What We Do


Research Program

Dr. Hwyda Arafat

Dr. Hwyda Arafat

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


Send a Kid to Diabetes Camp

As the epidemic of diabetes has shown dramatic increases in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children, the importance of helping children live a healthier life is a primary goal of summer camp programs created especially for children with diabetes. Diabetes Action is grateful that we can help fulfill the dreams of attending camp for many children who require financial assistance to take advantage of this life-changing opportunity.

One of the best descriptions of the benefits of the diabetes camp this year came from a camper in Oklahoma:

“The message behind camp is that...everyone at camp encourages you to see the goodness in diabetes whenever you can, while still being able to empathize with you about how terrible it is.  You never feel alone because you know that everyone there shares your feelings…I love how carefree and comfortable I feel at camp... Worries cast aside, I never worry about giving insulin, checking blood sugars or changing my pump site - it is second nature for everyone there: not something to be annoyed by or embarrassed by these things like in regular life”.


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".


American Indian Diabetes Prevention Program

Cheyenne River Youth Project Garden

Cheyenne River Youth Project Garden

Since our inception in 1990, Diabetes Action has provided funding for various projects designed to help meet the needs of the Lakota Sioux people including our support for building a new teen center on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. This teen center has become an essential part of the Cheyenne River community and a tremendous resource as part of our American Indian Prevention Program in partnership with the Cheyenne River Youth Project.

The Summer Sustainable Agriculture Internship Program began in 2013 with 12 students. Since then, over 400 teenagers have now completed internships in sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, wellness, and art. During their internship these teens take part in trainings that address native wellness, health, and job and life skills while also completing their CPR and First Aid Certification.  Just in 2017 alone, 188 teens earned these certifications.

Many of the these programs that were originally developed as part of the Diabetes Prevention Program have now been incorporated as part of the daily programming to improve healthy habits by teaching youth how to eat right, be physically active, and be proactive in their health to prevent diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. For example, cooking classes have become a regular piece of the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s monthly schedule while giving teens pride in the work done in harvesting healthy food on their pesticide-free Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady) Garden.  In addition to harvesting the food for seasonal use and operating a farmer’s market to create seasonal entrepreneurship, the teens learn canning, drying, and freezing of their harvested crops to provide yearlong food for their Café Restaurant in the Teen Center. In 2017 alone, this garden produced an estimated 10,000 pounds of food including cantaloupe, beans, beets, peas, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, root crops, cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, winter squash, corn, sunflower seeds, raspberries, and strawberries.


International Relief

Although there have been some positive changes in the economy of the Ukraine since the revolution of 2014 when thousands of civilians risked their lives to fight against the Russian invasion, the ongoing conflict continues. According to the United Nations, there are 5 million people in Ukraine in need of humanitarian assistance. The continued fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukranian military continues to affect thousands of civilians in the eastern region of Ukraine where Diabetes Action partnered with  “Operation Ukraine” to provide over $1.3 million of medical supplies to hospitals in the Odessa Region where delivery of medical care has been severely impacted.

In 2017 Diabetes Action also shipped over $218,000 of supplies to the Hope Hospital in Port Au Prince where medical care remains in short supply after the country continues to recover from both the 2010 earthquake and 2016 hurricane. After the earthquake devastated the country of Haiti killing over 200,000 people and destroying a quarter of the health care facilities in Southern Haiti, a medical disaster of cholera infected over 700,000 people and killed additional thousands. Then, in 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought more heartache by destroying the entire south peninsula and causing a food scarcity because the hurricane destroyed many crops. Many people still reside in tents and makeshift homes, and providing medical care has been a huge challenge. We were happy to send needed medical supplies that were requested by Gladys Thomas, RN, the director of The Hope Hospital, which is one of the few remaining hospitals attempting to meet the medical needs of so many desperate people living under such difficult conditions.