David Spero, RN
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David Mendosa: "A Tale of Two Books"
Stephen Z. Smith, MD
Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association
December 17, 2006
From the front cover pictured with a letter shackled to a sugar cube to the back cover crowded with accolades and pronouncements, this book shouts its advent with a clarion call. Written and extensively documented by an author with multiple sclerosis coloring his background and educated in the nursing profession, this is a work meant to both help and shake up the audience. Part expose’ in a newspaper like headline and story format, but carefully mixed with useful information, the text literally bounces from cause to effect with alacrity.
Titling Part I as “A Profit-Driven Plague” surely tells the reader that the author has problems with the current health system and how it deals with diabetes. If there were a conspiracy of the food industry to promulgate diabetes and a medical care system siding with the better offs, then these chapters would be welcome confirmation of their beliefs. Probably something less of both exist in reality, but with the population fatter and more sedentary, and the manufacturers with the restaurateurs pushing significantly bad-for-you products, there does seem to be a case for indictment.
His second “Part II – Health as a Movement” discusses the proactive position of doing something about the source and the result, rather than being the bystander accepting what care is offered. With titles like “Taking it to the Streets” and “Self-Care as a Political Act, Mr. Spero demands that his readers take the challenge and push for changes. During all this demonstration, many practical suggestions and tactics are inserted. This legitimizes the practical part as well as the promotional goals of the work. Appended are sections on self care, resources, notes and an index, all of which serve the reader well.
This reading should not be taken as a manual or medical text, but rather as a well presented and researched point of view and guide book.
More about Diabetes: Sugar-coated Crisis
Advance Praise for Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis
"Eloquent and thought-provoking."
Richard Rubin, American
"A hard-hitting and beautifully written look at the social causes and cures of chronic illness. Sugar-Coated Crisis illuminates the true reality of diabetes and provides cutting-edge ideas on its prevention and treatment."
Thomas Bodenheimer MD
"David Spero clearly shows us why patient self-management is crucial, what social and medical forces get in its way, and how groundbreaking healthcare providers are helping people care for themselves."
Kate Lorig, RN, DPH, Director, Stanford
"A compelling and inspiring resource for people, communities, and health systems struggling with diabetes and other chronic conditions."
Dr. America Bracho, CEO of Latino Health Access
"A great read. Emphasizes that we need to heal the environment, not just rely on the health care system to deal with chronic illness. Sugar-Coated Crisis describes changes needed to prevent diabetes, and maintain the well being of diabetics."
Lawrence Cohen, MSW, Executive Director,
"With deep understanding, intelligence and passion, David Spero shines a bright light on the social and environmental determinants that underlie diabetes and other chronic illnesses. David, a highly effective clinician, peer counselor and coach, also inspires, empowers and encourages readers to take actions to promote personal well-being as well as actions that will improve the lives of others."
Michael G. Goldstein, MD, Associate Director, Clinical Education and Research, Institute for Healthcare Communication
"David Spero takes readers through a powerful and moving tour of how poverty and public policy have contributed to the deadly epidemic of diabetes, and how community efforts can help stop it".
Doriane Miller MD, National Program Director,
"We read almost daily about the diabetes epidemic, and we know about the ever-increasing rates of obesity. But Spero digs far deeper to see what is behind this epidemic - how our social environment and economic distribution are prominent causes. We need to address these issues at all levels, if we are to improve lives and health. Spero's book clearly and powerfully speaks to how we can do this!"
Laurie Francis MSW, CEO Community Health Partners,