The Indian Health Care Improvement Act, amended in 1987, established that each of the 12 IHS Areas should have an Area Diabetes Consultant. The Area Diabetes Consultants are health care professionals with expertise in diabetes. They play a critical role in supporting each IHS Area’s diabetes treatment and prevention activities by:
- Serving as project officers for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) Community-Directed Diabetes Program.
- Serving as a liaison between the SDPI grant programs and clinical staff at IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health care facilities.
- Helping to coordinate an extensive Indian health system diabetes network to facilitate bi-directional information flow from local to national levels.
- Providing diabetes orientation, training, and monitoring activities to health care professionals and paraprofessionals in the Indian health system.
- Working with the IHS Division of Diabetes to translate and disseminate the latest scientific findings on diabetes treatment and prevention to American Indian and Alaska Native communities.