Jason Harmon, CTO and founding partner of Get Real Health, was recently featured in an article on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) website. Harmon has been instrumental in advocating for changes in policy affecting U.S. pilots diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).
In the article, Jason explains how his childhood dream of being commissioned in the U.S. Air Force was cut short by his Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis, despite already earning a private pilot’s license to charter small, non-commercial aircrafts. He went on to have a successful career in healthcare information technology, but the early letdown sparked a lifelong passion to change policy affecting those with diabetes.
Since 1996 the United States has allowed people with insulin-treated diabetes to pilot private aircraft with a medical certificate but they cannot fly commercial aircraft. Canada and the United Kingdom have surpassed the U.S. policy and allow pilots with Type 1 Diabetes to fly commercially under certain circumstances. Harmon is hoping continued advocacy can broaden U.S. policy so those with manageable T1D can fly commercially in the states.
On July 29, he will take flight with Pilots With Diabetes (PWD) for Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2013. The purpose of the flight is to raise awareness of what pilots with well-managed Type 1 Diabetes can do. The group will fly from Council Bluffs Municipal Airport in Council Bluffs, Iowa to the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.