Larry Harkless is a podiatric surgeon from San Antonio who was tapped recently by Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the Texas Diabetes Council. He hopes to encourage academia, health care providers, and community organizations to work together to disseminate diabetes care information to greater numbers of people who are living with the disease. "Awareness of diabetes as a serious disease is crucial," he says. "We need to remove barriers to care and empower people to take care of themselves and their diabetes." Harkless was instrumental in efforts to pass legislation that required insurance companies in Texas to pay for diabetes supplies, medications, equipment, and self-management training. For all of his hard work, he received the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award at the Association's national meeting in Philadelphia this summer. "Advocating for people with diabetes is simply the right thing to do," he says. "I consider myself to be a change-agent."