BD’s own Dr. Larry Hirsch, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Diabetes Care, was diagnosed in 1957 with type 1 diabetes (T1D) as a young child, and has been living with diabetes ever since…61 years to the month, in fact! As part of his life’s work at BD, Dr. Hirsch helps bring new advancements in diabetes management to patients and partners with health care professionals around the world. He served an instrumental role as part of a group of international thought leaders who published results from a 13,000-patient worldwide survey of injection practices that led to simultaneous publication of evidence-based recommendations for proper insulin delivery. These are critical to BD’s ongoing development of educational tools that help people living with diabetes achieve better clinical outcomes. Larry provides numerous presentations and training lectures on insulin therapy, as well as how life with diabetes has changed over >60 years, to health care professionals and to patients, worldwide. In his “spare time” Dr. Hirsch manages a free clinic at the company’s headquarters in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, focused on diabetes and pre-diabetes for BD associates, their family members and retirees
His early diagnosis and management by his diabetologist motivated him to “push the envelope” for experiences in travel, helicopter skiing, sky-diving and jet-packing, to name just a few. When he graduated high school, just going to college and medical school were unusual for persons with T1D, who were viewed as having a severe disability. Larry has devoted his clinical career with his life’s mission to help fellow people with diabetes better manage their condition. “I believe that working with other talented persons in the Industry while living with type 1 diabetes allows us collectively to have an impact on a very large scale,” says Dr. Hirsch. “It’s motivating to try to do things that will make millions of other patients’ lives better as part of BD’s purpose, advancing the world of health.”
An additional focus for Dr. Hirsch is raising awareness of pre-diabetes, a condition he explains many people are unknowingly living with, putting them at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) and/or cardiovascular disease. According to the CDC, approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have pre-diabetes where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as T2D.
In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, BD would like to recognize Dr. Hirsch’s invaluable contributions to the company’s mission advancing the world of health.