Last month, we brought advocates from across the nation to Capitol Hill for the 2018 Call to Congress advocacy day. The group included children and adults living with diabetes and family members, as well as researchers, physicians and health care providers. We were also joined by members of Team Tackle, an initiative that brings together current and former professional football players and the ADA to draw increased attention to diabetes.
Diabetes Advocates from across the country called on Congress to increase federal funding to support and drive diabetes research and programs, to protect access to adequate health insurance for people with diabetes and to ensure that lifesaving insulin is affordable for all who need it. Advocates held over 200 meetings with members of Congress and their staff.
Reece, age 16, has lived with type 1 diabetes for 8 years. She attended Call to Congress for the first time this year, traveling from Michigan. “Diabetes has provided me a platform to speak out about what I believe in, which is improving healthcare, expanding diabetes research and giving even the youngest patients a voice to make change. I may be young, but I know Congress is listening, and by sharing my story, diabetes is no longer invisible and can’t be ignored.”
Call to Congress also included a press conference where our latest findings on the rising economic costs of diabetes were announced. During the press conference, Martha P. Clark, Interim CEO, William T. Cefalu, MD, Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer, and Jane Reusch, MD, President of Medicine & Science, were joined by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Diabetes Caucus.
The three-day event also featured key advocacy training, where attendees received critical insight into our legislative priorities, tips for making their congressional meetings most effective and continuing advocacy efforts after returning home.
Interested in getting involved with our advocacy efforts? Learn more here.