin representatives joined advocates from across the diabetes community at the Massachusetts State House, which hosted Changing Diabetes Day, an event aimed at informing Massachusetts legislators that diabetes is an epidemic in the Commonwealth that they cannot ignore. (Click play below for podcast about the event.)

"People with diabetes need to speak up," said Cathy Carver, Vice President for Advocacy and Planning at Joslin Diabetes Center, in an interview. "Especially in this environment of health care reform, we need to make sure people with diabetes get the health care they need and that the legislators are sensitive to the needs of people with diabetes."

This event featured Representative Steven Walsh, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing, who delivered a powerful speech about the need to prevent and raise awareness for diabetes.

Representative Walsh stated that, “as a community, we are not doing the right thing” when it comes to preventing diabetes. He continued, “We need to take the opportunity to talk about what’s important in the prevention” of chronic diseases, like diabetes.

Representative Walsh also included some statistics about the cost of healthcare in Massachusetts, such as the Commonwealth spent $66 billion on healthcare last year. He stated that we can combat high costs and the high rates of diabetes by, “looking at this through the eyes of the patient.” Representative Walsh concluded his remarks by announcing that Governor Deval Patrick declared Nov. 10 through 16 Diabetes Week in Massachusetts.

Other speakers included Tim Garvin, the President and CEO of the United Way of Central Massachusetts, Anna Floreen, Community Outreach Manager at T1D Exchange and Joe Miller, a health systems manager at Novo Nordisk. 

Floreen stressed that, “we are not doing enough” and there needs to be more education and research to combat diabetes.

Similarly, Garvin said that, “we have a window of opportunity” to share our fight against diabetes with local officials and the media.

This event was sponsored by the JDRF, United Way of Central Massachusetts, T1D Exchange, College Diabetes Network, American Diabetes Association, YMCA and Novo Nordisk.

Page last updated: September 22, 2014