What We Do

Research Program
Diabetes Action has provided grants to over 300 separate research studies at universities and medical institutions across the United States.  In addition to funding basic research to cure diabetes with gene therapies and beta cell transplantation, Diabetes Action funds research that examines how nutritional and complementary therapies may prevent and treat diabetes. Diabetes Action has funded innovative studies that include: 
  • Cure of type 1 diabetes using a generic drug
    Dr. Faustman, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Cinnamon and chromium antioxidant studies
    USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center
  • Wheat Gluten as a Trigger in type 1 Diabetes
    Virginia Tech
  • Antioxidants to improve islet cell graft function
  • T cell vaccination to prevent type 1 diabetes 
    Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Antioxidants to prevent diabetic complications
    University of California, San Francisco
  • B vitamins to treat hyperhomocysteinemia
    University of California, Davis
  • Nutritional approaches to improve beta cell function
    Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Acupuncture for treating neuropathy
    Harvard Medical School
  • Chromium with Metformin Study
    Bastyr/Washington State University
  • Lower Carbohydrate Diet
    Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Liu
Dr. Dongmin Liu, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Arafat
Dr. Hwyda Arafat, Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Francis
Dr. Deanna Francis harvests wild blueberries for a study of their effect on blood sugar levels.

Send a Kid to Diabetes Camp

As the epidemic of diabetes has shown an increase in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children, the importance of helping children live a healthier life is a primary goal of special camp programs created for children with diabetes. In 2014 Diabetes Action provided funding to 57 of these camps in all 50 states. Diabetes Action feels it is critical to support these camp programs that nurture self-esteem and self reliance by offering a support system that is not available in any other setting. For example, at Camp Hodia in Idaho, 50 young and newly diagnosed campers learned to give their first insulin injections or put their insulin pump site in a new place. Children not only learn diabetes management, self discipline, and develop active lifestyle habits that will help them throughout their lives, but, most importantly, they feel “normal”. As one camper at Camp Kudzu wrote us in 2014, “Thank you for giving diabetics a haven where they don’t have to worry about their diabetes as much as normal...Camp helps me feel less like I stick out than I do at home.”

Summer Camp Swimmer

Camp Holiday Trails

Summer Camp


Education Program - Diabetes University©
Diabetes Action hosts the annual Diabetes University©, a free informational program for the public that highlights complementary, alternative, and nutritional research and treatments for diabetes.
Topics have included "Cinnamon Improves Risk Factors for Diabetes", "Current Management of Diabetes", "The Anti-Inflammatory Diet", "Essential Herbs for Diabetes", and "Complementary Medicine in Diabetes".
Past programs are available online for free viewing.
Pat DeVoe and Ryan Bradley, ND
President Pat DeVoe and Dr. Ryan Bradley
Diabetes University Dr. Anderson
Dr. Richard Anderson discusses his research on cinnamon and diabetes
American Indian Diabetes Prevention Program

Since our inception in 1990 Diabetes Action has made improvement in the grim statistics for diabetes among the American Indian population one of our highest priorities. Over the past 25 years we have provided funding to help build the only American Indian owned and run dialysis centers in the U.S. and helped support the building of a new Teen Center on the Cheyenne River Reservation where we have an exciting partnership with the Cheyenne River Youth Project. In 2011 Diabetes Action’s funding for a new diabetes prevention project made it possible for the CYRP’s Wellness Programs to hire a diabetes educator and obtain additional equipment for the wellness center and gym plus make it possible to offer education and cooking classes to augment the health and wellness initiatives such as the organic garden that has been one of the most successful programs managed by CYRP. In 2014 their Wellness Program included the second successful Teen Internship program that focuses on youth wellness and the expanding Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) Garden. These students are proud to display the fruits of their hard work that are making them and their families make healthier food choices and lower their risk of diabetes.


International Relief

The International Diabetes Federation estimates over 387 million people currently live with diabetes globally that is costing $612 billion in annual healthcare spending. The IDF states “year after year we are seeing increasing numbers of people developing diabetes....worldwide”.

One of the countries seeing a large increase in diabetes is Thailand where the prevalence of diabetes has more than tripled since the 1990s when only 2% of the population was diagnosed. The latest Global Health statistics published in 2013 show 7.7% of the Thai population now living with diabetes. Thailand has achieved impressive economic, social, and health improvements in the past 10 years and was the first country in South East Asia to achieve universal health insurance that covers 75% of the population. However, its high prevalence of non-communicable diseases represents 71% of all deaths including 6% for diabetes. The latest mortality statistics showed that diabetes was the #1 cause of death in females aged 50-79 and 7th in males.

The challenge of attempting to reduce the medical and economic burden caused by treating this increase in diabetes is putting a severe strain on the medical community with the cost of treating diabetes complications escalating over 200%. These expensive complications are mostly related to kidney disease and the vascular problems of ulcers and gangrene, which lead to lower extremity amputations and require the use of expensive artificial limbs.

To help reduce the burden of cost for treating these complications, Diabetes Action donated over 1.466 million of medical supplies in 2014 to the Princess of Naradhiwas University. Appreciation for receiving these supplies was noted in a special delivery ceremony where the supplies were officially presented by Chongrak Palasai, Ph.D., President of the University, and Ouichai Pleangrasiti, MD, Dean of Faculty of Medicine to the Director and staff of Naradhiwas and Phra Mongut Klao Hospitals. The expertise of the orthopedic specialists in Bangkok will enable some of the prosthetic supplies to be used by a Mobil Medical Unit of the Naradhiwas Hospital to benefit patients of the three southern-most provinces of Thailand. The current medical mission of distributing these supplies is being done in honor of Princess Sirinthorn’s 60th Birthday. In addition to helping care for patients with diabetes, some of these supplies are critically needed to aid the victims of Thailand’s Civil War in the southern provinces that have claimed over 5000 lives and left over 9000 injured in the past 10 years of escalating attacks.

In addition to helping meet the need for medical supplies in Thailand in 2014, Diabetes Action also sent $64,000 of supplies to Sierra Leone. Because of the current epidemic of Ebola, our contact in Sierra Leone asked us to send supplies that focused on hand sanitizers,bleach, biohazard waste baskets, surgical gloves, oxygen masks, blood pressure kits and IV supplies. We hope that our assistance will help lower the stress of caring for so many people in need of medical services.


Siriraj Hospital Thailand

Delivery Ceremony attended by Dr. Chongrak Palasai, President of the University, Dr. Ouichai Pleangrasiti, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine with the Director and Staff of the Naradhiwas and Phra Mongkut Klao Hospitals

Prosthetic Limbs
Donated prosthetics

Thailand Award
Naovarat Branagan, Exec.Secy, Hainan Assoc.  of Washington,D.C., Pat DeVoe, President, Diabetes Action, Saroj Thanasunti, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of Thai Embassy of D.C., Daungduern Silpasuvan, MD and Suwat Silpasuvan, MD of Thai Physicians Association of America

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