07 October 2010

Diabetes Needs a New Organization

This may not be a new idea for many; however, it is past time that the people with Type 2 diabetes were represented by an association or organization that was for and by the people with diabetes. We deserve to be represented in a manner that will put us as patients first.

I am pleased that JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) is expanding their role to serve people with Type 1 diabetes of all ages. This is in the fledgling stage to be sure, therefore there will be some unforeseen problems and missteps, but the future is looking brighter for the adults to be appreciated for their successes and experiences. The JDRF should be a stronger organization for this.

Many people with diabetes look to the ADA (American Diabetes Association) for help and assistance. Because of the nature of the ADA, it does not truly represent the people (us) with diabetes. It is primarily concerned about meeting the needs of the medical community and is supported by the medical community, the drug and equipment manufacturers, and diabetes supply companies.

What is missing from the ADA is leadership and timely support for people with diabetes. Yes, they do provide some guidance, but to the medical community to assist them in making medical decisions about how to diagnose and treat us. The question haunting many is – are those of us with diabetes being better served as a result. I would not be writing this if I thought we were being served in an efficient and timely manner.

Do we still need the ADA? Yes, they do have a purpose. It is a shame that the organization is so bogged in the quagmire of their own making, that we have to wait years for decisions that could be made in less than a year. The ADA sets policies for the medical community that often to not allow for the individual nature of diabetes. Their one size should fit all policy leaves much to be desired.

That is why we, as people of Type 2 diabetes, have a need for an organization that will work for us, and support the actions of the JDRF, JDRF International, IDF (International Diabetes Federation), and even the WHO (World Health Organization). Supporting means giving them credit when it is due, cooperating when and where possible, and working together to educate people about diabetes, and the differences between the types of diabetes, and in many other endeavors.

Yes, the new organization will need to support the ADA in some areas. The important work of the organization will be for support of the people with Type 2 diabetes. Fund raising will be necessary to bring new ideas to the table for review and action. It will be required to follow research and fund research for finding what may affect a person with diabetes and see that it gets the recognition it needs. There will need to be many more objectives and goals.

Naming the new organization will require thought to reflect its goals and objectives. Finding qualified people to serve in the initial stages will take care and people who are willing to serve. They must be creative, knowledgeable, and represent the broad spectrum of specialists needed to bring the objectives and goals to fruition.

There are many goals and objectives that the new organization could embrace, but I will leave this for another blog and see what responses this one generates.

These are just a few of the thoughts jamming up my mind as I see the lack of clear and meaningful support from the ADA for all people with diabetes.

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