Contact: DOH Communications
Jessica Hammonds, (850) 245-4111
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SHINES BLUE SPOTLIGHT FOR WORLD DIABETES DAY
~ World Diabetes Day recognizes those who face diabetes every day ~
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health (DOH) and partners will come together in front of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum to spotlight World Diabetes Day during American Diabetes Month on Nov. 14. The event will recognize those who battle diabetes and shed light on ways to prevent this growing disease. At dusk, the Florida Historic Capitol Museum will light up in blue, the universal color for diabetes, joining the Empire State Building, Sydney’s Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Pyramids and more than a thousand other iconic landmarks across the world that have honored the battle against diabetes. The lighting will be provided by Novo Nordisk.
“The lighting of our state’s capitol in blue reinforces our pledge to increase awareness of the disease and decrease the number of those who will become diagnosed with it,” stated State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “On this day, blue illuminations from one of Florida’s most historic landmarks should serve as an empowering call to action reminding Floridians that together, we can fight this disease.”
Diabetes affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Florida’s Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System revealed that the prevalence of diabetes among adult Floridians increased
26.8 percent between 2001 and 2011. More than three million adults in Florida have high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia), including an estimated 1.5 million Floridians with diagnosed diabetes and approximately 500,000 more adults with undiagnosed diabetes. An additional 913,272 adults have pre-diabetes, which is more than the total populations in Alaska, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming combined. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed, but Type 1 cannot. It is estimated that Florida has more than 76,546 persons living with Type 1 diabetes, which requires constant attention to manage.
World Diabetes Day will kick off at the capitol at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, on the steps of the old state capitol building, with key speakers including the following:
• DOH Deputy Secretary for Health Dr. Dennis Cookro. Dr. Cookro, MD, MPH, is the Interim Deputy Secretary for Health and Deputy State Health Officer for Children’s Medical Services. Dr. Cookro is the Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, a medical advisor to DOH and a member of the DOH Performance Improvement Team. Dr. Cookro is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health and has served as Director of three county health departments (CHD), Medical Director and Deputy District Administrator for Health.
• Diabetes Advisory Council Chairman Chet Evans. Dr. Evans is the chair of the Florida Diabetes Advisory Council, a governor-appointed group that advises the Governor and the
State Surgeon General on emerging diabetes issues affecting care, treatment, and quality of life. The recommendations made by the Council improve policy and legislative efforts, as well as influences the strategic planning of the Diabetes Control Program. Dr. Evans is the Vice President for Medical Education and Program Development and Professor of Surgery at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine branch campus in Bradenton, Florida. Dr. Evans divides his time as a clinician and an educator to ensure new podiatrists understand diabetes and its implications.
• Ms. Haley May, local teen diabetes advocate. Ms. May was diagnosed with diabetes at age 11 and has helped spread awareness of diabetes by engaging in numerous media interviews, speeches and commercials. Upon diagnosis, Ms. May started a car wash hoping to raise a few hundred dollars and instead raised $5,000. In the years she has hosted the carwash, she has raised a total of $40,000 for the American Diabetes Association. In 2011, Ms. May was named Youth Volunteer of the Year for her hometown. Ms. May’s goal is to become the National Youth Advocate to help other kids realize that diabetes can’t stop them from doing anything.
Media set-up time and location for the event:
10:30– 11:00 a.m.
Florida Historic Capitol Museum
400 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399
During the event, participants will be invited to create a mass human formation of a blue circle—the international symbol for diabetes awareness. The event will be followed by a presentation from the Florida Department of Agriculture’s (DACS) award-winning Chef Justin Timineri, who will create two blue, diabetes-friendly dishes and provide the recipes, as well as samples, to attendees.
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide by more than 200 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in more than 160 countries and territories, all Member States of the United Nations, as well as by other associations and organizations, companies, healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes and their families.
Don’t miss out on DOH’s Blue Facebook Face-off! Make sure to take your own picture of the old state capitol building lit in blue, and then tag it to DOH’s Facebook page to have it uploaded into DOH’s World Diabetes Day album.
For more information on diabetes, visit DOH’s website at http://www.floridadiabetes.com/.
For more information on World Diabetes Day, visit http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/