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Senator McSally Pushes For Passage Reauthorizing Of Diabetes Program For Native Americans

Senator Martha McSally is urging passage of her bill to reauthorize the SDPI or the Special Diabetes Program for Indians. McSally made the call during a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday. Her bill would help reduce diabetes in Arizona tribal communities by reauthorizing the SDPI for an additional five years and increasing funding to $200-million per year. Hopi chairman Timothy Nuvangyoama says the program helps members of the Hopi Tribe with many uses. He says the program “utilizes effective, evidence-based, intervention strategies to provide the Hopi community with a broad
community center, public health approach to diabetes prevention.” He adds, “since the program’s inception we have implemented programs focused on reducing obesity, improving nutrition, addressing food insecurity, physical fitness and weight management.” Senator Kyrsten Sinema is a co-sponsor of the bill and Congressman Tom O’Halleran has introduced a similar bill in the House. Currently, diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death for Native Americans while it is the seventh leading cause of death in the general population.