Diabetes Forecast

American Diabetes Month Raises Awareness

The American Diabetes Association is redoubling its outreach efforts in November by encouraging everyone to make the pledge to Stop Diabetes as a part of American Diabetes Month.

Under this year's theme, "I Raise My Hand to Stop Diabetes," American Diabetes Month will include local events and a nationwide push to make the pledge on the ADA's Facebook pages, says Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, MSPH, PhD, RD, the Association's president of health care and education. Each week will have a different subtheme—"Fighting for the Future," "Impacting Communities," "Celebrating Health," and "Commitment to a Cure"—to provide structure for grassroots action.

Local ADA offices will use American Diabetes Month as a springboard to raise community awareness of diabetes and its complications. The Association's African American Committee will work with more than 100 churches during the sixth annual I Decide to Fight Diabetes, or ID Day, campaign. Programs will be held across Los Angeles County to educate people about diabetes, its risks and complications, and the importance of healthy eating and active living in managing the disease or preventing type 2 diabetes.

During the month, the Los Angeles office will partner with Transit TV, an in-bus wireless television network, to broadcast public service announcements in English and Spanish to 1.2 million riders daily. The office will also team with Clear Channel Radio, which will air promotions about diabetes on eight different stations aimed at diverse audiences. "It just seems to resonate with specific groups when you customize the message to them," says Mary Hewitt, communications director of the Association's Los Angeles office.

In Indianapolis, "community" is the theme of the ADA's local November events. What's planned includes an annual gala, town hall meetings with local and state legislators, and a meet-up for the Indiana online diabetes community, to take bloggers away from their keyboards and get them together in person. "This year, as we really look at what we're doing with American Diabetes Month, we understand that diabetes is not something that we can [conquer] by ourselves, so we're reaching out," says Jennifer Pferrer, executive director of the Indianapolis office. A list of American Diabetes Month events in the Indianapolis area is available at diabetes.org/indiana and facebook.com/amdiabetesin.

As the month progresses, Hewitt hopes that people will take time to be involved. "Everyone needs to get onboard with getting educated and sharing that information with others," she says. "What greater vehicle than having a whole month dedicated to that?"

For more information on American Diabetes Month in your area or how to take the pledge during November, visit stopdiabetes.com, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383), or text JOIN 69866 (standard data and message rates apply).



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