PA House Education Committee OKs Fleming bill on diabetes awareness

HARRISBURG, June 3 – A bill directing Pennsylvania schools to send home information about Type 1 diabetes and its warning signs was approved today in the PA House Education Committee.

Sponsored by state Rep. Justin Fleming, D-Dauphin, the bill received bipartisan support.

“This bill could alleviate the unnecessary suffering for thousands of people and save lives,” Fleming said. “My bill would direct school districts to distribute information to parents and guardians of students educating them about the warning signs of Type 1 diabetes.

“This bill is very personal as my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in June 2020.”

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the pancreas shuts down, failing to provide insulin that the body needs to regulate blood glucose. Those who have Type 1 diabetes are dependent on pharmaceutically manufactured insulin for life. 

For many, the signs of Type 1 diabetes can go unnoticed for longer periods of time resulting in a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, leading to serious health complications that may even be fatal. Recognizing the signs of diabetes early, along with targeted screening and monitoring, have been shown to reduce the incidence of DKA, reduce rates of hospitalization and, most importantly, save lives.

"Raising awareness about diabetes is not just about understanding a disease, it's about empowering people to take control of their health, fostering a supportive community and paving the way for a healthier future for all," Fleming said.