American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association
American Diabetes Association
ADA logo red.gif
Founded 1941
Location Home Office in
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Key people

Larry Hausner, Chief Executive Officer and
Nash M. Childs, PE,

Chairman of the Board
Focus "Funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes."

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is a United States-based association working to fight the consequences of diabetes, and to help those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to manage, cure and prevent diabetes (including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and pre-diabetes); delivers services to hundreds of communities; and provides information for both patients and health care professionals.[1]


History and mission

Formed in 1940, the ADA was founded by 28 physicians.[2] During its first 30 years, the Association limited its membership to physicians, health professionals and corporations. In 1970, the Association underwent a reorganization during which membership was expanded to include general members. Now the ADA is a volunteer-driven organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, with affiliate offices across the United States.[3]

The mission of the ADA is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.[1] To fulfill this mission, the Association funds research, publishes scientific findings, provides information and other services to people with diabetes, their families, health professionals and the public. The Association is also actively involved in advocating for scientific research and for the rights of people with diabetes.[1] The Association acts on its mission through a number of critical programs and activities that are directed to a broad range of constituents, including consumers, research scientists, health care professionals, corporations and communities.

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, study showed that the American Diabetes Association was ranked as the 18th "most popular charity/non-profit in America" from over 100 charities researched with 33.8% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A Lot for the American Diabetes Association.[4]


The ADA is America's leading 501(c)3 nonprofit charity providing diabetes research, information and advocacy.[5]

The website Charity Navigator, which evaluates charitable organizations, gave the ADA an efficiency rating of only one out of a possible four stars, as of September, 2010.


ADA-funded research

The ADA Research Program supports basic and clinical diabetes research aimed at preventing, treating, and curing diabetes. The diabetes research projects the Association supports cover the spectrum from islet cell biology and transplantation techniques, to studies in education and behavioral issues.[6] The Association has increased support for diabetes research from providing $18 million in 1999 to $42.5 million in 2008.[7]

The ADA’s research funding program is designed to complement the National Institutes of Health (NIH) diabetes research program by supporting new investigators and new research ideas.[7] With support from the Association, investigators are often able to prove that their ideas are solid enough to get more substantial funding from the United States federal government.[7]

Research Foundation

Founded in October 1994, the ADA Research Foundation (also a 501(c)3 nonprofit) was created to substantially accelerate the Association's ability to raise major gifts to directly fund diabetes research.[8] The mission of the Research Foundation is to ensure the availability of funds necessary for the full exploration of all the scientific possibilities that diabetes research is generating.[8]

Donations contributed to the Research Foundation help support more than 406 awards at over 164 research institutions across the country, all working toward a day without diabetes. All non-research costs associated with the Research Program are paid through the Association's general fund.[8]

Scientific sessions

Every year the ADA hosts the world’s largest scientific and medical diabetes meeting.[9] This meeting, known as Scientific Sessions, brings together clinicians, researchers, scientists and other medical professionals for five days of sessions, oral presentations, poster presentations and exhibits.[10]

Programs and activities

National Call Center

In 2009, more than 300,000 people contacted the Association with questions and concerns, or to seek support or direction regarding diabetes and its management.[11] The National Call Center is a free service staffed by highly-trained personnel, who answer non-medical questions in English or Spanish. Call Center hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 8 pm eastern time, with an automated phone system including basic information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.[11] In 2009, the Call Center began to use online chat as a new means of communication with people who have questions about diabetes.[12]

Family Link

The ADA's Family Link provides information to families about living with diabetes and managing diabetes at school, and links them to other families who are also living with diabetes.[13] With message boards, local Family Link events,[14] tool kits for families of children newly diagnosed with diabetes, parent-to-parent mentor programs, school initiatives that advocate and train safety at school,[15] and a safe online social networking site exclusively for youth with diabetes called Planet D,[16] Family Link provides comprehensive support.[13] The American Diabetes Association also provides diabetes camps nationwide and is the largest provider of diabetes camps in the world.[17]

Community initiatives

The ADA offers programs and resources specially designed to target high-risk communities, including African-American, Hispanic and Latino American, Native American, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.[18] There are also programs for the workplace and in the neighborhood, as well as events and programs that are run by local offices.[19]


Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes

Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes is the ADA's largest fund-raising event. Most walks take place in the fall, with more than 150 walks taking place in over 100 markets around the United States in 2009.[20][21] It raises about $20 million annually.[22]

Tour de Cure

Tour de Cure is a series of fund-raising cycling events held in 40 states nationwide to benefit the ADA.[23] The Tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. In 2009, Tour de Cure events across the nation began to recognize participants who have diabetes by awarding them with red shirts or cycling jerseys to signify that they are Red Riders.[24]

Diabetes EXPO

Diabetes EXPO is a one-day tradeshow-like exposition for people with diabetes providing an array of diabetes-related products, services and information. In 2009, 21 Diabetes Expos have taken place or are planned in major markets throughout the United States.[25]

School Walk for Diabetes

School Walk for Diabetes is a K-12 educational school fund-raising program that promotes healthy living, school spirit and community involvement. While raising money for the ADA, students learn about diabetes and the importance of making healthy choices including eating nutritious foods and exercising every day.[26]

BAD Ride

The Bikers Against Diabetes (BAD) Ride is a motorcycle fund-raising ride and family festival of the ADA.[27] This event brings bikers together to support the search for a cure for diabetes, with a full day of riding, entertainment, food and many other activities.

