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Sharon Regional’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Center hosts Miss America 1999

Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson recently was a guest of Sharon Regional’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Center at two public events in the Shenango Valley. More than 700 people attended a lunchtime Diabetes Conference at the Radisson Hotel of Sharon and heard Nicole, Andrew J. Behnke, M.D., endocrinologist, medical director of the Center, and members of the Center’s specialized treatment team discuss the latest in research and management. Nicole, a type 1 diabetic, was on a national speaking tour entitled “Diabetes in America: Unmasking the Hidden Killer.”

The conference included exhibits from pharmaceutical companies and suppliers such as Pfizer, Lilly, MiniMed, Parke Davis, SmithKline Beecham, Takeda, Option Care, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Lifescan, Bayer, Becton-Dickson, Medical Express Depot and MediSense (Abbott).

Miss America 1999 also participated that evening in Sharon Regional’s “Run for Diabetes” 5K in Buhl Farm Park. She was the official starter for the children’s run around Lake Julia and presented awards to winning runners.

About 16 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, which is a serious lifelong condition. Between 6,000 and 7,000 Mercer County residents have diabetes while Pennsylvania ranks second among the states for the rate of diabetes. Life-threatening complications of diabetes range from heart disease, stroke and blindness to kidney disease, nerve disease and amputations.

Insulin-dependent since 19, Nicole has lobbied the U.S. Congress in support of increased NIH funding, as well as funding of diabetes research, as recommended by the congressionally-established Diabetes Research Working Group.

As a national spokesperson and advocate for diabetes issues, Nicole traveled approximately 20,000 miles a month addressing diverse audiences about the critical need to make the early detection, prevention and cure of diabetes a national priority.

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