FAMU professor chosen for council

Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Dr. Marlon Honeywell, an associate professor of Pharmacy at Florida A & M University, to the Florida Diabetes Advisory Council. The council is designed to consult the governor about problems with diabetes and diabetes prevention.Honeywell and 13 others named to the council have been appointed to serve a term beginning Sept. 2, and ending July 1, 2011, according to a statement released from the governor’s office.”The council’s purpose is to advise the governor on issues related to diabetes and how the state handles these issues,” said Honeywell.The FAMU professor was chosen for the council through a rigorous process.”The members of the Diabetes Advisory Council looked at applications that the Governor’s office received, then the members of the council determined which applicant is most qualified and they made those recommendations to the state surgeon general and the governor,” said M. R. Street, Program Analyst for the Florida Alliance for Diabetes Prevention and Care.Florida statutes state the council was created more than 25 years ago in order to provide a comprehensive approach to diabetes prevention, diagnosis, education, and care. It is composed of 25 Florida citizens who work in or have knowledge of fields that are affected by diabetes. The Florida Diabetes Advisory Council statutory authority document said that its members come from a variety of disciplines ranging from pharmacy to optometry. Each member of the council is expected to serve a four-year term or until a successor is appointed to their position. Honeywell said students could play a part in the council’s activities as well.”Students can bring their concerns to a board member who can then address those concerns to the governor,” Honeywell said.The two main goals of the council are increasing the diagnosis of pre-diabetes and increasing the participation in diabetes self-management and education within the community, according to the Alliance for Diabetes Prevention and Care.The Florida Alliance for Diabetes Prevention and Care found that people who are aware of clinical and self-management programs are less likely to have complications from diabetes. “People who participate in clinical and self management are more likely to see the doctor for foot exams and eye exams,” Street said. “They are also more likely to understand the importance of exercising, good nutrition and not using tobacco products.” He added that the community could play a very big role in diabetes prevention and help those who already have diabetes. “There is something that can be done if everyone makes changes to the community. You can tell someone they need to walk and exercise, but if the streets aren’t adequate to walk on they’ll get discouraged,” Street said. “Look around your community and see what can be done to prevent diabetes.”

With many people in the black community affected by diabetes, Honeywell, 36, said he hopes that his presence on the council will assist in serving the community. “Certainly diabetes plagues African Americans much more than any other ethnicity and if there is any thing that can be done to help with this problem I want to be at the table so we can talk about it,” Honeywell said. The professor said he is also very excited about being appointed to the council. “It’s an exciting time for me to be appointed to a committee that makes such a big impact on the citizens of Florida,” Honeywell said, “In fact, my dad has diabetes, that’s why I was so interested. I’m excited about serving the community.” Students who know Honeywell have no doubt that he will do an excellent job with his new position. “I think it’s a very good placement due to his knowledge on the subject, his passion for the health care profession and due to his creativity,” said Dwayne L. Simmons, 22, a third-year pharmacy student from Chicago. “I’m sure he’ll accomplish all of his obligations in new and exciting ways.”