Gavin, James R.,, III, Ebony
A Message From Dr. James R. Gavin III
CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PROGRAM FOR THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION
THE American Diabetes Associations' African American Program is still less than a decade old. Nevertheless, during this period, its impact has clearly been tremendous. With help from a wide range of individuals and organizations, people are becoming more aware of diabetes than ever before.
Through our church-based initiatives and several publications, especially EBONY, we have reached millions of African Americans with messages about diabetes prevention and control. If we have prevented someone's grandfather from losing his sight, or someone's mother from having a leg amputated, or simply encouraged someone at risk to get checked for diabetes, then our efforts have been meaningful.
We are encouraged that many people, including those in the public eye, have given their voices to increasing diabetes awareness. But our work is just beginning. Far too many African Americans continue to suffer needlessly and die prematurely from this disease and its complications, despite the tremendous progress in diagnosis and treatment. The good news is that national data does show that for many, blood sugar control is improving. Unfortunately, information still has not sufficiently reached some of the most vulnerable members of our community, such as individuals living in rural areas and those existing below the poverty level.
Progress has been made, but we have much left to do. Because challenges remain, the Association must continue and strengthen its collaboration with those whose voices are respected in our community. …