"The rates of diabetes for Indians are the highest in the U.S., with rates as high as 60 percent in some of our tribal communities," said Buford Rolin, Vice-Chair of the NIHB and Co-Chair of the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee. "Over the last ten years, the SDPI activities has had a positive impact in our communities -- we have seen a decrease in blood sugar levels resulting in improved quality of life. Senator Dorgan knows that without reauthorization, all of our accomplishments will be lost. We commend the Senator's dedication for improving health care of Indian people and are honored to present him with this award."
Senator Dorgan has authored legislation to extend the SDP for an additional five years, and the bill currently has 48 co-sponsors in the Senate. As Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, he has also worked to raise awareness about the significant progress that has been made in tribal communities struggling with diabetes.
"I am deeply honored by this award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the other organizations represented here today, and I plan to keep pushing for policies that will support innovative ways to deal with this disease," Dorgan said. "Diabetes is a serious problem that hits our American Indian communities particularly hard. It's important that we find ways to educate the public about how to prevent diabetes and how to treat it effectively once they have been diagnosed."
Last year, Congress renewed the Special Diabetes Program for an additional year as part of the Medicare bill, and this year Senator Dorgan is working hard to ensure that Congress renews the program for an additional two years as part of the Medicare bill under discussion to ensure that the important programs continue.
|Contact: Jillian Lubarsky|
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International