skip navigation nih record
Vol. LXIV, No. 19
September 14, 2012

previous story

next story


NICHD Council Gains Four Members

NICHD Council Gains Four Members

NICHD director Dr. Alan Guttmacher (r) and NICHD deputy director Dr. Yvonne Maddox (l) recently welcomed four new members to the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council. They are (from l) Diana W. Bianchi, vice chair for research, department of pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine; Dr. Paul H. Wise, Richard E. Behrman professor of child health and society, Stanford University; Dr. Bonnie M. Duran, associate professor, department of health services, University of Washington School of Public Health and Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, Seattle; and Dr. Ken Muneoka, John L. and Mary Wright Ebaugh chair in science and engineering, department of cell and molecular biology, Tulane University.

NIDDK’s Garfield Retires After Career Devoted to Diabetes Prevention
By Joan Chamberlain

Dr. Sandy Garfield
For his work to prevent diabetes among American Indians, Dr. Sandy Garfield was honored in 2003 with a sacred tribal blanket that symbolizes security, warmth and guidance, according to a tribal leader.

Dr. Sanford A. “Sandy” Garfield has retired from NIDDK after 25 years dedicated to overseeing studies to improve the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes in high-risk groups. Among the many projects he oversaw, the Diabetes Prevention Program stands out as a milestone in clinical research for showing that type 2 diabetes can be slowed or prevented by cutting calories and increasing physical activity.

Garfield devoted nearly two decades of his career to working on the design, implementation and analysis of results for the DPP and its follow-up study. “The announcement of the trial’s findings in 2001 marked just the first step in the complex process of implementing the DPP approach on a wide scale,” he says. He now works with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help managed care organizations deliver the DPP’s lifestyle intervention to patients at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

During his career, Garfield also worked on major initiatives to reduce the high rate of diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives. As director of NIDDK’s Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools Program, he coordinated the development of an innovative set of teaching tools to increase the understanding of science, health and diabetes among Native American students from kindergarten through grade 12. The curriculum, “Health Is Life in Balance,” integrates science and Native American traditions to educate students about science, diabetes and its risk factors and the importance of nutrition and physical activity.

“I’ll never forget the moving ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian when community leaders enveloped Sandy in a traditional blanket to recognize the important role he’s played in improving the health of the American Indian people,” recalled Dr. Judith Fradkin, director of NIDDK’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases. “His work has had immense consequences for stemming the tide of diabetes with a focus on the most vulnerable American populations.”

Garfield taught anatomy at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine before joining NIDDK in 1987. He earned a Ph.D. in biology at the University of Chicago in 1974, which he followed with postdoctoral studies at Case Western Reserve University.

After retirement, he plans to tackle a long reading list and immerse himself in the neglected joys of music while continuing to oversee the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study part time.

back to top of page