[caption id="attachment_44" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Dr. Lou Philipson, Dr. Kenneth Polonsky, Mr. Warner Saunders , Rep. Mike Tryon, Rep. Jim Durkin, Peggy Hasenauer and Rep. Tom Cross at Illinois Diabetes Awareness Day."][/caption]

CHICAGO — Nov. 14, 2011 marks Illinois’ first Diabetes Awareness Day thanks to House Resolution 557, sponsored by House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego). The day lands on World Diabetes Day — which celebrates the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, carried out experiments in 1922 that led to the discovery of insulin to manage diabetes — and converges with American Diabetes Month.
“Diabetes is a disease that affects nearly 10 percent of the residents in Illinois,” said Rep. Cross. “It not only affects those residents, but also their family and friends. Creating more awareness about this important issue will help others better recognize the signs of diabetes and hopefully lead to better treatment options.”
The Illinois Diabetes Legislative Caucus, led by Rep. Cross, physicians from the Medical Center including the Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean of Pritzker School of Medicine Kenneth Polonsky, and renowned Chicago broadcaster Warner Saunders hosted a press conference announcing the designation was held Monday at the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Kovler Diabetes Center.
“Diabetes Awareness Day is an occasion to ponder both the worrisome surge in diabetes cases and the promising scientific efforts under way to treat this difficult disease,” said Louis Philipson, MD, Ph.D., professor of medicine and pediatrics and director of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. “At the University of Chicago Medical Center, discoveries are made every day that will shape the future of how we treat all forms of diabetes.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, Illinois has 800,000 citizens diagnosed with diabetes and another estimated 500,000 who are not aware they have the disease. Illinois’ estimated direct healthcare cost from diabetes is $7.3 billion per year.
“We are working to bring events and awareness fairs throughout the state to help bring awareness to advances in medicine and the need for education for those who have diabetes but we believe this state wide day will help us educate citizens on a much larger scale,” said Rep. Michael Tryon (R-Crystal Lake).
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among adults in the United States and is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
“As a member of the Kovler Leadership Board, I hope that this inaugural Illinois Diabetes Day brings attention to the challenges faced by patients with this disease across the state of Illinois, particularly those in underserved areas,” Saunders said.
SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus and The Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition are teaming up to hold the first Diabetes Summit in Illinois to bring together ideas.

The Diabetes Summit is a venue to bring together activists, interest groups, and legislators to discuss the needs of the Diabetes Community and what legislative changes can be made to help Illinoisans.

The Illinois Diabetes Summit will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on October 25 at the Statehouse Inn in Springfield. All members of the Diabetes Caucus and the Diabetes Policy Coalition are invited to attend.

Ingleside, IL…..State Representative Michael W. Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) took a tour this month of a special camp which blends good old fashioned summer fun with diabetes education and support for kids suffering from diabetes.

On August 2, Tryon and Althoff, who are both members of the Illinois General Assembly Diabetes Caucus, visited the Triangle D Camp at the YMCA’s Camp Duncan in Ingleside, and while visiting they got a firsthand look at how area preteens are learning to better understand and manage their diabetes. “I really enjoyed visiting this camp,” said Tryon. “It’s clear that Camp Duncan provides a great environment where kids can learn from other kids and see that they are not alone with their diabetes struggles.”

According to Sue Apsey, Program Director for the Chicago Office of the American Diabetes Association, the six-day overnight camp brought 138 Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana kids between the ages of 9-13 together for the program which challenges each child to reach their potential both mentally and physically. “We provide an opportunity for kids to feel just like everyone else,” Apsey said. “They enjoy swimming, rope climbing, campfires and other traditional summer camp activities, but the common denominator among them is diabetes.”

Campers come to the Triangle D Camp with varying levels of ability to self-manage their symptoms, and Apsey said activities are planned for the interest and skill level of each child. “Overall program goals include improved self-esteem, taking responsibility for diabetes management and social adjustment in a setting away from home,” she said.

Tryon, who was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2006, said he was pleased to see kids taking charge of the management of their symptoms. “For some of these kids this was probably the first time they were in a setting where their parents were not completely in charge of the diabetes management, “ he said. “Physicians, nurses and dietitians were truly helping to create self-care independence for these children.”
SPRINGFIELD…Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is joining together with the Illinois Diabetes Caucus and the Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition for a legislative advocacy Day on Tuesday, May 10.

