It's become an annual tradition here at the 'Mine to tap the top diabetes advocacy organizations at the end of each year to share what they feel they've accomplished, and what kinds of goals and strategies they have planned for the new year ahead. champagne-toast

Each year we ask: Did they live up to their own expectations over the past year? And what do they envision for continuing to help the D-community in this new year? 

Below are the answers we received from their various leaders and spokespeople for 2015 (presented in alphabetical order). 

Goodbye 2014 - Hello Exciting New Year? We sure hope so...


American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) AADE Logo



Combining our Efforts and Promoting Support: Joining forces with patient advocacy groups, we advanced the StripSafely, #Vote4DM and #DiabetesEd4All campaigns. We also promoted the role of DOC (diabetes online community) support at sessions during our August Annual Meeting and via our National Diabetes Education Week infographic, and increased efforts to partner with groups such as Taking Control of Your Diabetes and Children with Diabetes.

Outreach to Consumer Media: Efforts emphasized the challenges people with diabetes face, the need for support, and the benefits of a comprehensive diabetes care team. This message was also delivered to family physicians via their national meeting.

Promoting Prediabetes Help: With funding from the CDC, we are beginning our third year of an initiative to increase access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and make it a covered healthcare benefit for people with prediabetes. We actively promoted the DPP through a number of stakeholder groups like the YMCA and AMA, and pursued conversations about the benefits of prediabetes care among insurers and large employer groups.

Expanding Access Points: We continued to seek ways to better reach people with diabetes. Funding came through this year to conduct a randomized clinical trial over four years, to determine whether providing ongoing telephonic diabetes self-management support will better enable people with poor glycemic control (i.e., A1C >9.0%) to maintain the gains they make after participating in a diabetes education program.


Examining How Regulatory Issues Affect PWDs (people with diabetes): Late last year, we released results of an in-depth analysis of the comments received by the FDA on draft guidance for blood glucose monitoring systems for over-the-counter use and prescription point-of-care use. Our goal is to gain an accurate representation of the true feedback provided to the FDA on this issue. We will also be releasing the results of a secret shopper study that assesses the performance of the competitive bidding program for insulin pumps and replacement supplies, and Medicare beneficiary access to insulin pumps and related supplies in the Competitive Bidding Areas.

DOC Represented at Major Meetings: The DOC will continue to be represented on the speaker's podium at the 2015 AADE Public Policy Forum in May and via an advocacy presentation at the AADE Annual Meeting in August.

Looking Towards the Future: Lastly, we have initiated development of our 2016-2018 strategic plan, which will guide our work over the next several years. As part of that process, we've reached out to the patient community to gather their input and will continue that outreach into next year.


American Diabetes Association (ADA)

2014:ADA Logo for 2015

In January, we redesigned our main website at with a more user-friendly, responsive design that works across all devices and screen sizes. This has helped to drive increases in overall traffic and page views for both English-language (up 22% year-over-year) and Spanish-language (up 166% YOY) content.

The first class of Pathway to Stop Diabetes began their awards in January, resulting in two high-impact publications in the first year.

The 74th Scientific Sessions, in San Francisco, showcased the Association as the leader in diabetes research, treatment and education. With a total attendance of over 17,000, the meeting generated more than 17 billion audience impressions worldwide.

At Scientific Sessions we launched our Focus on the Fellows program, a meeting dedicated to fostering the growth/development of future diabetes clinicians, researchers and leaders. We received a $200,000 grant to support approximately 100 fellows.

We operated more than 50 Diabetes Camps across the country this summer, hosting more than 5,600 campers.

On Oct. 6 — and after years of our advocacy — the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a new draft recommendation for screening for type 2 diabetes. The USPSTF provided a "B" rating for screening for type 2 diabetes in individuals at elevated risk for diabetes, meaning the service is recommended by the USPSTF. This is a breakthrough improvement over the previous recommendation.

More than 490,000 people took our Diabetes Risk Test to learn their risk for developing type 2, through our annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day and other efforts.

This year we celebrated passage of our Safe at School legislation in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio, as well as important regulatory victories in Nevada, New Hampshire and Idaho. Overall 26 states now meet all three Safe at School tenets, and 11 of these states have been added since the beginning of the Association's 2012-2015 strategic plan. Students with diabetes in these states now have access to the care they need to keep them safe and healthy during the school day and at all school-sponsored events such as extracurricular activities and

field trips.

