Legal Advocacy Networks Honor
A Safe at School advocate is awarded for her dedication
Each year, the American Diabetes Association issues an award to the person who makes the greatest contribution to building the Association’s legal advocacy volunteer networks of attorneys, health care professionals, and school advocates. The networks expand the ADA’s capacity in educating about, advocating for, and negotiating on behalf of people facing discrimination because of their diabetes.
The recipient of the 2015 Steve Bieringer “Keep on Trucking” Award is Cynthia Muñoz, PhD, MPH, a pediatric psychologist and dedicated Safe at School advocate. In 2015, Muñoz conducted training on diabetes for all Los Angeles Unified School District school nurses—a first and important step in ensuring that one of the nation’s largest public school systems is equipped to care for students with diabetes. Muñoz is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
An ADA advocacy training event in Los Angeles sparked her journey into advocacy leadership. It soon led to her attending local advocacy meetings, then chairing the Los Angeles Safe at School committee, serving on the community leadership board, and chairing the Los Angeles legal advocacy committee. “I’ve dedicated my career as a pediatric psychologist to promoting optimal quality of life for children and families who live with this disease,” Muñoz says. “My motivation is my family. Several of my family members live—or have lived—with diabetes. It’s their struggle, along with my own personal risk factor, that fuels my fight.”
Read more about the award’s namesake antidiscrimination advocate, Steve Bieringer, at diabetes.org/stevebieringeraward.