NIDDK Director's Update Winter 2022

Director's Note


 Dr. Rodgers holds a t-shirt at the NIDDK Blood Drive

A career in public health is a career of service. Whether serving on the front lines of the pandemic or at the laboratory workbench, so many answer the call to act in the best interest of people’s health. As the year winds to a close, I am humbled by the broad impact the NIDDK community has made on public health over the last 12 months, including advances in understanding and treating conditions in NIDDK’s mission, as well as efforts to make the biomedical workplace a more diverse and nurturing environment in which all can thrive.

In this issue, we learn about how grassroots efforts have united the diverse community of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA & NHPI) staff across NIH. Prompted by the heightened levels of racially motivated attacks against AA & NHPI people during the pandemic, NIH staff took initiative to join forces and lead positive change.

In November, during National Diabetes Month, NIDDK engaged the public health community and partners to promote the theme "Diabetes Management: It Takes a Team." For the 37 million American adults living with diabetes, we emphasize the importance of having a health care team to provide the spectrum of support and care they need to maintain healthy and active lives. You can also read about major clinical advances in diabetes management in our Research Updates section.

We feature two NIDDK staff members, Dr. Maren Laughlin and Dr. Valerie Darcey, who dedicate their work to understanding the biologic underpinnings of weight and metabolism – factors related to obesity. More than 42% of American adults have obesity, a major public health concern and focus area of NIDDK and the federal initiative Healthy People 2030, a 10-year strategic plan released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for improving health and well-being for all.

I was also honored to present several NIDDK staff members with awards recognizing their efforts and achievements this year in implementing innovative programs and making NIDDK a vibrant, inclusive place to work. You can see a full list of awardees in our Commendations & Commencements section.

At NIDDK and beyond, the power of service is immeasurable. We all benefit when people across the public health community – in healthcare, research, policy, and education – join forces and dedicate their hearts and minds for the greater good.

I wish everyone a happy and joyous winter season.

In good health,

Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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