American Diabetes Association Applauds the Signing of Arkansas House Bill 1395
The American Diabetes Association (Association) is thrilled to announce the passage of Arkansas House Bill 1395, the latest victory in the Association’s ongoing fight to keep children with diabetes medically safe at school. This bill, signed in to law last Thursday by Governor Asa Hutchinson, will allow school staff to volunteer to be trained to provide basic diabetes care, including administering insulin and strengthen the tenet that allows children, if they are capable to do so, to self- manage their diabetes while at school.
The bill, which passed 79-4 in the House and 30-1 in the Senate, was sponsored by State Representative Bill Gossage and Senator Joyce Elliott. In addition, the Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam supported the bill in committee and on the House floor.
“The American Diabetes Association thanks Governor Asa Hutchinson, Senator Joyce Elliott, State Representative Bill Gossage and Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam for their support of House Bill 1395, the Arkansas Safe at School legislation. This legislation is critical to protecting the health of all children with diabetes in Arkansas,” said Connie Fetters, Arkansas State Advocacy Chair, American Diabetes Association. “Because of this law, parents of children with diabetes will no longer have to worry about getting the support at school needed to help keep their child heatlhy.”
Devoted Association volunteers, including Connie Fetters, Carol Nichols, and Laura Kendall and her daughter Jane, were instrumental in advocating for Safe at School legislation in Arkansas. The Association’s Executive Director of Arkansas Renee Paulsell, along with Rick Selig in the Association’s Little Rock office and NW Arkansas staff Natalie Burchit were also steadfast in their support throughout the process.
An estimated 208,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. These children have a disease that must be managed 24/7, including the many hours spent at school, on field trips and in extra-curricular activities. Every day, children with diabetes are put at serious risk if no one, including a school nurse, is present at school to help with daily and emergency diabetes care. The passage of House Bill 1395 will remove that risk by allowing school employees who volunteer to be trained to assist with the diabetes care these children need and deserve to learn and be healthy.
To address barriers to diabetes care at school, the Association created its Safe at School campaign. Through this campaign, the Association is dedicated to making sure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school and have the same educational opportunity as their peers.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
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