SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 12, 2007) — The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in a joint effort with the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the University Health System, will participate in a ceremony recognizing Wednesday, Nov. 14, as World Diabetes Day.
This is the first United Nations observance of World Diabetes Day.
At 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, Mayor Phil Hardberger will read the official city of San Antonio proclamation of World Diabetes Day at Alamo Plaza.
At 6 p.m., the Alamo will be lit blue to mark the occasion. The Alamo will join more than 100 famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House, in this observance. In the United States, the Empire State Building in New York, Coit Tower in San Francisco, Prudential Building in Boston, LAX Airport in Los Angeles and Sears Tower in Chicago will also be lit blue.
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) granted the organizations permission to light the Alamo blue in celebration of World Diabetes Day. The local coalition thanks Dianne MacDiarmid, DRT Alamo Committee chairman; David Stewart, director of the Alamo; and Laura Garza, events coordinator, for this goodwill gesture.
Mayor Hardberger’s presentation will mirror the proclamations of other mayors such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and several state governors.
Robin Brey, M.D., director of research in the School of Medicine, will represent the UT Health Science Center and make remarks.
According to local statistics, diabetes in Bexar County is twice the national average. That means that 202,250 individuals, 14 percent of the 1.4 million population of San Antonio, are living with diabetes. It is estimated than an additional 67,000 people have undiagnosed diabetes. In addition, the number of Hispanics with diabetes is 82,518 and the number of African Americans with diabetes is 28,170.
More than 1 million Texans are living with diabetes and an additional 440,000 have not been diagnosed, it is estimated.
In recognizing World Diabetes Day in San Antonio, the organizations will honor the support they have received from South Texans to fight the epidemic through policies to prevent, treat and cure the disease.
The UT Health Science Center is home to numerous clinical and bench research studies of diabetes mellitus. The clinical research trials include the TODAY study, which is comparing three therapy and lifestyle regimens for treating children ages 10-17 who have type 2 diabetes.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 22,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields.