In part 5 of this Exclusive Interview, Henry Anhalt and Howard Steinberg explain their involvement and the work of Insulin for Life within the U.S. for a global benefit in a conversation with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA meeting in San Diego, California.
Henry Anhalt is a pediatric endocrinologist and board member for Insulin for Life. Entrepreneur and dLife Founder Howard Steinberg is also a board member on Insulin for Life.
Transcript of this video segment:
Steve Freed: Your organization is called Insulin for Life USA. It’s not called global, so I would assume that it’s for people here that you’re using it. Is that a misnomer?
Howard Steinberg: No, we’re collecting and operating domestically and reaching out to the US, North American community for contributions, but we disperse the supplies mostly in developing world, from Gambia to Belize, to Haiti, Ecuador and Mexico. As Henry mentioned, there’s different affiliates of IFL. It was started originally in Australia by a wonderful visionary man named Ron Raab who got it started and the USA affiliate is driving a lot of new activities.
Steve Freed: So how long have you been involved?
Henry Anhalt: I’ve had the privilege of being on the board now for about 6 months or so. I feel that we’re in our nascency, but we’ve set goals and each year we hope to exceed those goals. I think for insulin this year, for 2017, we’re looking to donate about 75,000 mL of insulin which people know that’s a large amount of insulin but last year I think we were in the high 60s so this is a year that’s very important to us, a year of growth. And when natural disasters happen like what happened in Haiti last year, that gives us a greater opportunity to raise awareness and I think we see a bump up in contributions at that time.
Steve Freed: So if you took care of everybody, what would you need as far as insulin goes? You said there’s 90,000?
Henry Anhalt: Yes, I would not venture to say because of the variability of people’s insulin needs but I’d always err on the side of extra insulin. But I don’t know what that number would be, I mean for us as an organization 75,000 mL of insulin is a lot and if we can get that I think we’ll make a significant difference in so many people’s lives. It’s not quality of life, it’s life and death.
Steve Freed: And what about glucose strips and glucose meters?
Howard Steinberg: That’s the other key supply item, insulin and glucose strips. And if we can help patients, in particular youngsters, in the developing world, test just once a day, that is a big leap forward in many areas. So that is a critical need as well.
Steve Freed: How long has the original organization been around?
Howard Steinberg: I venture to say at least 20/25 years since Ron got that started. And now the power, I should mention again, Mark and Carol Atkinson who have been amazing in driving this forward and totally selfless and have spent their lives giving; momentum is on our side so the last thing I’d love to leave your audience with is just stop for a moment and think about what’s not obvious and what’s not in front of you and not the patient sitting across from you or the customer across the counter, but the one in a country where they don’t even have power to plug a refrigerator in to keep insulin cool. They desperately need us to be aware of them and to keep that top of mind and contribute whatever we can.