The Association helped secure federal funding for diabetes research and programs. This year, Congress appropriated:

  • $137.3 million for the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT), a $76 million (nearly 125%) increase in funding over last year
  • $10 million in FY 2014 for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which was not funded in FY 2013, and $1.744 billion for the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the NIH, which is a $51 million (3%) increase overthe level of funding provided in FY 2013. Together this amounts to $137 million in additional funding for diabetes priorities.
  • The Special Diabetes Program was also reauthorized; this includes the Special Diabetes Program for Indians at the Indian Health Service and the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research (SDP-type1) at NIH. These two programs are currently funded at $150 million per year, per program so the reauthorization added another $300 million.

This was the second year for Drive to Stop Diabetes, a joint awareness campaign between the Association and Lilly Diabetes. It was also spokesperson Ryan Reed's first full year representing Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

For the third consecutive year, the Association was ranked #1 overall in social media effectiveness by AssociationTRENDS.


The Association will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year. There will be major commemoration activities taking place at our 75th Scientific Sessions, June 5-9 in Boston, plus a number of celebrations throughout the year at the national and local levels.

With a shared desire to help reverse the growth in type 2 diabetes, the Association will partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation and the American Medical Association to work with the Ad Council on a three-year public awareness campaign. We expect the campaign to launch in late summer 2015.

With sponsorship from Boehringer Ingelheim, the Association will fund targeted research awards to support basic, clinical or translational research to address the research gaps identified at the 2014 Consensus Conference on Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes. With these grants we hope to better understand the relationship between diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Funding will start in April.


Children with Diabetes (CWD)

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This year saw the return of an independent Children with Diabetes. We enjoyed great community support at Friends for Life Orlando 2014, Friends for Life UK 2014, and Focus on Technology Anaheim 2014, reaching over 4,000 people. We also applied for and received 501(c)(3) recognition from the IRS.


The annual Friends for Life Orlando conference returns to Disney's Coronado Springs resort from July 6-12, 2015. We're expecting 3,500 people to join us for the week-long event. We return to the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim from Sept. 18-20 for our second Focus on Technology conference on the west coast. Friends for Life Canada 2015 will be held the weekend of Oct. 23-25 at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Friends for Life UK 2015 will be held once again at Beaumont House in Old Windsor the weekend of Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. We look forward to continuing to serve families throughout the world living with type 1 diabetes.


Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF)


The Big Blue Test was a success for the sixth year in a row. We teamed up with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to bring some of their T2 Dance Crew content to the Big Blue Test which included dance tutorials and guest blog posts from So You Think You Can Dance alumni. We also raised the goal to 35,000 entries (compared to the 2012 and 2013 goals of 20,000) and awarded $35,000 in grants to diabetes-related charities in the US and in the Dominican Republic.

Our Diabetes Advocates program expanded our annual conference scholarship program. We offered scholarships to 32 advocates to attend conferences like ADA, AADE and Friends For Life.  We also held the first MasterLab session in Orlando that coincided with the Friends For Life Conference. MasterLab is a day for diabetes advocates to come together to collaborate and learn about how to become more influential in their efforts. We had 125 advocates in attendance.

The TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes communities, combined, welcomed over 16,000 new members, and U.S. membership on EsTuDiabetes increased by 15%. We significantly expanded our live interview programs, hosting 73 live events in English and 40 in Spanish, and giving our community members access to professionals from such organizations as American Diabetes Association, JDRF, American Heart Association, Federation Mexicana de Diabetes, NIH, Madrid Social Diabetes, National Diabetes Education Program and many more. 

We also had advocates speak at the FDA Advisory Committee meetings for Afrezza and Liraglutide for obesity.


We have already secured partial funding for the 2015 Big Blue Test campaign. We will use these resources to do some early development on the Big Blue Test iPhone and Android apps.

The Diabetes Advocates program will continue to grow. The membership process is evolving to help more advocates benefit from our resources. We will have a day-and-a-half MasterLab session at the 2015 Friends For Life Conference in Orlando.