On Tuesday, members of the Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition will be in Springfield to meet with legislators to discuss diabetes issues that currently affect approximately 10% of Illinoisans. Tryon, who was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2006, said the advocacy day should shine light on a very serious issue. “Cases of Type I and II diabetes are growing in number each year,” said Tryon. “As a combined group, we hope promote prevention, awareness and treatment of the disease.”

Tryon, along with House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Representatives Jim Durkin (R-LaGrange), Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago), Will Davis (D-East Hazel Crest), Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) and Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero) announced at the beginning of April the formation of the Illinois bipartisan legislative diabetes caucus. The caucus’ goals include:

1. Seek needed legislation and evaluate filed legislation that affects people with diabetes.

2. Promote prevention education, available treatments and public programs that assist people with diabetes.

3. Reach out to agencies that assist people with diabetes.

4. Engage in outreach efforts between the caucus, its supporting agencies and people who suffer from diabetes.

The Illinois Diabetes Policy Coalition is an independent consortium of healthcare organizations which advocate on behalf of people with diabetes and who suffer from diabetes-related complications. The mission of the IDPC is to engage in initiatives that:

  • Reduce the burden of diabetes and are evidence-based

  • Thoughtfully address the health disparity associated with diabetes

  • Improve diabetes prevention methods and increase access to education and early detection

Additional information about the Illinois Legislative Diabetes caucus can be found at www.ilgadiabetes.com.

SPRINGFIELD – House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), along with state Reps. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake),  and Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs),  announced the formation of a bipartisan legislative Diabetes Caucus on Thursday to bring heightened awareness to the growing diabetes epidemic in Illinois.

“Diabetes is a disease that affects a growing number of Illinois families each year,” said Cross. “Today almost 10 percent of Illinoisans suffer from either Type I or Type II diabetes, and this new caucus will bring a bipartisan approach to diabetes prevention, awareness and treatment.”

For most of the eight members of the caucus steering committee, the issue of diabetes is a very personal one. Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2006. “Living with diabetes has been life-changing,” said Tryon. “Through my own research I have found that many Illinois families struggle to find sufficient information and resources that can help them manage symptoms and maintain a maximum quality of life.”

For Leader Cross and Representative Jim Durkin (R-LaGrange), diabetes affects family members. Both have children with Type I diabetes. “The steering committee is off to a great start and we’ve been meeting regularly since January,” said Durkin. “I have no doubt that this caucus will provide many tools to help families manage the symptoms and care of their loved ones.”

Representative Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) represents District 4, which includes Humboldt Park. According to Soto, Humboldt Park has been identified as the community with the highest percentage of people living with diabetes in the state. “Along with my colleagues and diabetes caucus members, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and bring clear awareness and education to our state and to the people and families affected by this issue,” she said.

Cross said an invitation will be extended to other legislators to join the caucus. He also said they have been approached by many corporate and non-profit agencies that are willing to help with outreach efforts.

According to Cross, the steering committee’s goals include:

Seek needed legislation and evaluate filed legislation that affects people with diabetes.

Promote prevention education, available treatments and public programs that assist people with diabetes.

Reach out to agencies that assist people with diabetes.

Engage in outreach efforts between the caucus, its supporting agencies and people who suffer from diabetes.
(Munoz Staff Reporting) Springfield, Illinois —State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is Co-chairing a bipartisan effort to educate and inform members of the General Assembly about the need to do more to combat diabetes in our state.

"We hope to send a strong message about the high occurrence of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and the need to identify solutions to improve the access to care, and strengthen our communities’ understanding of the disease," stated Senator Munoz. "Senator Althoff and I will be the co-chairs of the steering committee in the Senate and we hope our colleagues will join our efforts."

Diabetes treatment is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of those afflicted. The impact of unidentified and untreated diabetes conditions can be felt in every community and in every sector of state government including Medicaid, child and family welfare, public education, and others.

Currently, the outlook for our state’s health is grim. Diabetes will affect one of every three children born after the year 2000. Type 2 Diabetes represents 18% of all newly diagnosed cases of Diabetes amongst those less than 20 years old. Considering that obesity is the main contributor to Type 2 Diabetes in children, the state must act now to address these serious medical conditions with far-reaching physical, public health and fiscal implications.

The Illinois Legislative Diabetes Caucus will convene a cross section of legislators to support sound Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes policy development, elevate diabetes to a higher focal point, and create a forum for dialogue among the General Assembly, community stakeholders, and participating corporate and medical sponsors.

"Whether we are looking at health and social system costs, community needs or economic issues, it is clear diabetes care is central to the public and economic health of our state," stated Senator Munoz.