Latest News Organizations and Eyecare Professionals to Build Awareness on World Diabetes Day By Staff Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:27 AM Washington D.C.—World Diabetes Day (WDD) is today, Nov. 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations, engaging millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness. Created in 1991 by the IDF about and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 200. The day itself is celebrated annually on this date to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922. The American Diabetes Association during November, American Diabetes Month, will help to spread awareness of a disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans, with another 79 million at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The Association will take its program to a larger-than-life stage: an HD projection on the interior of Washington DC’s iconic Union Station. Since Oct. 1, people have been asked to share images that represent what A Day in the Life of Diabetes means to them. For every photo uploaded, CVS/pharmacy will donate $1 to the Association, up to $25,000. Among the vision care related organizations and ECPs drawing attention to World Diabetes Day today, Rancho Cordova-based VSP Vision Care is running a campaign the entire month of November to educate consumers about their risks for diabetes and the importance of exercise in controlling and preventing diabetes. The effort complements the VSP Eye on Diabetes initiative that just completed its third year and provides free health services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents across America. VSP and the local American Diabetes Association are teaming up to provide free diabetes screenings in Rancho Cordova today. Participants will be offered a free diabetes risk assessment, blood pressure check, blood sugar check, and the Big Blue Test, a 14-minute exercise and sugar retest to demonstrate how physical activity positively impacts diabetes management. Those who qualify will receive VSP gift certificates for free eye exams and glasses. VSP is also teaming up with Marchon Eyewear to provide marketing collateral featuring statistics about diabetes and talking points to help encourage patients to obtain regular eye exams. Online, VSP has launched a social media campaign, including a Facebook page to educate consumers about the risks of diabetes and its prevalence in society. The campaign also seeks to share information through opinion leaders, such as VSP optometrists and employee benefit managers, to provide increased access to information about diabetes. Most people don’t realize that diabetes can be detected through an eye exam up to seven years before they would show symptoms and seek treatment,” said Susan Egbert, director of eye health strategies for VSP Vision Care. “Our goal is to help educate consumers about how to incorporate positive preventative care behaviors into their lives now, such as exercise and annual eye exams, to help take greater control of their health for the future.” Joining more than 400 other organizations and cities around the world lighting buildings blue to support the WDD Blue Monument Challenge, VSP will light its headquarters here and its eastern operations center in Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 12 to 16. This video shows some of VSP’s eastern operations center’s additional involvement.