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Chicago Bears Football Star
Roberto Garza Teams with AHIP, LULAC, ADA on Bilingual Diabetes
Education Campaign .
Campaign “Kicks Off” at League of United Latin
American Citizens Annual Convention; With Proper
Foot Care, Most of the 82,000 Amputations Due to
Diabetes Each Year are Preventable.
July 12, 2007
Robert Zirkelbach, AHIP, 202-778-8493
Lizette Jenness Olmos, LULAC, 202-365-4553
Jessica Kies, Chicago Bears, 847-739-5308
Angela Russo, ADA, 800-676-4065 (ext. 3425)
(Chicago, Illinois) – “Check
Your Feet!” That’s the important advice millions
of Americans with diabetes are about to get in
television, radio, and print public service
announcements (PSAs) created by America’s Health
Insurance Plans (AHIP) in partnership with the
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC),
and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The
PSAs, featuring Roberto Garza, starting lineman
for the Chicago Bears, will be distributed in
English and Spanish, starting today in markets
across the country.
Up to 85% of the 82,000
amputations associated with diabetes in the U.S.
each year could be prevented with proper foot
care. There are 20.8 million children and adults
in the United States, or 7% of the population,
who have diabetes. More than 60% of
non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in
people with diabetes.
The campaign “kicked off”
today at the annual LULAC convention in Chicago,
where Garza will be recognized at a youth awards
dinner this evening as a “Hero of the Heart.”
Garza is a past Bears nominee for the National
Football League’s prestigious “Walter Payton Man
of the Year” award that considers a player’s
contributions to the community as well as his
on-field accomplishments, and he has been
heavily involved in diabetes awareness for many
“For America’s health
insurance plans, good health is our mission. And
so we are proud to join Roberto Garza, LULAC,
and ADA in a broad-based effort to encourage
people with diabetes to get and practice proper
foot care,” said AHIP President and CEO Karen
Ignagni, who initiated the project. “We’re proud
to be partners with like-minded organizations
such as LULAC. Both AHIP and LULAC will be
urging English and Spanish-language media
outlets to broadcast this simple, important
message to audiences all over the country,” she
Diabetes education is a top
priority for AHIP, LULAC, and ADA, who are
working together to publicize the fact that
simple steps like removing your socks and shoes
and having your doctor examine your feet on each
visit can make the difference. This is the first
time the three have joined forces.
The campaign is part of a
broad collaboration between AHIP and LULAC that
will include an ongoing focus on diabetes
prevention and treatment in the Hispanic
community. Approximately 10 percent of all
Latinos – more than two million individuals –
have diabetes, which is twice the rate as for
non-Hispanic whites according to the American
Diabetes Association and the National Institute
of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
“LULAC has a long history
advocating for patient education programs to
continue raising the quality of life for all
Latino families. We are very excited about our
partnership with AHIP, ADA, and the Chicago
Bears on a terrific public education campaign in
the Hispanic community that creates greater
awareness about diabetes prevention – a disease
disproportionately affecting Hispanic families,”
said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “Our
campaign spokesperson, football star Roberto
Garza, is a magnificent and inspiring role model
to Latinos of all ages,” she said.
Garza’s commitment stems from
family experience, including that of his
grandfather, who lost two toes to the disease.
Knowing that diabetes is more prevalent among
Hispanic Americans, Garza was enthusiastic about
launching the new campaign.
“I believe that if my
grandfather had this information, it would have
made a difference for him,” said Garza. “I want
to use my position to help others avoid what
happened in my family,” he said.
“We are excited to continue
our relationship with AHIP, LULAC and Roberto
Garza in educating the public about proper foot
care and reducing the risk of amputations,” said
ADA President, Medicine and Science, Larry Deeb,
MD. “It has been the goal of ADA to educate the
public across the country and we are proud to be
a part of this initiative once again.”
AHIP and ADA work together on
diabetes education programs that include a
previous education campaign with Garza.
America’s Health Insurance
Plans represents nearly 1,300 member companies
that provide health benefits to more than 200
million Americans. More information at
The League of United Latin
American Citizens, the oldest and largest
Hispanic organization in the U.S., advances the
economic condition, educational attainment,
health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans of
all nationality groups. It operates thought more
than 700 LULAC councils throughout the country
and has about 115,000 members. More information
The American Diabetes
Association is the nation’s premier voluntary
health organization supporting diabetes
research, information and advocacy. Founded in
1940, the Association has offices in every
region of the country, providing services to
hundreds of communities. The mission of the
Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and
to improve the lives of all people affected by
diabetes. For more information, please visit
www.diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES
(1-800-342-2383). Information is available in
English and Spanish.
Roberto Garza has played for
the Chicago Bears as starting offensive lineman
since 2005. He was named a little-college
All-America first-team selection and an
All-Lone-Star Conference performer at center as
a senior at Texas A&M Kingsville. He is a native
of Rio Hondo, Texas.
Check Your Feet!
What to do if you have
Wear roomy soft-soled shoes;
always wear clean socks; do not go barefoot.
Helps prevent infections.
Do not cross your legs when
sitting. Keeps the blood flowing to your feet.
Use lotion (but not between
your toe) to keep your skin soft and smooth.
Helps prevent blisters and sores.
Properly care for your
toenails. Ask your doctor for instructions.
Call your doctor if you notice
blisters or sores, your feet change color or
shape, or they just feel different. Treat
Take your shoes and socks off
each time you visit your doctor. Make sure your
physicians checks your feet at every visit.
CHECK YOUR FEET EVERY DAY