Detailed History of Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland is proud to have given nearly 60 years of service to the people of this community.

The Diabetes Association of Cleveland, as it was known from 1954-2011, "was founded in 1954 from a merger of two organizations: the Cleveland Diabetes Society, with Dr. Joseph Goodman as president, established for professionals in 1946, and the Diabetes League of Greater Cleveland, with Mrs. Alice Hoover as president, founded in 1948 for laypersons. After the merger, Goodman was president and Hoover vice-president. The association has encouraged nationally recognized physicians and other researchers specializing in diabetes care to conduct research in Cleveland," awarding more than $6.5 million for research activities since 1956. "The organization has also undertaken mass screening projects. In 1957, 405,000 Clinistix were distributed to Cleveland-area residents for self-testing, and in 1962 finger-stick testing was done using mobile units.

Although these projects were no longer done citywide in 1995, the association continued to offer a detection test as a community service, and also distributed insulin free of cost to the medically indigent. It has educated the public through programs, speakers, nutritional information sheets, and cookbooks, targeting some of its literature and programs specifically to minority groups. It also [operates and] provides scholarships for children age 6-15 to attend Camp Ho Mita Koda in Newbury, OH, which is the oldest camp in existence designed especially to serve children with diabetes. For the health professional, the Diabetes Assn. has sponsored symposiums and seminars and published professional bulletins."  from 1997 article in The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, a joint project of Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Timeline Highlights


  • Diabetes Association of Cleveland founded (DAC in the early years)
  • First annual research grants funded
  • 200,000 free Dreypaks distributed to pharmacists and drug stores


  • “Teens Against Diabetes” and DAC distribute 405,000 Clinistix tests through Cleveland Division of Health and community neighborhoods.
  • “Better Meals for You” booklet is first published (BMFY), a meal planning guide developed by DAC educators based on diabetes exchange system.


  • Until 1959, with the cooperation of leading members of the community, DAC helped initiate and found the Health Fund of Greater Cleveland and became a member when it was established in 1960.  (The Health Fund and its agencies joined United Torch in 1972.)


  • DAC Test Method, i.e., Fingerstick Blood Test, developed and used to test used for detection in the Cleveland community.


  • Pilot study funded by United States Public Health Service Grant to perfect mass screening methods resulted in the DAC Test Staff Detection Project CoordinatorAutoanalyzer for mobile fingerstick


  • DAC's mobile unit used for community detection program
  • Local companies participate in DAGC detection program


  • Instant Glucose developed.  First gel product on the market to avert hypoglycemic reaction, developed for DAGC and sold by mail order throughout the country
  • Louinia Mae McKinley Whittlesey appointed Executive Director


  • Blood pressure and cholesterol testing added to the DAC test


  • First printing of the DAC Kit, series of self-care books about diabetes written by DAGC education committee and staff, sold to hospitals and individuals by mail order. -- “Some Children Have Diabetes”, “Urine Testing”, “Insulin Injection”,“Diabetes and Food Care”, etc.


  • DAGC provides “Medical Emergencies in Classroom” Kit for teachers, nurses, principals and other school personnel
  • DAGC incorporates use of new U-100 insulin in all education programs


  • Publication of “The DAC Index”
  • Compilation of the Diabetes Fact Sheet


  • Series of classes adjunct to “DAC Kit – a diabetes teaching program” offered and supplement to “Better Meals for You” published
  • Operating budget: $225,900


  • DAC WEST Lay Group
  • Research Investigatorship Award
  • First Allied Health Professionals Symposium held offered by DAGC


  • Pilot program for the Detection of Gestational Diabetes developed with Cleveland Regional Perinatal Network
  • DAC Parent Volunteer Group for Juvenile Diabetes


  • DAC East and West community education programs begin
  • Family Weekend at Camp Ho Mita Koda


  • 25th Anniversary of Detection Week (200,000 free Dreypaks were distributed)
  • First “Go to Bat Against Diabetes”, a fundraising event held at the Cleveland Indians Stadium


  • Janet Rosenberg appointed Executive Director
  • “Inner City Task Force” pilot program


  • Harriet Schwartz Fader appointed DAGC Executive Director
  •  “Diabetes Impact” – Program for Diabetes Educators


  • First Promenade event held at Ball Estate
  • DAGC offices equipped with computers
  • 3-Year Research Investigator Award, CWRU
  • Operating budget: $360,000


  • Summer Internships in Diabetes Research established in memory of Andrea Vigliotti
  • Aronoff Library and Resource Center dedicated in honor of Roma Aronoff, founder of Promenade event
  • Support Group formed


  • First Swim for Diabetes held at 26 area pools, raising $96,000.  Olympian Greg Louganis is Honorary Chairperson.
  • First Stephen P. Arnold Memorial Walkathon held by Beta Theta Pi


  • DAGC’s first strategic plan planning process initiated


  • First DAGC Annual Campaign held
  • DAGC office relocates from Lee Road in Cleveland Heights to 3601 S. Green Road in Beachwood
  • Computerized Nutrition Lab introduced


  • “Smart Food Shopping” mall program began.
  • First DAGC Golf Outing
  • Outreach Committee formed
  • DAGC Featured in “Market Driven Management” (ASAE Publication)


  • Low Literacy Initiative began with funding assistance from United Way and The Cleveland Foundation
  • First Public Issues Forum held
  • DAGC assumed management responsibility for Camp Ho Mita Koda
  • Camp board appointed Jacquie Dickinson as Camp’s first executive director


  • Medical Advisory Committee formed

    DAGC Instant Glucose

  • “Book Borrowing by Mail” through Aronoff Library initiated


  • Instant Glucose tablets developed for and sold by mail exclusively through DAGC