Father of the Year

Since 1999, the ADA has partnered with the National Father's Day Council to host the Father of the Year Awards dinner. Each year, approximately 80 men from across the nation are recognized for the outstanding strength, commitment and love they exhibit as fathers.[28]


Advocacy plays an integral role in the Association's efforts to fulfill its mission. Diabetes Advocates around the country work to increase funding to prevent, treat and cure diabetes; to improve access to health care; and to eliminate discrimination against people with diabetes at school, work or elsewhere in their lives.[29]


The ADA builds networks, hosts workshops, and engages with its volunteers to fight discrimination based on diabetes. This includes discrimination in school, in the workplace, obtaining private and commercial driver's licenses, in public accommodation settings and correctional institutions.[30] The ADA also works to improve access of diabetes patients to insulin by lobbying for non-medical professionals to be allowed to administer insulin (after receiving basic training), which has put it at odds with the American Nurses Association.

Federal government advocacy and state legislation

The Association’s advocacy efforts span a broad range of issues that may or may not vary depending on geographic location. Advocacy initiatives include – but are not limited to – research funding, health care costs and reform, prevention initiatives and discrimination.[31][32]

Call to Congress

The Association’s Call to Congress is a biennial event. Diabetes advocates from across the United States congregate in Washington, D.C. to meet with their U.S. Representatives and senators and discuss how diabetes affects their lives.[33] At the same time, advocates who are not able to come to Washington, D.C. participate in a call-in campaign directed toward members of Congress.[34] The next Call to Congress will take place on March 23, 2010.

Awareness campaigns

American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, a time to bring even greater awareness and attention to the seriousness of diabetes, its deadly complications, and the importance of proper diabetes control. Throughout the month, the ADA conducts activities and encourages others across the country to get involved in efforts to raise awareness about diabetes.[35]

American Diabetes Alert Day

The American Diabetes Alert Day is an annual one-day "wake-up" call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. Observed each year on the fourth Tuesday of March, Alert Day is a time when the ADA encourages people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they, or their loved ones, are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.[36]


The ADA works with experts to publish a variety of informational books, magazines and journals for both medical professionals and consumers.

Consumer publications

Consumer book choices include nutrition, self-care, weight management, and cookbooks to manage their disease. Professional health care books include clinical care, nutrition, meal planning, weight control, annual reviews, and diabetes educator curricula.

ADA engages respected medical practitioners, diabetes educators, nutritionist, and other health care professionals to write our books providing this community with the most reliable information based on ADA diabetes guidelines. ADA is the oldest and largest publisher of books on diabetes.

Medical professional publications

  • Diabetes
  • Diabetes Care, with an annual supplement of the Association’s Clinical Practice Recommendations
  • Clinical Diabetes
  • Diabetes Spectrum

The ADA publishes a wide variety of books on the latest diabetes care for use by medical professionals, for example:

Clinical care medical management series & references

  • Therapy for Diabetes Mellitus and Related Disorders 5th ed.
  • Medical Management of type 1 Diabetes 5th ed.
  • Medical Management of type 2 Diabetes 6th ed.
  • Complete Nurses Guide to Diabetes Care 2nd ed.
  • Intensive Diabetes Management 4th Ed.
  • Managing Pre-Existing Diabetes and Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complicated by Diabetes 4th ed.

Clinical references

  • Annual Review of Diabetes 2010
  • Clinical Practice Recommendations 2011
  • Clinical Practice Recommendations Pocket Charts
  • Pre-Post Operative Services Amputee
  • Clinical Care of the Diabetic foot
  • Practical Psychology for Diabetes Clinicians 2nd ed.


  • Practical Insulin 2nd ed.
  • Putting Your Patients on the Pump

Mental health

  • Practical Psychology for Diabetes Clinicians

Cardiovascular disease

  • Managing Pre-Existing Diabetes and Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complicated by Diabetes 4th ed.
  • Medical Management of Type 1 Diabetes 5th ed.
  • Medical Management of Type 2 Diabetes 6th ed.
  • Therapy for Diabetes Mellitus and Related Disorders
  • Intensive Diabetes Management 4th ed.
  • Complete Nurses Guide to Diabetes Care 2nd ed.

Weight control/nutrition

  • Practical Carbohydrate Counting 2nd ed.
  • Behavioral Approaches to Obesity
  • Managing Obesity: A Clinical Guide

See also


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ American Diabetes Association: The Journey & the Dream: A history of the American Diabetes Association, page 23. American Diabetes Association, 1990.
  3. ^
  4. ^ The Charities Americans Like Most And Least, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, December 13, 1996
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
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  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b c staff (October 2010), Diabetes Forecast (American Diabetes Association) 63 (10): 4, 6, 80 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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