ARLINGTON, Va. and WELLESLEY, Mass., June
1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With the diabetes community at
greater risk for complications during the COVID-19 pandemic, the
American Diabetes Association® (ADA) and Sun Life
partnered to reinvent this year's annual Call to Congress to
educate advocates on COVID-19 and diabetes, and how to support
people with diabetes during the pandemic. Usually an in-person
gathering of ADA Advocates on Capitol Hill, the recent virtual town
hall event informed and engaged the diabetes advocate community
about legislative goals specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, calling
on Congress to implement a temporary zero-dollar copay for insulin
and increase access to COVID-19 testing for underserved minority
Additional key takeaways from the virtual town hall include:
- According to a recent survey by dQ&A of about 4,800 people
with diabetes, nearly 20% said they have lost their jobs since the
pandemic began–resulting in loss of health care for many.
- The survey also showed that 25% of those who lost their jobs
due to COVID-19 have experienced difficulty refilling their insulin
- 30-35% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 also have diabetes;
people with diabetes are three times as likely to need
hospitalization if infected with COVID-19.
- Inadequate glucose management during hospitalizations are more
likely to result in worse outcomes.
- Stress management and mental health can impact one's ability to
maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
- Those who still have access to their employee benefits may be
able to utilize Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which can
provide various support services during a time of crisis.
"It is important to educate and support all those at risk during
this pandemic," said Dr. Robert
Eckel, president of Medicine and Science for the ADA. Dr.
Eckel kicked off the town hall with guidance for diabetes care,
such as when to see a doctor for COVID-19 symptoms, managing
related chronic conditions like heart disease and hypertension, and
the importance of bringing all medications, pumps, or glucose
monitoring devices along if going to the hospital.
"With properly managed care and knowledge, people living with
diabetes can stay safe and healthy during this difficult time,"
said Dr. Eckel.
"The diabetes community is quite vulnerable right now, so we are
pleased to be able to bring them and their families important
information and insight," said Dr. Tracy
Hamill, medical director for Sun Life U.S. In addition to
discussing the importance of mental health while managing diabetes,
Dr. Hamill talked about her personal experience with her son, who
was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago.
"I understand how trying this time can be, especially with the
day-to-day management of diabetes," said Dr. Hamill. "Whether we
are isolating in quarantine, an essential worker, or on the front
lines, everyone should continue to seek information and support
that can help them thrive and manage their health–both physical and
"We are working hard to support people living with diabetes
during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Christel Aprigliano, vice president of Federal
Relations for the ADA. "And we cannot lose momentum on the terrific
work our advocates have done over the years to get meaningful
legislation passed in support of those with diabetes. I look
forward to the continued work we will do with Sun Life's support,
whether it's virtually or in-person."
Ongoing legislative priorities for Call to Congress include
affordable insulin, funding for support programs, and continuation
of the Special Diabetes Program, which provides funding for type 1
research at the National Institutes of Health. Sun Life U.S. is the
exclusive supporter of ADA's annual Call to Congress, as well as
the ADA's health care community webinars on COVID-19 and diabetes
care. Access to this year's virtual town hall and additional
COVID-19 webinars are available here.
Sun Life is strongly committed to the fight against diabetes. In
addition to support of the ADA and other diabetes partnerships, Sun
Life offers the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, which funds
grassroots organizations around the country that focus on diabetes
education, management and support. Globally, Sun Life has given
more than $22 million to diabetes
causes. To learn more about Sun Life's diabetes support visit
Be sure to visit the ADA's COVID-19 hub at
diabetes.org/coronavirus for all the latest information and
resources. To learn more about ADA's advocacy efforts and to become
a Diabetes Advocate, visit diabetes.org/advocacy.
About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international
financial services organization providing a diverse range of
insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individuals and
corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets
worldwide, including Canada,
the United States, the
United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong
Kong, the Philippines,
Japan, Indonesia, India, China,
Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March
31, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of
C$1,023 billion. For more
information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New
York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the
ticker symbol SLF.
In the United States, Sun Life
is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than
60,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the
country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of insurance products and
services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life,
dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life employs
approximately 5,500 people in its U.S insurance and asset
management businesses. Group Insurance policies are issued by Sun
Life Assurance Company of Canada
(Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except
in New York, where policies are
issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.)
(Lansing, Mich.). For more
information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.
About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more
than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America.
More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and
are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation's leading
voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the
diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For
nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to
treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for
a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their
rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to
improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together.
What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or
to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call
1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook
(American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and
Sun Life U.S.
American Diabetes Association
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SOURCE Sun Life U.S.