7.24.06 Gov. Henry,
State Leaders Outline Impact of Planned
Oklahoma Diabetes Center
Oklahoma City -- Flanked
by lawmakers and tribal leaders as well
as leaders in education and health care,
Gov. Brad Henry today updated Oklahomans
on the next step
in establishing a state-of-the-art Oklahoma
Diabetes Center. Funding for the facility
was established this year through Senate
Bill 90xx, which the Governor signed
ceremonially this morning in the Blue
Room of the state Capitol.
The Oklahoma Diabetes
Center (ODC), which will boast locations
in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, will focus
on diabetes treatment and prevention,
as well as cutting-edge research.
The rate of diabetes
in Oklahoma exceeds the national average,
with one in 10 Oklahomans diagnosed
as diabetic and thousands of other cases
being undiagnosed, Gov. Henry
I am proud that
we are taking action to develop the
very best treatment for this life-threatening
disease. As a result of this world-class
diabetes center, we will significantly
boost Oklahomans access to cutting-edge
medical treatment and research.
A collaborative effort
among clinicians and scientists in Oklahoma
City and Tulsa, the Oklahoma Diabetes
Center will develop statewide programs
in diabetes care and research for adults
and children with diabetes. Groundbreaking
for a Childrens Diabetes Center
is expected in September, while construction
for the ODC can happen as early as 2008.
Diabetes is a major
cause of heart attacks, strokes, and
limb amputations, and is the major cause
of blindness and end stage kidney failure
in the U.S.
This is especially true
among the Native American population,
which is particularly vulnerable to
diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention recently estimated that
one of every two Native American children
will develop diabetes by age 50. A number
of Native American tribes headquartered
in Oklahoma are partnering in the states
efforts involving the Oklahoma Diabetes
Attendees at the bill
signing included Chickasaw Nation Gov.
Bill Anoatubby, Choctaw Nation Chief
Greg Pyle, Cherokee Nation Principal
Chief Chad Smith and University of Oklahoma
President David Boren.
Although SB 90xx ensured
funding for the diabetes center, the
facility was created in separate legislation,
Senate Bill 1056.