In 1997, the Federal government launched a program to address the emerging epidemic of diabetes. The National Institutes
of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined forces to create and sustain a partnership of
Federal agencies and private/community-based organizations that would dedicate themselves to reducing the devastating effects
Fifteen years later, the progress achieved by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is profound and is changing
the way diabetes is treated. Although the prevalence of diabetes is expected to grow over the next 40 years due to an aging
population, increases in minority groups that are at high risk for type 2 diabetes, the rising epidemic of obesity, as well
as people living with diabetes longer, Program leaders are encouraged to see strong indicators that the diabetes community,
coalesced and empowered by the NDEP, has taken progressively potent action to change outcomes:
- Greater awareness that diabetes is a serious disease.
- People with diabetes are taking steps to better manage their diabetes and reduce complications.
- More Americans now know that type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented.
Read NDEP’s 15th Anniversary booklet
to learn how NDEP and partners are Changing the Way Diabetes is Treated
The Power of Partnerships
The NDEP is a unique partnership that brings together Federal agencies and a varied and diverse group of organizations and
individuals addressing diabetes concerns. These partnerships have sustained the effort over time, contributing greatly to the
success of the Program. Learn more about our partners and their tremendous efforts to change the way diabetes is treated in
Partner Spotlight archives.
Looking Ahead: Motivating Lifestyle Changes
In the early years of NDEP, there was an important need to increase awareness of diabetes as a serious disease. While NDEP
has been in the forefront of raising awareness about diabetes, we know that more needs to be done to provide resources and
tools to support health care providers and their patients when it comes to achieving and sustaining health goals. Looking
ahead, the NDEP and its partners will continue to work together to find ways to help people take action and make important
lifestyle changes to achieve their health goals – whether they have diabetes or are at risk for the disease. Together with
our partners, the NDEP will continue to make a difference in the lives of the 26 million Americans with diabetes and the 79
million more with prediabetes.
Profiles in Change: Martha M. Funnell, M.S., R.N., C.D.E., Immediate Past Chair, NDEP
“Diabetes self-management education for people with diabetes has long been considered an essential component of
improving diabetes care. After all, diabetes is largely a self-managed disease in which patients provide 99% of their own
care. However, believing that patients need diabetes education and providing that education are often two different
The NDEP has provided patient education materials since its inception. These have been widely disseminated both in print
and on the website. More recently, however, the focus has been on helping people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes
implement the behavioral changes that will help to improve their outcomes. The Diabetes HealthSense web-based resource, and
the emphasis on behavioral goal-setting now on the website, reflect this focus. We still help people with and at risk for
diabetes and health care professionals know what to do, but now we are also helping them to learn how to do what is
The NDEP recognizes and thanks Ms. Funnell for her many contributions toward
Changing the Way Diabetes is Treated.
From the Archives
In this clip from 1997, Dr. Charles M. Clark, Jr., M.D., explained that only 8% of Americans
considered diabetes a serious disease. By 2006, most adults considered diabetes a serious disease, and today, nearly
everyone, 98% still does.