Imagine your teenager stressing over blood sugar levels instead of homework, or your young child trying to understand why she can’t eat her friend’s birthday cake. A person affected by diabetes, whether patient or caregiver, thinks about the disease morning, noon and night – when they eat, work, exercise, shop for groceries or make any other plans for the day. In Maine, approximately 11.5 percent of the population, or about 142,000 people, have diabetes, and another 37 percent, or 386,000 have pre-diabetes – meaning they are at higher risk for a diabetes diagnosis in the future.

Congress must take action and pass a long-term renewal of the Special Diabetes Program, which supports vital research, prevention and management programs. As co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Sen. Susan Collins has been a strong partner to the diabetes community, and our advocates have been able to meet with the senator and her staff multiple times. We continue to see her commitment, and she has played an integral role in garnering congressional support for important diabetes policies. We call on Congress to continue their support and renew the Special Diabetes Program.

Diabetes doesn’t just impact those with the disease, but their families and communities as well. We need to invest in the Special Diabetes Program to continue promising research that will lead us to a cure and ensure individuals in at-risk populations have access to meaningful diabetes prevention and management programs. It is important for Mainers and all Americans that we continue funding these programs and keep bringing diabetes to the forefront of policy discussions.

Dr. Tracy Hamill

assistant vice president and medical director, Sun Life U.S.


Dr. LaShawn McIver

senior vice president, government affairs, American Diabetes Association

Arlington, Va.

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