American Diabetes Association Honors Contributions to Behavioral Care for Diabetes

JUNE 09, 2017
Laurie Toich, Assistant Editor
Michael A. Harris, PhD, has been awarded with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 2017 Richard R. Rubin Award, which recognizes a researcher who has made significant contributions to understanding the behavioral components of diabetes treatment.

Dr Harris received this award during the ADA’s 77th Scientific Sessions. He will also deliver the Richard R. Rubin Award Lecture titled, “Your Exclusion, My Inclusion: Treating the Most Challenging in Diabetes,” on Saturday, June 10 during the conference.

Dr Harris is currently a professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University. Previously, he was a faculty member of the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine for 13 years.   Dr Harris received the Richard R. Rubin Award for his outstanding contributions to improving care for patients with type 1 diabetes. These patients are typically diagnosed during childhood or adolescence and may require different interventions than adult patients.

In addition to teaching, Dr Harris has an extensive research profile. He was the primary creator of the Diabetes Self-Management Profile, which is now the gold standard for determining adherence among young patients with type 1 diabetes. He also proved to be essential in the creation and dissemination of the Behavioral Family Systems Therapy-Diabetes, which is a validated behavioral intervention for achieving adherence and blood glucose control.

Dr Harris was also the first researcher to explore the efficacy of teleconferencing to administer behavioral interventions to patients with type 1 diabetes and their care givers.

Dr Harris has developed and validated the Novel Interventions in Children’s Healthcare, which has received national recognition. This program improves diabetes care and reduces avoidable hospitalizations for young patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes.  

Beyond research, Dr Harris’ teaching, mentoring, and partnerships have shown his continued dedication and service to the field of diabetes research, according to the ADA.  

“Dr Harris’s career has provided us with concrete tools that have set the standard in behavioral aspects of diabetes,” said Brenda Montgomery, RN, MSHS, CDE, president of Health Care and Education of the Association. “Congratulations to Dr Harris on this achievement, and thank you for improving the lives of people with diabetes.”