Our TuDiabetes & EsTuDiabetes communities are moving! We will be making a big transition to a new platform that will address some of the concerns that our community members have expressed in the past year. We will be moving the forums and discussions to a platform called Discourse which is an incredible update.


diaTribe Foundation


The diaTribe Foundation had an exciting first year as a 501(c)(3) organization. We are dedicated to providing timely, essential information for people with diabetes while also advocating on behalf of their interests. We update our website on diaTribe more frequently, and send out more emails, so our readers always stay on top of the news.

On Nov. 3, the diaTribe Foundation hosted an unprecedented patient discussion with the FDA. We engaged nearly 10,000 patients to take a survey and/or tune in for a discussion of the challenges that patients face every day. Our feedback offered a patient framework that the FDA should consider as it reviews new drugs and devices. We also spoke at several additional FDA meetings in 2014, including the Advisory Committee hearings for Afrezza and Saxenda for obesity, a public hearing on cardiovascular outcome trials, and the November 13 workshop on bolus calculators.


For 2015, The diaTribe Foundation hopes to continue improving its news content in diaTribe. We also plan to further the community's engagement with the FDA in the hope of reducing barriers — or streamlining action — for better treatments and therapies.


Diabetes Research Institute (DRI)


The DRI is continuing to develop the BioHub mini organ to mimic the native pancreas and restore natural insulin production in patients with type 1 diabetes. This year, we built upon several research initiatives within the three main challenge areas: the Site, Sustainability and Supply.

Site — The DRI has focused on the omentum, the inside lining of the abdomen, as a transplant site to house a BioHub. This year, the FDA approved the DRI's Phase I/II pilot clinical trial that will test islets transplanted in the omentum within a "biodegradable scaffold," one of the BioHub platforms. Several patients have been identified as candidates for the transplant. The DRI is continuing to screen patients for this clinical trial, and for future trials, to maximize the opportunity for a matching donor organ. The DRI also plans to test a "silicone scaffold" as a BioHub platform also utilizing the omentum as a transplant site. Researchers are in discussions with the FDA and completing the required preliminary tests to obtain approval to begin that clinical trial.

Sustainability — We are continuing our research with Regulatory T-cells (T-regs), critical for maintaining immune system balance, and have focused on using IL-2 (Interleukin-2) in low doses to boost the level of T-regs to potentially reverse autoimmunity. DRI researchers have been encouraged by the results they've seen from a collaborative study in newly-diagnosed patients with T1D, which compared different doses of IL-2 for safety and effectiveness. The results will be considered in developing a protocol for a new clinical trial planned for 2015 (see below).

Researchers have also continued their work with Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs), a population of immune cells that help tumors escape immune destruction, with the goal of using these cells to protect insulin-producing cells using a similar mechanism. The DRI team identified and characterized a novel subset of these cells, called f-MDSC (fibrocytice-MDSC), which were obtained from the umbilical cord of healthy newborn babies. The results of these studies were published in peer-reviewed journals.

Ongoing research is exploring additional approaches in experimental models to modulate and/or halt autoimmunity and prevent rejection, ultimately resulting in preservation of beta cell function at the onset of T1D and after islet transplantation. The ultimate goal is to identify treatments that may, alone or in combination with others (i.e., biological, cellular and pharmacological) achieve immune tolerance and sustained function of beta cells without the need for life-long antirejection drugs.

Supply — We made progress in converting human exocrine tissue, the non-insulin producing tissue of the pancreas, into insulin-producing cells using only one molecule that is already approved for other conditions. The DRI team is the very first group in the world that has achieved this result without the use of genetic manipulation and using a compound that is already in clinical use. They anticipate that this will make the translation to clinical therapies much faster.


DRI researchers and collaborators from the NIH Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium plan to complete the submission of the Biological License Application for the major Phase III (registration) multicenter clinical trial recently completed by the NIH CIT Consortium, which could lead to approval by the FDA, for the first time in the USA, of the first biologically active cellular product (insulin-producing cells) for treatment of the most severe cases of type 1 diabetes.

