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Diabetes SIG Update

Korey K. Hood, PhD, Diabetes SIG Chair

Recent government initiatives based on growing public health concerns make this an ideal time for many SIGs to increase activity in policy discussions and decisions. The Diabetes SIG in particular has much to contribute to policy initiatives. The newest language in the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy highlights what members of our SIG have been active in documenting - the substantial health and economic burden of diabetes. (See the National Strategy's fact sheet, The National Prevention Strategy: America's Plan for Better Health and Wellness). Further, this Strategy emphasizes opportunities for prevention and health promotion efforts to improve the "mental and emotional well-being" of children and adults. While many of us are already responding to our own "call to action" that propels our work, these initiatives serve to validate and (hopefully) extend opportunities to further our efforts in diabetes.

In the coming year, the Diabetes SIG will keep you updated on new initiatives, cutting-edge clinical and translational research, and funding opportunities that may help you in your prevention and health promotion work. You can assist us by posting relevant links to initiatives, research findings, funding opportunities, and training and continuing education opportunities to the Diabetes SIG listserv (contact info@sbm.org to subscribe listserv and then send an email to diabetes@list.sbm.org to post to the listserv). In addition, given the overlap in prevention and health promotion themes across multiple conditions and diseases, there is potential for cross-SIG collaboration that may serve to better fortify efforts and eventual translation into clinical care.

Behind the scenes, Diabetes SIG members are actively generating proposals for programming at the 2012 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Multiple ideas for programming were generated at the breakfast roundtable during the 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. They include innovative topics such as improving behavioral adherence in diabetes management, utilizing mobile health technologies in disease management, and the integration of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to increase the richness of data collected in clinical and translational research. We are also investigating ways to increase SIG membership of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career behavioral scientists. This promises to be an exciting and active year for the Diabetes SIG. Stay tuned.