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JDF Washington Report
Vol. I, No. 5, July 31, 1998

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation---Government Relations

Appropriations Bills Delayed

As a result of the tragic shooting at the Capitol last week and controversy over aspects of the legislation unrelated to medical research, the full House of Representatives may not consider the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill, including National Institutes of Health funding, until next week, or perhaps not until September. For more information about how the bill affects diabetes research, see House Subcommittee Provides Substantial Funding Increase for Medical Research and Action Needed to Support National Institutes of Health (NIH) Funding Bill at the JDF web site.

Meanwhile, the Senate is not expected to consider its version of the legislation until September. For more information about how the Senate bill may treat medical research funding, see the following article on the JDF WWW site:

Wall Street Journal prints letter by JDF Volunteer S. Robert Levine, MD

In response to a Wall Street Journal article regarding the failure of many physicians to administer essential tests and examinations of patients with diabetes, JDF Volunteer and Chairman of the Communications Committee submitted the following letter to the Editor. The letter was published July 27, 1998.

The failure of many doctors to administer essential medical tests to more than one-third of their patients with diabetes, as you reported, is troubling to me as a professional and as the husband of someone with Type 1 diabetes. This failure is unrelated to type of reimbursement, as it occurs quite often with fee-for-service practice as well. Failure results, in large part, from the fact that not even the most rudimentary practice standards for the treatment of diabetes have been universally adopted by primary-care physicians.

Diabetes reduces life expectancy by 15 years, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 200% to 400%, and disproportionately affects women and minorities. Even when it doesn't kill, it causes life-changing disabilities. It is unconscionable that medical professionals would fail to administer an annual glucose-monitoring test to their patients with diabetes, or fail to refer their patients with diabetes for routine eye exams, or fail to instruct their patients on diabetes self-management methods, or fail to routinely examine the feet of patients with diabetes - all the simplest, most fundamental, and universally accepted minimum standards of practice.

S. Robert Levine, MD
New York

(Dr. Levine is a member of the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International/The Diabetes Research Foundation.)

Colorado Congressional Delegation Supports JDF Nominee for CDC Vaccine Committee

Thanks to JDF Volunteer Andi Leopoldus and Rep. Bob Schaffer (R-CO), seven members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation have joined forces to support JDF's nomination of Sonia L. Cooper of Boulder, Colorado, to be a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Vaccine Advisory Committee. She is also a member of JDF's Lay Review Committee and has become very knowledgeable about the impact that vaccines might have for preventing diabetes.

Ms. Cooper has a son, Matthew, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for seven years since the age of one. Her four-year old daughter, Caroline, is part of a clinical research trial at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Denver to determine whether a particular vaccination could prevent diabetes in an individual who is at increased risk to develop the disease.

Ms. Leopoldus and Rep. Schaffer worked together to ensure that Ms. Cooper's nomination was supported strongly by the Colorado delegation. Thanks are due to both of them for their efforts. Signatories of the letter include: Senators Wayne Allard and Ben Nighthorse-Campbell, and Representatives Diana Degette, Scott McInnis, Bob Schaffer, Joel Hefley and Dan Schafer.

Diabetes spotlighted in Sunday Parade Magazine

Look for an article on diabetes in Sunday's Parade Magazine, August 2, found in your local Sunday newspaper. JDF's President and CEO, James Mulvihill, DMD, who has a son with Type 1 diabetes, and Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD, JDF's Vice President for Research are quoted in the article and helped contribute information to the story. If you wish to contact PARADE Magazine to thank them for profiling diabetes and diabetes research, visit their web site at

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation - Government Relations
1400 I Street, NW #500
Washington, DC 20005
1-800-JDF-1VOTE ex. 5 (800-533-1868)

Posted 26 July 1998

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