Summers leads call to study the impact of diabetes in Indiana

June 1, 2017 Vanessa Summers

For immediate release:
June 1, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – At the request of State Representative Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), lawmakers will be spending the rest of this year considering plans to reduce the impact of diabetes in Indiana.

Legislative leaders agreed recently to have an Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services consider goals, benchmarks, and plans to reduce the incidence of diabetes in Indiana, improving diabetes care, and controlling complications associated with the disease. The request came through legislation authored by Summers (House Enrolled Act 1642) passed during the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

“Through sheer numbers alone, it is safe to say that diabetes has reached an epidemic in Indiana,” Summers said. “In Indiana, we have some 540,000 Hoosier adults with diabetes. That is about 11 percent of the population. What’s more critical is that 280,000 Hoosiers have pre-diabetes, and don’t even know it. That’s about the size of the population of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“As an insulin-dependent diabetic, I think the time has come to see what steps we can take at the state level to combat this preventive disease, which affects so many of us,” she continued.

The study would include an assessment of the financial impact and reach of all types of diabetes in Indiana, looking at the benefits provided by programs currently in place to address the disease, and identifying current and collaborative efforts to treat diabetes.

“This is a public health crisis, and the time has come to see what we can do to both educate the public about the risks of diabetes, and tell them what can be done to treat it,” Summers said. “It would include changes in lifestyle, including what you eat, and the need for exercise. I look forward to an active and healthy debate on these issues, which can help us make the lives of so many people so much better.”