5 Organizations Improving The Lives Of People With Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that requires a lifetime of management, with insulin injections, extra visits to the doctor, and special considerations during pregnancy. This list, presented in no particular order, looks at a few excellent organizations trying to make life easier for people with diabetes and ultimately find a cure to this cumbersome disease.

The #1 entry on our list is the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, located in Santa Barbara, California. The nonprofit was founded in 1944 by Dr. William D. Sansum, who was the first physician in the US to produce and administer insulin to patients with diabetes. It focuses on research, education, and clinical care.

SDRI has gained recognition for its work in developing protocols to increase the incidence of healthy babies born to women with diabetes and its work with people with and at risk for type 2. Its Mil Familias initiative was created to help reduce the burden of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke among Latino families.

Next up, at #2, we have the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, one of the largest independent camping and educational programs in the US dedicated to children who live with diabetes and the people who care for them. Its facilities serve as a year-round camp, retreat, and conference center.

Thousands of children and their families participate in Barton's programs annually, including the Vermont Overnight Camp, Adventure Programs, and Day Camps in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The nonprofit's goal is to educate children and their families on how to manage the daily rigors of diabetes so that they can live fuller and healthier lives.

Taking the #3 spot is Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston, Massachusetts. It is dedicated to finding a cure for this disease and ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives. The center works to develop and disseminate new patient therapies and scientific discoveries throughout the world.

Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School and one of only a handful of NIH-designated Diabetes Research Centers in the US. The organization's team of diabetes educators leads programs to help patients learn about the disease and how to manage it on a daily basis.

Coming in at #4 is the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University. This organization combines family-oriented patient care and education with research related to this disease. It features one of the largest pediatric diabetes programs in the United States.

The Frontiers in Diabetes Research Symposium held at the Berrie Center each November gathers thousands of physicians, scientists, students, fellows, faculty, and other professionals from dozens of institutions in the spirit of collaboration and discovery. Featured speakers give lectures on topics ranging from the immunobiology of type 1 diabetes to trends in stem cell research.

Last but not least, at #5, we have the American Diabetes Association. This nonprofit's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by it. Its research foundation offers funding to support scientific discoveries that will translate to better treatments, healthier lives, and eventual cures.

The association offers a number of resources for diabetics, including assistance with health insurance and information for educational institutions, such as diabetes care training materials and tips for teachers. It also advocates for legislation that will support research funding, health care access, and more.