SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

March 08, 2010 08:00 ET

The American Diabetes Association Encourages Community Organizations to Join the Movement to Stop Diabetes(SM)

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) - The American Diabetes Association announced today their efforts to further engage community organizations across the country in raising awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and its complications through the Association's Stop Diabetes movement.

The American Diabetes Association is rolling out a Stop Diabetes Community Outreach Toolkit to help community and faith-based organizations, health clinics, libraries, hospitals, fraternal groups and corporations raise awareness of diabetes risk factors among their constituents. In late 2009, the Association launched Stop Diabetes, a nationwide movement to galvanize the involvement and support of everyone affected by this epidemic, including individuals, corporations, policymakers, health professionals and community organizations, in the fight against diabetes.

"We are so excited to be able to further engage community organizations through the Stop Diabetes movement," said Christine T. Tobin, RN, MBA, CDE, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. "If current trends continue, one in three children born today will face a future with diabetes. The toolkit will help us change the future of diabetes by reaching out to community organizations to help them raise awareness about this deadly disease."

The year-round Stop Diabetes Community Outreach Toolkit has been made possible as part of a three-year, $1.5 million grant to the American Diabetes Association from the WellPoint Foundation, a private, non-profit organization wholly funded by WellPoint, Inc.

"We are pleased to support the Stop Diabetes effort. Diabetes is affecting far too many people and providing information is essential to helping reduce the occurrence of diabetes," said Lance Chrisman, Executive Director, WellPoint Foundation. "We look forward to continuing to work with the American Diabetes Association to help improve access to necessary information."

The Stop Diabetes Community Outreach Toolkit will help organizations develop strategies and ideas built around the tenants of the Stop Diabetes (Share, Act, Learn, and Give) movement. One way to kick-off their year-round activities is through the 22nd Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day(SM), a one-day, "wake-up" call asking the American public -- "What will you do to Stop Diabetes(SM)? Know your risk." Held on the fourth Tuesday of every March, Diabetes Alert Day is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

On Diabetes Alert Day, community organizations are asked to use March 23 as a way to encourage individuals in their community to join the movement to Stop Diabetes by knowing their risk for type 2 diabetes by taking the Diabetes Risk Test and helping create a future free of this disease.

Diabetes is a devastating disease that affects nearly 24 million Americans and nearly one-quarter of those affected by diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. In addition, approximately 57 million, or one in five Americans, have pre-diabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Without intervention, individuals with pre-diabetes are at a much higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is over $174 billion; further published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes, and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the U.S. could exceed $218 billion. The Association seeks to change the future of diabetes and takes the opportunity of Diabetes Alert Day to help identify the undiagnosed and those at risk for type 2 diabetes by educating people about diabetes risk factors and warning signs.

Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes can live for years without realizing that they have this serious disease. While people with diabetes can exhibit noticeable symptoms, such as frequent urination, blurred vision and excessive thirst, most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes do not show these overt warning signs at the time that they develop the disease. Often, type 2 diabetes only becomes evident when people develop one or more of its serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage and nerve damage that can lead to amputations.

Among the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk, as are women who have had babies weighing more than nine pounds at birth.

For more information about the movement to Stop Diabetes or the Stop Diabetes Community Outreach Toolkit, please visit stopdiabetes.com or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

About the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About the WellPoint Foundation

The WellPoint Foundation, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization wholly funded by WellPoint, Inc. Through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes WellPoint's inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint's affiliate health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Colleen Fogarty
    (703) 549-1500 ext. 2146