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Linda Siminerio, Ph.D., R.N.  

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences 

​University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute Celebrates and Recognizes First World Diabetes Day

PITTSBURGH, November 12, 2007 To recognize the worldwide diabetes epidemic, the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute, America on the Move and Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC will commemorate the first-ever World Diabetes Day by participating in diabetes-related events during downtown Pittsburgh's annual holiday Light Up Night festivities beginning at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16.

Attendees are invited to navigate their way through a downtown scavenger hunt by following the Unite for Diabetes trail and visiting booths to find the answers to the scavenger hunt questions. Prizes and free gifts will be available for all participants. Other family friendly activities include:

  • Unite for Diabetes holiday ornament craft sponsored by the Weight Management and Wellness Center at Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

  • Unite for Diabetes football toss sponsored by America on the Move

  • Personal photo taken with the Unite for Diabetes logo, which will be posted online at following the Light Up Night event

The significance of World Diabetes Day is monumental, said Linda Siminerio, Ph.D., R.N., executive director of UPDI. Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century. With approximately 246 million people with diabetes across the globe, it is time for our local, national and world leaders to make policy changes to improve diabetes prevention, education and care. Through our participation in Light Up Night, we hope to inspire the greater Pittsburgh community to join the Diabetes Institute and the global diabetes community in our fight against diabetes.

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly passed a landmark resolution recognizing the global threat of the diabetes epidemic. For the first time, governments have acknowledged that a non-infectious disease poses as serious a threat to world health as infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. U.N. resolution 61/225 designates World Diabetes Day, Wednesday, Nov. 14, as a United Nations Day to be observed every year beginning in 2007. The resolution calls on all U.N. member states to observe the day and to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes.

The World Diabetes Day resolution was the first goal of an ambitious campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), a worldwide alliance of more than 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. In June 2006, the IDF launched the Unite for Diabetes campaign, which aims to draw attention to the severity of diabetes and encourages action to fight the global epidemic. Within six months of the campaigns inception, the World Diabetes Day Resolution was passed.

The IDF, along with the global diabetes community, will be recognizing World Diabetes Day this month by hosting a variety of events and programs in countries all around the world, including Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Grenada, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa.

About the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute:

The mission of UPDI, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is to provide and support diabetes prevention, detection, education, treatment and research. UPDI unites experts in endocrinology, patient and physician education, epidemiology, clinical care, health economics, behavioral science and rural medicine. One of the country's few programs focusing on the translation of diabetes research into practice, UPDI is dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art treatments to everyone with diabetes and to those at risk.

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