Diabetes Advocacy Leading Up to November’s Diabetes Awareness Month

Endocrine Society has been an active leader on Capitol Hill advocating for diabetes prevention, coverage, and research programs.

Here are some highlights of our recent activities:

On October 5, the Society hosted a virtual congressional briefing focused on how the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) addresses racial and ethnic disparities. The purpose of the briefing was to educate congressional offices about the work the NIDDK is doing on this issue to build support for increased funding. The panel included Dr. Griffin Rodgers, the director of NIDDK. Rodgers focused his presentation on how NIDDK has been working to address disparities in its research. The briefing also included a presentation from Endocrine Society past president Dale Abel, MD, PhD, who discussed the Society’s FLARE program as an example of how the NIDDK is supporting researchers in these efforts. If you’re interested, you can watch a recording of the briefing on the Endocrine Society’s website at www.endocrine.org/advocacy/priorities-and-positions/diabetes.

In October, the Society hosted a Virtual Hill Day to build support for reauthorizing the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) and funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Funding for the SDP, which is a critical program for diabetes research and prevention, is scheduled to expire on December 11. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been significant disruptions to important biomedical research happening at the NIH. During our Hill Day, Endocrine Society members met with their congressional representatives to discuss the need for a five-year reauthorization of SDP and $15 billion in supplemental funding for the NIH.

On October 27, the Endocrine Society hosted a congressional briefing on the Special Diabetes Program for congressional offices. The panel included Endocrine Society member Al Powers, MD, from Vanderbilt University and Griffin Rodgers, MD, from the NIDDK. Powers and Rodgers focused their presentations on the important research being done on type 1 diabetes, which is an important part of SDP. The briefing also featured chief Beverly Cook, a member of the National Indian Health Board. Cook, who is a family nurse practitioner, focused her presentation on the importance of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), which funds prevention programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The Society will continue to advocate on these important issues. We encourage you to take action on this by contacting your representative and senators directly. Please visit our online advocacy campaign to learn about how you can advocate for NIH funding and the Special Diabetes Program. You can find more information at www.endocrine.org/take-action.

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