Orlando, Florida - The Diabetes Emergency Relief Coalition (Coalition), composed of leading diabetes care and research organizations, will receive the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) 2018 Summit Power of A Award for helping to provide critical diabetes supplies to regions impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Coalition announced today.

The Summit Power of A Award is the highest recognition for associations that make exemplary commitments to solving problems and creating a stronger world.

The Coalition is being honored for providing more than 4,600 pounds of diabetes supplies to individuals left without access to water and electricity in the wake of the hurricanes. The group coordinated with nearby hospitals, pharmacies, shelters and corporations to help get patients the care they needed.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), JDRF and Insulin for Life USA launched the Diabetes Emergency Relief Coalition in August 2017. Quickly thereafter, the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), Research!America and T1D Exchange, joined the relief effort. Working with health care professionals in impacted areas and partners including The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Lilly Diabetes, Insulet, Sanofi and many more, Coalition members raised funds and staffed patient and health care provider hotlines to provide information, identify needs and connect health care professionals with diabetes supplies throughout the affected areas.

To prepare for this year’s hurricane season, the Coalition is building a permanent infrastructure to respond and support people with diabetes who are impacted by future disasters. The Coalition is focusing on preparing people with diabetes by raising awareness of the need for a diabetes emergency plan while engaging and mobilizing health care professionals to prepare for the next emergency response. In times of need, health care providers will be able to reach Coalition volunteers at 1-314-INSULIN to find out how to connect to diabetes supplies.

More than 114 million adults nationwide have diabetes or prediabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Given the scope of the epidemic, funding research to improve treatments for people with this chronic condition and prevent future cases needs to be a national priority. The ADA’s most recent economic costs report confirms diabetes is the nation’s most expensive chronic illness—at $327 billion in 2017.

During an emergency, it is critical for people with diabetes to have access to the medications and supplies needed to maintain proper blood glucose control, and to prevent serious, sudden complications such as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

“Given my experience with Hurricane Katrina in Southern Louisiana, I knew the devastating impact that Hurricane Harvey’s severe flooding would have on people living with diabetes in Texas. I was humbled to have the collaboration from our colleagues at JDRF, Insulin for Life USA, the Endocrine Society, AACE, AADE, Research!America, and T1D Exchange, who joined with us, among others,” said the ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “While it is in our nature as health care providers, we are honored by the recognition for our collective efforts to do the right thing for our patients. And thank you to the Endocrine Society for their leadership and nomination to the ASAE of the Coalition’s important work.”

The Power of A Awards showcase how associations leverage their unique resources to solve problems, advance industry and professional performance, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions. ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world.