From Tour de Cure to National Advocacy: Francisco Prieto, MD
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
He’s a family care doctor, a member of the National Advocacy Committee and the Latino Diabetes Action Council, and former president of the Sacramento Sierra chapter of the ADA.
How he started: An avid cyclist, Prieto was recruited by an endocrinologist colleague to ride in the Tour de Cure. “I was always pestering her about diabetes, and she asked if I would like to help with medical support and backup,” Prieto says. “I said sure, as I was interested in doing the ride anyway.” From there, he joined the Tour de Cure planning committee, and got his medical group and health system involved. He also served as a Safe at School volunteer before joining both national committees.
Encouraging words: “There are many, many ways to be an advocate. One of the easiest ways is to sign up at diabetes.org to be an advocate and receive the action alerts that ask you to send an e-mail to your legislators, relating to a diabetes issue. You can go from that very small step of sending an e-mail to actually visiting your legislators. If you want to make a change, and that change involves some kind of change in the law or policy, you have to tell someone.”