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The State Capitol will be lit blue on November 14th in recognition of World Diabetes Day to raise awareness about the disease that affects thousands of Oklahomans each year.
“We are so excited that our beautiful State Capitol will be one of more than 1,100 monuments worldwide that will be lit blue this evening to call attention to the devastating impact that diabetes takes on individuals and families,” said Sen. Constance N. Johnson (D-Oklahoma County).
Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-OKC) along with agency and community advocates are co-hosting the 4th Annual Capitol Dome Blue World Diabetes Day Program, taking place Wednesday, November 14, 2012, from 5:30-7:45, on the 2nd and 4th Floors of the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
The World Diabetes Day program will focus on the importance, especially for those that are most affected, of knowing the facts about diabetes prevention and management; the effectiveness of story sharing in advocating for policies that help improve diabetic and overall health outcomes; and the importance of increasing education/awareness about diabetes prevention and management in order to advocate for policy change.
“Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds and 200 people die each day from this disease, which is tragic because it can be prevented and managed with proper nutrition,” said Johnson. “Oklahoma has the fourth highest diabetes death rate in the country. World Diabetes Day is an effort to educate our citizens and make them realize that by changing their lifestyle and diet, they can stop or avoid diabetes all together.”
This year’s program goal is the importance of creating a positive focus for people who have diabetes and co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, alcoholism and substance abuse, stress and trauma. The program will also include free screenings, supplies, information and referral, prizes and promotions from a variety of vendors. As always, there will also be a collaborative focus on increased youth awareness about diabetes prevention and management, and policy initiatives that impact them.
“One in six Oklahomans suffers from diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of death in our state,” said McDaniel. “We must do all we can to give people the educational tools they need to stop this disease. The American Diabetes Association estimates that one in three Americans will be diabetic by 2050 if people don’t start eating and living healthier lifestyles. We hope this annual event will help reverse this deadly trend.”
Agency and community partners include the African American Community Diabetes Prevention Partners, Oklahoma City/County Health, the State Department of Health, Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, the Indian Health Clinic, the American Diabetes Association, Areawide Aging Agencies, and others, all of whom share goals in the prevention and management of diabetes in Oklahoma.
Proposals regulating workers, policies and facilities that affect the diabetes spectrum of care have been identified in previous programs as advocacy initiatives that can come out of events such as this.
The public is cordially invited to attend.