American Diabetes Association invited business professionals to lunch for opportunities to aid the cause
Stop Diabetes Luncheons were held in The Woodlands on Tuesday June 26, and in Houston on Wednesday June 27, with the purpose of bringing business professionals from around The Woodlands and Houston communities together to raise awareness about diabetes. Attendees found information at their tables about the effect of diabetes in the workplace, the need for funding, team participation and corporate support through sponsorship opportunities.
The Woodlands Luncheon, hosted by Cyndi Alvarado from The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, was held at America’s, where 65 guests packed the Macondo Room on the ground floor. Steering Committee Members were introduced and recognized before Ralston Creswell, ADA Houston Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the luncheon. Then, Bruce Tough, Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Woodlands Township, gave a proclamation on behalf of The Woodlands Township, naming November 17 “Step Out Day”. Next, Jonnie Miller from Novo Nordisk spoke on reasons businesses should support the ADA’s efforts to Stop Diabetes. Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo, Rosine Matthews closed the luncheon with a call to action from attendees to step up and Step Out. By the end of the luncheon, Tomball Regional Medical Center did just that by volunteering to be the 2012 presenting sponsor for The Woodlands Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.
The Houston Luncheon had an amazing turnout of 86 guests seated in the indoor patio of Ciao Bello. This meeting also kicked off with introductions of Steering Committee Members and a welcome from ADA Houston Executive Director, Ralston Creswell. Then, John Tressa, CEO of Park Plaza Hospital and Step Out Honorary Chair, explained the effect of diabetes on Houston and employers. Next, Astros Pitcher, J.A. Happ did a brief live interview about his personal connection to diabetes because of his sister’s diagnosis of type 1. John Faulk, VP of Business Development, represented Dignity Memorial and spoke about their reasons for stepping up to be a presenting sponsor. John Schlosser, Chief Commercial Officer of Kinder Morgan, shared a video of his company’s creative way to raise funds with their “Kiss a Pig” contest and spoke on reasons businesses should align with the ADA. Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo, Rosine Matthews closed the luncheon with a call to action from attendees to step up and Step Out.
25.8 million children and adults have diabetes. One third of them do not know it. 79 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic. Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050. In Montgomery County there are approximately 45,575 children and adults with diabetes (10% of population), while in Harris County, there are 232,029 children and adults with diabetes (4.8% of population).
Diabetes accounts for 15 million work days absent, 120 million work days with reduced performance, 6 million reduced productivity days for those not in the workplace. Productivity losses from diabetes have been estimated to be almost half ($40 billion) of the medical costs ($92 billion) associated with diabetes in 2002, according to Diabetes America. CDC research has shown that people with diabetes lost 8.3 days per year from work, compared to 1.7 days for people without diabetes.
Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes will take place on November 17 at Northshore Park in The Woodlands and at Minute Maid Park in Houston. More information and registration is available online at www.diabetes.org/stepouthouston
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