Rep. Vanessa Summers’ diabetes awareness bill goes to governor for approval

February 27, 2018 Vanessa Summers

INDIANAPOLIS  Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is preparing to take final action on legislation authored by Representative Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) that is designed to reduce the impact of diabetes in our state.

The Indiana Senate today approved House Bill 1175, which is designed to coordinate the state’s response to diabetes and encourage Hoosiers to pursue healthier options that can help them avoid getting the disease. Since senators did not change the House version of the measure, it now moves to the governor for final approval.

House Bill 1175 will establish work groups to create plans designed to help raise awareness of diabetes and pre-diabetes in Indiana. These groups will include officials from a number of state agencies, including the state Department of Education, the Family and Social Services Administration, and the Indiana Department of Education.

“I am a person who suffers from diabetes, and I am now taking active measures in my life to be healthier,” Rep. Summers said. “Raising awareness of this preventable disease is so important, and I am glad that the rest of the General Assembly is on my side.”

The work groups will have specific duties that will include establishing benchmarks for diabetes and pre-diabetes in Indiana, which would be based off Indiana statistics. Work groups could also identify barriers in the effective prevention of the disease, and create methods of evidence-based screening. The work groups will also estimate state healthcare costs attributed to diabetes and pre-diabetes.

“We are facing an epidemic of diabetes and pre-diabetes in our state, and it has needed to be addressed for a long time,” Rep. Summers commented. “This legislation can help us find opportunities for diabetes and pre-diabetes screening, and can help us identify what actions we need to take to reduce the morbidity and mortality of pre-diabetes.”