Health and Family Services Cabinet
‘Diabetes Day at the Capitol’ Set for February
Event designed to raise awareness, garner support for services
Diabetes remains one of the major public health concerns in Kentucky, where more than 339,400 people are affected by the debilitating disease.
For that reason, the Kentucky Diabetes Network (KDN) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) are sponsoring “Diabetes Day at the Capitol” in February to help raise awareness about the disease. The event begins at 8 a.m. Feb. 27, in Room 111 of the Capitol Annex. Randy Steele, an optometrist, (KDN) and Stewart Perry (American Diabetes Association), will start the event by providing a brief welcome. Anyone who has diabetes, has an interest in diabetes or has a concern about diabetes services in Kentucky is encouraged to attend.
“Lowering the rate of diabetes as well as reducing other health risks associated with the disease requires knowledge and public education,” said Steele. “By attending ‘Diabetes Day at the Capitol,’ we can show our concern and the need for continued support for programs that target the state’s diabetes problem.”
According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), diabetes mellitus is one of the most common and serious chronic diseases in the United States. About 20.8 million Americans have diabetes, many of whom do not know they have the disease. Each year, approximately 1.3 million Americans 20 years old or older are diagnosed with diabetes.
DPH estimates that 376,000 adult Kentuckians have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes.
“Without continued intervention and awareness efforts, the numbers of diabetes cases will continue to increase,” said William Hacker, M.D., Health and Family Services’ acting undersecretary for health and public health commissioner. “We have to act now to raise awareness among the general public, health care providers and those who guide policy decisions to reverse the trends we’re seeing with chronic diseases.”
“Diabetes Day at the Capitol” will include a rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 10 a.m. with several speakers followed by meetings with legislators throughout the day. Packets of information about the event will be mailed. For more information or to receive a packet, contact Deborah Fillman of the Green River District Health Department at (270) 852-5581 or by e-mail at Deborah.Fillman@ky.gov.
"Diabetes Day provides diabetes advocates from throughout the commonwealth an opportunity to meet with the officials they elected to represent their interests in Frankfort,” said Stewart Perry, ADA National Board chairman-elect. “We’re able to thank policymakers for the steps they have taken to address the diabetes epidemic in Kentucky. We can further educate them on the seriousness of diabetes and what remaining diabetes issues and concerns are most pressing and in need of attention."
For diabetes-related information, call DPH’s Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at (502) 564-7996 or visit its Web site at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/diabetes or the National Diabetes Education Program site at (www.ndep.nih.gov).