Nowadays, it’s once again Diabetes Alert Day.
No, we’re not talking about being alarmed to large advocacy problems like insulin affordability or healthcare accessibility, but rather that the yearly kind 2-focused public awareness evening held each fourth Tuesday in March by the American Diabetes Association. This effort is currently indicating its 29th year, and once again is mainly centered on getting people to take what is known as the Diabetes Risk Test.
Those of us living with diabetes (either type) often find it difficult to get enthusiastic about a particular D-Alert Day, provided that we’re living it every day.
That said, the truth is that type 2 diabetes and prediabetes have been spreading at epidemic proportions — not just in the United States, but globally. As our friends in the DiaTribe Foundation have described it, there is a #DiabetesAvalanche out there that needs more discussion and consciousness, so in that spirit we have to appreciate the ADA’s annual Diabetes Alert Day.
Q&A on Diabetes Alert Day Efforts
DM) What is new for D-Alert Day 2017 that differs from past years?
ADA) This season, we are attracting the Alert Day attention and involvement back to the first Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test (as last season was focused on prediabetes).
In January 2016, we combined with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to establish a nationwide prediabetes awareness campaign with the Ad Council. Collectively, our organizations created a collection of PSAs and digital properties to boost consciousness of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes risk among high-risk American adults. The most important call to action was to take the Association’s prediabetes risk test — rebranded as the Prediabetes Risk Test — then, if the test indicates you’re at elevated risk, to follow up with your physician and enroll in the National Diabetes Prevention Program to make lifestyle changes.
This past year, we strategically coordinated our nationwide Alert Day programs and messaging together with what was then our new Ad Council campaign. Our collaboration with the Ad Council, AMA and CDC continues nationally through the end of the season.
Could you share more about the new ‘strategic partners’ that the ADA has for this season’s D-Alert Day?
To help increase awareness of the prevalence and risks for type 2 diabetes, we have collaborated with two strategic partners that this season –
- Quest Diagnostics Health & Wellness is our 2017 nationwide Alert Day sponsor and is providing employer-based biometric screenings — including blood glucose tests — nationally. Committed to helping stop and delay type 2 diabetes, Quest will share the danger test using its 43,000 employees and company customers and will contribute $1 to the Association for every biometric wellness screening performed between March 28 and April 27, 2017, up to $200,000.
- Prince Hall Shriners is a national fraternal organization dedicated to educating the African American community concerning type 2 diabetes which is going to be distributing risk test posters to barber shops and beauty salons in countries with existing Prince Hall Shriners chapters around the country. African-Americans are almost two times as likely to develop diabetes as adults, and almost 30% of diabetes in African-Americans goes undiagnosed.
We are also leveraging partnerships with other federal organizations like the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Japanese-American Citizen League, along with minority health teams. This year we have really tried to think beyond our traditional avenues for sharing information about Alert Day, and are excited about our possible chances.
The NFL Players Association attracts a ‘cool factor’ for sure. Would you tell us?
We have been working together for a year now on a Team Tackle initiative that brings together 45 current, former and upcoming professional soccer players — representing each of 32 professional teams in the country — to call national attention to cardiovascular disease. The primary action in 2016 was our Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, and lots of the players participated in our camps and signature events throughout 2016. However, Team Tackle was not involved in Alert Day last year.
We are eager to have Team Tackle back again participating in 2017 Phone to Congress and also this season, integrating Team Tackle to the Association’s star days, such as Diabetes Alert Day. Additionally, the Team Tackle roster is continuing to grow and we have added 20 players since Capitol Hill Advocacy Day last year.
While the partnership will support all people affected by diabetes, a huge focus of this NFLPA partnership is on type 2 prevention and direction. A effort with Team Tackle and supported by the NFLPA throughout 2017 will be boosting the Risk Test.
What exactly will the two organizations do together to raise awareness and provide education or resources to the public?
Elements of this partnership include:
- Collaborating on on-going prevention education campaigns, such as Diabetes Alert Day
- Engaging Team Tackle at the Association’s community occasions
- ADA involvement in NFLPA’s Health Awareness Month and providing on-going diabetes education to NFLPA associates
Can you tell us a bit more about how the NFLPA is involved with recommending to Congress on diabetes?
The ADA’s Phone to Congress app on capitol hill provides one important avenue with this partnership to raise awareness.
On Thursday March 30, the Association will host a press conference including diabetes advocates, health care providers and two U.S. Senators to raise voices for the critical health care needs of individuals with diabetes. Immediately after the press conference, members of Team Tackle and advocates from around the country will meet with their members of Congress to explore the dangerous consequences individuals with diabetes will confront if the Affordable Care Act is repealed with no replacement that provides equal or increased policy and protections for individuals with diabetes ; support for research to therapy and possible cures for diabetes ; and help to guarantee access to insulin.
This event will be held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building (SD562), from 9-10 a.m. Those attending will be:
- Kevin L. Hagan, Chief Executive Officer, American Diabetes Association
- William T. Cefalu, MD, Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer, American Diabetes Association
- LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President, Advocacy, American Diabetes Association
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. , Co-Chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus
- Senator Susan M. Collins, R-Maine, Co-Chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus
- George King, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School
- Kyle Love, defensive tackle for the Carolina professional soccer team and Team Tackle member
- Kathy Sego, advocate and mother
- Liz Kennett, BSN, RN, CDE, certified diabetes nurse educator and advocate
Great to hear. How do person PWDs around the country become involved in such efforts?
The Diabetes Community will become involved by continuing to support our collective attempts to raise consciousness and elevate the conversation to the national forefront. As further neighborhood events have been scheduled, we’ll be sure to share these.
D-Alert Day On the Years
So, that is the dealio to get D-Alert Day 2017.
For those interested in how this consciousness day’s efforts have evolved throughout the years, you can see our past coverage here:
What do you think, D-Community?
In case you’re inclined to select the Diabetes Risk Test yourself or share it within your own networks, you can take the test online or obtain a paper version here.
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.
This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn’t adhere to Healthline’s editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline’s partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.
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