A letter from Jean Moody-Williams. 
Shari Ling, M.D., serves as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. She is responsible for assisting the CMS Chief Medical Officer in the agency’s pursuit of better patient care, healthier populations and communities, and lower costs through quality improvement. Dr. Ling’s long-standing focus is on achieving better health outcomes across the continuum of care through the delivery of high quality, beneficiary-centered care. She has a special interest in the treatment of people with multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations, as well as in reducing health disparities. She is a trained geriatrician and rheumatologist, a part-time faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a volunteer with several medical clinics. 
Dr. Michael J. Barry became president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation in 2009, transitioning from his previous role as chief medical editor. The foundation strives to improve the quality of medical decisions through better patient education and greater patient involvement, which have been themes of Barry’s own research.
Virna Elly, a patient with Type 1 Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease, tells how becoming her own spokeswoman led to a life of educating others with chronic conditions and inspiring them to leverage every available resource to create a healthier life. The roots of her work in patient advocacy are in her childhood. 
In the U.S., 18.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, but more concerning is the estimated seven million people who remain undiagnosed, according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Educating people about how to manage their diabetes allows them to better control the disease and understand the potential complications such as amputations, blindness and kidney failure.
Well over 300,000 Native Americans in Oklahoma live on tribally-owned land, with many in primarily rural areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Native Americans also have some of the highest rates of heart disease since they are less likely to seek medical care at the early stages of illness.
Established 50 years ago, Gateway Senior Living is the first retirement community in Lincoln, Neb. that began to provide both assisted living and senior health care to its residents. It is currently home to just over 60 residents and includes a small