PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Santa Barbara to Become World’s Most Diabetes-Friendly Destination

Santa Barbara to be world’s most diabetes-friendly destination thanks to Mosher Foundation grant
to William Sansum Diabetes Center
$50,000 grant will be used to build relationships with the travel industry and create new materials that support people with diabetes visiting Santa Barbara
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Oct. 29, 2014 -William Sansum Diabetes Center is pleased to announce they have received a $50,000 grant from the Santa Barbara based Mosher Foundation. The grant is to further the Center’s mission to make Santa Barbara the world’s most “diabetes-friendly” travel destination by offering trip-planning and local restaurant guides for city visitors.

“We are delighted to receive support from the Mosher Foundation. This generous donation will allow the William Sansum Diabetes Center to make our home a truly ‘diabetes-friendly’ destination for the 500,000 visitors who come here each year, who are also living with diabetes.” said Director of Research and Innovation, Dr. David Kerr. “We hope that our success will serve as a national and international model for travel and tourism. We can apply technologically-based innovations that help people with diabetes continue to live healthy lives and enjoy the benefits of wonderful and remarkable places like Santa Barbara.”

It is estimated that more than half of travelers with diabetes report difficulties in glucose management during their journey compared to the month prior to leaving home, especially if they are insulin-treated. Although some information is available about travel and diabetes, most physicians - including diabetes specialists - are uncertain about how to adjust insulin doses for people who travel across several time zones. In one survey of diabetes care specialists, almost 21 percent how about more than 20%? of the advice given was judged to be either unhelpful or potentially harmful. In addition, recent testimony from online bloggers and patient forums continues to highlight specific problems related to diabetes and travel.

Originally a project started by two pre-med interns, the Center looks to complete their goal of making Santa Barbara a diabetes-friendly destination. The Mosher Foundation’s grant covers Phase 1 of the project, which involves:
Gathering medical information about travel and diabetes
Creating relationships with the travel and tourism industry
Creating travel and diabetes focused materials that will be made available to potential travelers by the travel and tourism industries
Highlighting specific local attractions, including restaurants, wine tasting rooms and breweries, and providing diabetes-specific advice that allows people to make the most of their dining experiences
Each month, the Santa Barbara area has an estimated 45,000 visitors and, based on diabetes prevalence data in the United States, approximately one in nine of these visitors is living with diabetes. At least 10 percent of these visitors will have type 1 (T1DM) and 25-30 percent of the remainder will be using insulin on a daily basis for type 2 diabetes. Among visitors over 65, about 25 percent will have been diagnosed with diabetes.

With this project, the Center’s goal is to engage the local travel and tourism industry to make them aware of the demands of diabetes and also provide materials that will make Santa Barbara a diabetes-friendly destination. Future phases of the project will include the creation of a diabetes travel mobile app.

Our singular daily focus is to improve the health and quality of life of men, women and children in Santa Barbara County - and millions around the world - who suffer from diabetes. We have been on the cutting edge of diabetes research, clinical care and education since our founding in 1944 by Dr. William Sansum, the first U.S. physician to administer insulin in the treatment of diabetes.

William Sansum Diabetes Center advances new technologies and produces groundbreaking diabetes treatments, such as the development of an artificial pancreas that enables the automated delivery of insulin to patients. Understanding that diet and lifestyle factors are key to the effective management and prevention of diabetes, the Center offers education to the more than 40,000 Santa Barbara County residents impacted by the disease. The Center also provides direct clinical care to patients, like pregnant mothers with gestational diabetes, helping them to deliver healthy babies.

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