  • Endowment Society established
  • DAGC Established 24-hour Information Hotline
  • Grant from The Cleveland Foundation enables DAGC to conduct basic diabetes education at City of Cleveland Health Clinics


  • Center for Diabetes Research at Case Western Reserve University established through DAGC grant funds
  • United Way Services Grant Awarded for DAGC's Type II Diabetes Booklet
  • First symposium held for health professionals working with minority populations
  • “Carbohydrate Counting” booklet published


  • Hispanic Health Clinic Classes begin
  • Project Cambiar, a diabetes education program for the Hispanic population, initiated; retreats held at Camp Ho Mita Koda
  • DAGC receives Media Award from Ohio Commission on Minority Health for its Diabetes Education Media Campaign
  • First Young Leaders benefit held at the Spy Club


  • Endocrinology Club to facilitate idea exchange and improved treatment established
  • Tim Kern, Ph.D., named Director of Centers for Diabetes Research at CWRU
  • DAGC Scholarship Awarded for Senior Campers At Camp Ho Mita Koda
  • DAGC website launched
  • “Understanding Type 2 Diabetes” book Published


  • DAGC recognized as Model Program by the Ohio Department of Health’s Community Diabetes Control Program
  • The Kristin C. Dietrich Diabetes Research Award, the first such project and named grant in Cleveland, is established at DAGC by Nancy and Richard Dietrich at Case Western Reserve University
  • Sallie Christman Lybarger Memorial Fund established
  • Project Cambiar presented at national program in New Mexico


  • Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, who has type 1 diabetes, is guest speaker at 45th Annual Meeting
  • SCUBA “Pool Puzzles” event is launched as a component of the annual Swim for Diabetes
  • Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation funds initiatives for diabetes education in the Russian community
  • DAGC begins new Needs Assessment with Marlene Stroiber


  • DAGC joins Mayor Michael White’s Health Priorities Task Force to improve the health of the city
  • African American Family Reunion program initiated
  • Establishment of Lend Each A Hand (LEAH) fund to provide diabetes supplies for people in need.


  • The first DAGC Diabetes Product and Information Fair attracts exhibitors and participants throughout Northeast Ohio with presentations on common complications, medications and practical tips to healthier eating
  • DAGC hosts Frank Vinicor, M.D., Director of the CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, who presented on diabetes epidemic to Cleveland diabetes community
  • Launched major media campaign to alert the public of the signs and symptoms of diabetes
  • You Asked For It! Community program is designed in direct response to a survey distributed to nearly 3,000 affected by diabetes people and their families
  • Harriet Fader appointed President and CEO; Jacquie Dickinson appointed Vice President and COO


  • First session of Camp Ho Mita Koda 2 for teenagers with type 2 diabetes through funding from The Cleveland Browns Foundation
  • Diabetes Risk Assessment program expanded
  • Leadership Campaign launched to increase capacity
  • Messinger Diabetes Education program in diabetes self-management education established
  • DAGC collaborates with Cleveland Municipal School District about diabetes in school-age children; first in-service for school nurses
  • 500 risk assessments performed at area Heinen’s


  • Diabetes Self-Management Education classes piloted
  • Dietrich Diabetes Research Institute established
  • Visual Impairment Accessibility Project launched; DAGC and Ann Williams, RN, CDE work together to make diabetes information available on cassettes/CDs for the visually impaired
  • First annual Walk to Win the Fight Against Diabetes held at 5 area shopping malls
  • First live diabetes phone bank on Channel 3 WKYC
  • First Golf Scramble event held


  • DAGC celebrates 50 years of improving lives!
  • First citywide DDRI Research Symposium co-sponsored with Case-CWRU School of Medicine takes place


  • Jacquie Dickinson appointed DAGC President & CEO
  • 1st Dining with Diabetes program offered


  • Grand opening of Diabetes Exhibit at HealthSpace Cleveland during DAGC’s Annual Meeting
  • Camp Ho Mita Koda merges with DAGC
  • First teen weekend at Camp Ho Mita Koda
  • GE Lighting brings 600 volunteers to camp for United Way Day of Caring
  • Chairman’s Forum in Diabetes Research held
  • First Diabetes Research Lifetime Achievement Awards presented to Bernard Landau, MD and Saul Genuth, MD


  • First collaborative research awards made
  • “Divabetic - Makeover your Diabetes” program in Cleveland; DAGC Diva support group follows
  • Increased utilization of Medical Nutrition Therapy services
  • Camp Ho Mita Koda re-accreditation by American Camping Association
  • Camp conversion from propane heat to natural gas complete


  • DAGC served more than 14,800 individuals in northeast Ohio


  • Helen M. Dumski, MA, RD, LD appointed DAGC President & CEO
  • DAGC celebrates 55th anniversary
  • Camp Ho Mita Koda celebrates 80th anniversary


  • Aronoff Resource Center is relocated and updated at the DAGC office
  • 25th Anniversary of the Summer Internship Program
  • 2010 – 2012 Strategic Plan approved


  • Name changed to Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland to reflect to reflect our newly focused vision of providing life-long programs and services for people with diabetes
  • Diabetes Partnership expands empowerment groups to 5 sites throughout the community
  • The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant award for camperships
  • Julia's Cabin project initiated bu her parents, Rich and Cathy, at Camp Ho Mita Koda in memory of camper Julia Matonis


  • Christina R. Milano appointed Interim President & CEO
  • Groundbreaking for new Pavillion at Camp Ho Mita Koda through funding from second grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust


  • Christina R. Milano appointed President & CEO
  • Pavillion grand opening at Camp Ho Mita Koda


Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

3601 S. Green Rd., #100
Beachwood, OH 44122
Phone: 216-591-0800 | Fax: 216-591-0320



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