May 12, 2014

Access is the point of Advocacy

The prompt for today:

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.

All of the above,
and then some.

Diabetes is Big. Policy is Big.

They touch at a lot of different points. Because both are big, often one touch point doesn't know what the other is trying to do.

It would be glorious, for example, if efforts at prevention were connected to the key idea of access via insurance reimbursement for quality education on how to successfully prevent or at least postpone type 2. Great if third party payers looked at education as the investment in saving lives and expenses down the road that it is, sadly it is not always seen that way.

The list of issues in the prompt seem quite different;

  • 504 and schools
  • Misconceptions
  • CGM and CMS
  • Special Diabetes Program
  • Test Strips
  • Connections with peers

I don't see it that way. To me they are all access to issues:

  • Access to safe school environments.
  • Access to accurate public messages about diabetes.
  • Access to treatment and technology to continue to successfully manage diabetes.
  • Access to research to better treat diabetes. 
  • Access to reliable devices.
  • Access to people who can help individuals stay positive and engaged. 

Advocacy is acting to ensure access. What people need access to may, like diabetes, vary. The need to act with and for each other doesn't vary. If we don't act for better diabetes access, who will?


  1. Your ability to see the need and pursue a change, through all that government/policy/red tape mess, never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for being such a great advocacy model.

  2. Thanks.

    Happy to be part of a bigger team and play for all.

  3. Your clarity is amazing. I have been & remain so slow to consider that things (test strips, access to care in school, whatever) might be better. YDMV makes these things feel not just possible but inevitable.

  4. You are a beacon of clarity and wisdom, and it's really something I can't put into words about how much of an asset you are for all of us in this community. Thank you for putting these big policy issues into perspective and connecting the dots in a way that's simple to understand, and for doing everything you do to ensure access and continue conversations about how we can do better and work together. You rock, Bennet.

  5. If it wasn't breaking all sorts of privacy rules I would tell you a story of one of the most mismanaged cases of T2 diabetes SOLELY because of lack of access to everything that it would blow your mind - or maybe it wouldn't.

  6. And it ain't a isolated case I am sure Sara.

  7. Very well said, and thank you so much for all you do. You are a true trailblazer and a force of change.