Diabetes Advocate: Jane K. Kadohiro, DrPH, APRN, CDE, FAADE
Jane K. Kadohiro, DrPH, APRN, CDE, FAADE
Jane K. Kadohiro, 67, has been advocating for people affected by diabetes since before the Association had an official advocacy program or a national presence. This year marks a special anniversary—her 60th living with type 1 diabetes.
“I was told by my high school counselor and the school nurse that in spite of my top grades and scholarships, there was no need for me to apply to college and that I would never be able to become a doctor—because I had diabetes!” Kadohiro says. “I realized that most people did not know very much about diabetes and thus treated those who had diabetes unjustly.”
Since then, Kadohiro has worked to foster diabetes fairness—and gained six college degrees, a husband, two children, and four grandchildren. In her 30 years of service to Hawaii, she was a public health nurse, chronic disease branch chief at the Department of Health, director of health, and faculty member in nursing at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
There’s simply not enough space to list Kadohiro’s decades of service on ADA national and local advocacy committees plus the professional organizations in which she has had leadership roles. Highlights include 25 years of directing Hawaii’s diabetes camp and advocating for Safe at School legislation. Kadohiro has testified about and championed other state and national legislation to improve diabetes care and rights—from Medicare coverage of diabetes self-management training to waivers for commercial drivers.
Motivation: “I never expected to live beyond my 30s. When the years kept coming and the joys of life kept happening, I knew that I had to do all I could to help make a ‘diabetes difference’ in the world.”
Encouraging Words: “It’s usually helpful to start by serving the local community, and then—the state, the nation, and the world!” Kadohiro advises learning about programs that interest you and how to get in contact with the influencers and decision makers. “Plant the seeds where there is fertile ground and water them,” she says. “If they don’t catch, try again.”