Our Phase I/II clinical trial testing islets transplanted in the biodegradable scaffold will be underway and we expect that several patients will be transplanted within the first half of the year.  Also, we are planning parallel trials at the DRI in Miami, as well as at other centers of the DRI Federation, to address reversal of autoimmunity and tolerance induction with transient immunomodulation. In this direction, we have assembled an international team of basic science, translational and clinical investigators to synergize the expertise developed in major collaborative networks, including TrialNet, the JDRF, nPOD, the Clinical Islet Transplant Consortium and the Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry, and have developed an integrated protocol for reversal of type 1 diabetes (!), whose FDA submission is planned for the first half of 2015.

With respect to our work with T-regs and low-dose IL-2, DRI researchers are now planning to conduct a clinical trial in Miami that will begin to expand the window of opportunity to longer time frames post-diagnosis. The trial being planned will involve patients with residual insulin secretion who will receive the therapy starting at one year post-diagnosis. Going forward, they will also be studying whether this therapy can be used to treat patients who receive a pancreas or islet cell transplant to prevent the autoimmune attack that caused type 1 diabetes in the first place.

Additionally, we'll participate in collaborative clinical trials of the transplantation of human stem cell-derived insulin producing cells, and will also conduct the first in vivo testing of whether progenitor cells identified within the human exocrine tissue can be activated and directed towards the endocrine lineage. The demonstration that human pancreatic tissue can be directly transformed into insulin-producing cells in this manner may open the door to potentially transformative therapies for diabetes.



2014:JDRF Logo

JDRF made remarkable progress over the past year in delivering life-changing therapies that will eliminate the burdens of type 1 diabetes (T1D) while we work to find a cure and achieve our vision for a world without T1D. We are beginning to see progress in research to detect antibodies in at-risk individuals long before they are diagnosed and are able to identify genes that create predisposition to the disease.

Novel Immune Therapies: This summer an important JDRF-supported translational study was tested for the first time in people with T1D. The study results showed that increasing a person's T-regulatory (Treg) cell count could rebalance the immune system and may provide benefit for people with T1D. The therapy involved collecting a person's Treg cells, growing them in the lab, and infusing the new cells back into the same person to increase their Treg cell counts.

Artificial Pancreas Research: JDRF made important steps toward achieving fully automated artificial pancreas (AP) systems through real-world clinical trials testing advances in this technology. In May, a JDRF-funded study in children at the University of Cambridge showed that unsupervised use of an overnight treat-to-range AP device led to improved blood-glucose control throughout the night and into the next day. In addition to improved blood-glucose control, trial participants and their parents reported improvements in their quality of life when using the system.

Encapsulation Research: In 2014 JDRF provided additional support for ViaCyte's unique encapsulated cell replacement product in development. In July ViaCyte's investigational new drug application (IND) was filed with and accepted by the FDA. In October, JDRF in conjunction with ViaCyte announced the launch of the first human study of this potentially transformative therapy for people with T1D.

Additionally, we funded a trial which involves Beta-O2's experimental therapy called the BetaAir system. The immune protective BetaAir encapsulation device contains human islets from donated cadaver pancreases. A unique feature of the BetaAir system is the ability to provide the implanted cells with additional oxygen via a special port to help sustain them after implantation. These initial human trials represent a major step forward in the development of encapsulated cell replacement therapies which will potentially transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes by restoring a person's independence from insulin injections and reducing concerns of the complications that arise from living with the disease.

Prevention Research: JDRF and National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other government agencies have advanced in the field of prevention as well. At a scientific meeting in March of 2014, JDRF's experts reviewed evidence of the need to change the T1D diagnostic criteria so that it recognizes that disease onset begins before its symptoms. JDRF funded research strengthened the link between autoantibodies and the risk of developing T1D and highlighted the importance of prediabetes research for disease prevention. Through consensus building among organizations, it may be possible in the not-too-distant future to include new criteria in clinical guidelines. This change could increase focus on developing prevention therapies that could change the course of the disease before symptomatic onset.

Advocacy: JDRF advocacy efforts help move novel T1D therapies through the delivery pipeline by working to define their regulatory pathways and gain support for their adoptance and reimbursement.

JDRF has been working closely with other interested stakeholders for more than a year to encourage Medicare to cover continuous glucose monitor (CGM) devices, and we have made this one of our top advocacy priorities.

