"We need to do something of substance in West Virginia," he said. In Kentucky, the ADA helped organize a statewide diabetes network and local ADA groups and supported them with materials and speakers.
Thanks in part to ADA's lobbying, Kentucky counties got an average of 77 cents per person for diabetes in 2011, compared to West Virginia's 6 cents per person.
In the past four years, at least 12 West Virginia counties have started diabetes coalitions to combat a surging epidemic. Many are struggling. The ADA "could be helpful to us in so many ways," said Marshall University professor Richard Crespo.
"Just to have them physically present would be helpful and encouraging."
"We certainly have missed the presence of a physical ADA office here in West Virginia, and we would love to work with them," said Gina Wood, manager of the state's Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.
Bartfield said that since the ADA won't be fundraising, it hopes to limit overhead, perhaps by sharing space with an organization with similar goals. There's already interest.
"We'd like to talk with them," said Louise Reese of the West Virginia Primary Care Association. "All our members are actively providing diabetes control and prevention, so it would be a great fit -- if it's about education, not fundraising."
Reach Kate Long at katel...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1798.
Helpful resources from the American Diabetes Association
The ADA website offers a wide range of practical, well-developed resources, including:
• "Living with Type 2 Diabetes," a free online self-help program with monthly newsletter and a range of resources that take the diabetic step by step through information about the disease and ways to get control of it.
• A range of advice about healthy diet and many tasty recipes
• Symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes
• Ways to start an exercise program and track your exercise