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A Spoonful of Ginger Marks a Milestone with its 10th Anniversary and Honors Dr. George King

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

In 2000, George King, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin, and his wife Diana co-founded the Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) with four other families, including Sally and Larry Ho, Evelyn and Larry Wing, Jean and Gene Chin, and Eugene and Lai Wong, at Joslin Diabetes Center in response to the rising rates of diabetes within the Asian American population. Fast-forward to 14 years later and Dr. King will be honored for his many years of leadership and dedication at the 10th anniversary of A Spoonful of Ginger, the AADI’s annual event to promote awareness and raise funds for their diabetes care, education, community outreach and research programs. 

“I am flattered that the AADI chose to honor me at Ginger, but the work is really done by multiple people,” said Dr. King. “It has been an exciting and rewarding 14 years.”

William Hsu, M.D., Senior Director of Joslin Health Solutions International and Director of the Asian Clinic at Joslin, praises Dr. King for his perseverance.

“It takes a person with tremendous resolve, vision and determination to not only initiate this process, but also to see that our work continues to be successful, and that’s what Dr. King has done for the AADI,” said Dr. Hsu. “I admire his boldness and his out of box thinking, which empowers the AADI to navigate through hurdles that come our way.  This is reflected in the entire [AADI] team’s attitude, which is that this is not a nine-to-five job.  This job is really a labor of love.”

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Ginger and a decade of remarkable work and progress from the AADI.

“We have dramatically increased awareness about the high risk for diabetes in the Asian American population locally in Massachusetts, and at the national level, the AADI and the Coalition of Diabetes in AANHPI has activated the government and national organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to focus on diabetes and healthcare for the AANHPI community,” explained Dr. King.

 Dr. Hsu echoed Dr. King’s sentiments about the AADI’s accomplishments over the last decade.

“I think the AADI has become a voice in an otherwise voiceless community in terms of diabetes and its risks and complications,” commented Dr. Hsu.

 “When we started in 2000, there was hardly any mention of the high rates of diabetes within the Asian American population and now if you look anywhere – in the media and scientific literature – it is a lot more visible, and I think we have helped to catalyze a national dialogue.”

The AADI uses a comprehensive approach to treat and prevent diabetes, both on a local and national level that contains community outreach, educational and research efforts.  

One of the AADI’s most significant achievements has been getting the A1C levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in line with the American Diabetes Association’s guidelines for 25 percent of patients in the Asian clinic at Joslin. Nationally, only 18 percent of patients meet these guidelines.

In the Boston area the AADI successfully conducted 120 community outreach programs, including their new Healthy Living for All Seasons study in Quincy, which assists and educates seniors on diabetes and its complications, nutrition and exercise.

The Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) at Joslin Diabetes Center.

On a national level, the AADI formed the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Diabetes Coalition (AANHPI-DC) where Dr. King serves as the co-chair. The AANHPI allows the AADI and other coalition leaders to voice their message to a broader audience.

The AADI also created a website that reaches over 120 countries in addition to producing educational materials in multiple languages that are disseminated to healthcare providers, community health centers and patients all across the country.

“We have been very well received by the community,” said Chihiro Hernandez, Community Program Specialist for the AADI. “It’s all about the connection between the AADI’s four arms – community outreach, clinical care, research and education – and what we do in the community because we really value the community’s input.”

The various efforts and achievements from the AADI would not be possible without the support from Ginger.

“It truly warms my heart to see friends and colleagues come together at the 10th anniversary of Ginger to celebrate, to show support and to give us encouragement,” commented Dr. Hsu. “The overwhelming support for Ginger is a true testament of the work we have done and the investments we have put into the community.”

Aside from serving as an opportunity for the community to celebrate the AADI’s work, Ginger provides essential funding for the AADI.

“The funding from Ginger is key – it represents anywhere from a third to a half of the support for our activities, and it allows us to develop educational materials, outreach efforts and an innovative care algorithm, which directly impacts our patients,” stressed Dr. King.

For more information about the 10th anniversary of A Spoonful of Ginger visit the Facebook page, or click here to purchase tickets.

Page last updated: April 26, 2018