In March 2014, the federally funded Special Diabetes Program (SDP) was granted a one-year funding extension by Congress due in large part to JDRF's advocacy efforts. This will extend SDP funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at the current level of $150 million and will allow SDP-funded researchers to continue promising clinical trials that are leading to improved therapies and ultimately a cure for T1D.


JDRF will complete a new strategic plan to enhance our efforts to move potential therapies further along the T1D research and development pipeline. We look forward to additional real-world AP studies and the evaluation process. We are excited about the trial results of the encapsulated beta cells trials in humans, which will be available over the next few years. And, as we continue our advocacy efforts and research collaboration with public, private, academic and corporate partners


Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD)

2014:TCOYD Logo

We've had another remarkable conference season and have reached thousands of people with diabetes, and their loved ones, in cities across the United States, including; Sacramento, Honolulu, Raleigh, Washington DC, Missoula, Des Moines, and Amarillo. We ended 2014 with our 20th Annual Taking Control Of Your Diabetes Conference and Health Fair in San Diego, CA.

95% of conference attendees in 2014 reported being more knowledgeable about how to manage their diabetes after attending a TCOYD conference and 93% of participants reported being more motivated to self-manage their condition. Education and motivation are two of the most important factors in achieving glycemic control, even with all the new medications and devices that have become available.

In 2014, TCOYD launched the first-ever online collaborative group for diabetes professionals who also have type 1 diabetes. It brings together doctors, educators, dietitians, personal trainers, bloggers, pharmaceutical/medical device industry professionals, and anyone else who has type 1 and a diabetes-centered profession. In the first few weeks we have well over 200 professionals with type 1 registered.


We will be expanding our Continuing Medical Education program by introducing a new series of evening programs across the United States that will focus on biosimilar insulins.

TCOYD will also continue to individualize the way people with diabetes learn and gain the tools they need to manage their condition into 2015. We are excited to bring our national conference to the following cities: Augusta, Santa Clara, Austin, Honolulu, Kansas City, San Diego, Omaha, and Phoenix. Click here for more information about our 2015 conference schedule.


T1D ExChange

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What we are probably most proud of in 2014 is that our vision—creating a more connected community to drive faster more informed research—has become validated and proven.

This past year, T1D Exchange conducted or supported:

  • 8 research studies through the Glu community (now grown to over 11,000 users)
  • more than 20 studies through our Clinic Network and Clinic Registry
  • a large, groundbreaking study using biological samples from the T1D Exchange Biobank
  • 20+ scientific research requests for Biobank samples
  • 245,831 answers to Questions of the Day, which is helping inform the future of T1D research and development

We gained some important insights:

  • It's generally assumed that the pancreas stops all insulin secretion in people with type 1 diabetes, but using biological samples from our Biobank, we performed a ground-breaking study that proves that some people continue to secrete residual insulin well after diagnosis
  • A clinical trial we conducted using a type 2 diabetes therapy for overweight teens with type 1 may lead to new practice guidelines for clinicians
  • Our research brought a better understanding of severe hypoglycemic events in older adults, which may lead to interventions that reduce these frightening events
  • In collaboration with the DPV initiative in Austria/Germany and the UK Pediatric Diabetes Audit in England/Wales on clinical care and outcomes for children, we gathered learnings about DKA and insulin pump use around the world


Research planned that will continue to advance treatment and management of type 1 diabetes aims to:

  • determine whether a racial difference exists in the association of mean glucose with HbA1c
  • determine whether the routine use of a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) without a blood glucose monitor (BGM) is as safe and effective as using them together
  • understand and describe sleep patterns in youth with T1D as well as the parents of youth with T1D and learn more about the use of mini-dose glucagon for T1D with non-severe hypoglycemia as well as with exercise

We will be offering the T1D community new ways to participate in exciting research, through our Living Biobank, and more Glu surveys and questions. We will be participating in many great events to reach out and connect with the T1D Community. And we are excited to introduce a new Glu staff member, Steve Richert, who is an accomplished climber and documentary filmmaker. He lives an adventurous (T1D) life and will be helping us forge new and interesting ways to connect.


We know it's a lot, but do hope you took some to read the details above, because once again, there are a lot of exciting new programs on the horizon that have been mentioned publicly for the first time here.


{NOTE: The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) was queried for this post as well, but failed to reply to us this year.}

And with that, we say: Let the New Year in diabetes begin!

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.