Press releases

September 25, 2017

Community organizations receive $200,000 from Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program

SLPC 28618 08/17 (Exp 08/19)

WELLESLEY, Mass. (September 25, 2017)—Sun Life Financial U.S. is proud to announce the eight 2017 winners of the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, which awards organizations for supporting diabetes prevention, management, and education efforts in their local communities. Recipient organizations vary from youth camps to adult programs to senior support initiatives in locations across the country.

"We have actively supported diabetes awareness, prevention, and education in many ways," said Dan Fishbein, MD, president of Sun Life Financial U.S. "Now our grant program has allowed us to connect with local grassroots organizations that we might otherwise not have been able to support. There are so many community programs throughout the country, and we look forward to working with more of them each year through the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program."

2017 Team Up Against Diabetes grant program winners:

American Diabetes Association,* Camp PowerUp!, New Orleans, La.

Camp PowerUp is a place where children learn valuable skills they need to live a full and healthy life. It is specifically designed for children with multiple risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. The program offers a structured, kid-friendly program in key areas, including nutrition education, fitness, and health and wellness education. The program also provides parents with dedicated sessions that cover topics their children are learning at camp so they can continue to influence their child’s behavior and provide continued support for healthy lifestyle choices after camp.

American Diabetes Association,* What Can I Eat?, Indianapolis, Ind.

What Can I Eat? (WCIE) is an interactive diabetes self-management support program. WCIE focuses on nutrition education for adults with type 2 diabetes and their caregivers. The program consists of four weekly 90-minute sessions, followed by a reunion three months later, which serves to reinforce positive behaviors and share life lessons. WCIE uses activities that motivate and empower participants to adopt healthier eating habits, such as learning to read food labels while shopping for groceries.

Camp Surefire Foundation, Camp Surefire, Bristol, R.I.

Camp Surefire is a summer program for youths with type 1 diabetes. The weeklong overnight program features recreational activities, diabetes education seminars, and socialization with peers who understand the unique challenges of living with type 1 diabetes. Camp Surefire is for children ages 6–17, with all volunteer counselors, who receive field experience in medicine, pharmacology, education, and nutrition.

The Sulzbacher Center, Sulzbacher Diabetes Care Initiative, Jacksonville, Fla.

The Sulzbacher Diabetes Care Initiative provides clinical care and education for homeless and uninsured adults. It was created to address the growing need for diabetic medical care for the homeless and low-income members of the local community. The initiative consists of four components: provision of glucometers and test strips; diabetic nutrition classes; provision of medication and pharmaceuticals; and diabetic eye care.

Supportive Older Women's Network (SOWN), Philly Families Eat Smart (PFES), Philadelphia, Pa.

PFES aims to reduce obesity and improve physical wellbeing for grandparent-headed families. PFES, a project of the GrandFamily Resource Center, works not just to educate, but also to foster peer support relationships and ultimately change lifestyle behaviors. Children and their custodial grandparents will participate in the educational and experiential program twice a month. Topics and activities include: emotional eating, physical fitness (including sidewalk games and yoga), cultural food choices, and attitudes toward wellbeing.

West Virginia Health Right, Diabetes Self-Management for Low-Income Appalachian Adults, Charleston, W.V.

The Diabetes Self-Management for Low-Income Appalachian Adults program provides diabetic care for underprivileged patients in the community. The program offers direct medical care by carefully monitoring glucose levels and other health-related markers, as well as providing eye exams. Patients also participate in exercise activities, hands-on cooking methods, and weight-loss techniques. Enrollees in the program commit to one class per month, and at least one other class, such as exercise, stress management, or smoking cessation, that addresses risk reduction.

YMCA of Southern Maine,** Youth in Motion, Portland, Maine

The YMCA of Southern Maine's Youth in Motion initiative works with local youth at risk of developing diabetes or other health conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle. These children are referred to the Y by pediatricians affiliated with Maine Medical Center. The Y matches each child with an adult mentor who engages them in fun, accessible physical activity and the Y's three dimensions of health and well-being for youth: relationships, accomplishments, and belonging. Children in the program meet with their mentors once a week for 12 weeks.

YWCA of Asheville and Western North Carolina, Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program, Asheville, N.C.

The Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program is a newly enhanced effort at the YWCA of Asheville. It will use evidence-based curricula and referrals through partnerships with community organizations, including Western North Carolina Community Health Services, to help increase diabetes education and awareness. Other local initiatives that focus on increased access to healthy foods, such as the Double Up Food Bucks program, will support participants in the Diabetes Wellness program. The program participants will attend classes for six weeks, followed by six months of weekly support group meetings. 

Grant applicants are considered based on their efforts toward the diabetes cause and on innovative approaches to wellness, nutrition, and obesity prevention. Applications are reviewed by a panel of Sun Life employees, business partners, and independent health experts.

The application process for 2018 will begin in November. Please visit www.sunlife.com/usgrants for more information on the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program.

Sun Life is strongly committed to fighting type 2 diabetes. In the U.S., Sun Life is a national supporter of the YMCA of the USA's Diabetes Prevention Program, and is expanding its support to help the organization bring the program to employers across the country, helping to address diabetes in the workforce. Sun Life also supports the YMCA of Greater Boston's Diabetes Prevention Program by teaming up with the Boston Celtics in the annual #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes social fundraising campaign.

Nationally, Sun Life is also committed to diabetes prevention, education, and awareness, sponsoring the American Diabetes Association's Health Champion Designation initiative, which recognizes employers who are dedicated to wellness in the workplace. For more information about Sun Life's commitment to diabetes, visit www.sunlife.com/usdiabetes.

*Sun Life Financial is a national sponsor of the American Diabetes Association. Sun Life does not sponsor any local association chapters.

**Sun Life Financial, partnered with the Boston Celtics, offers the annual youth Fit to Win program at the YMCA of Southern Maine, as well as at other New England YMCA locations.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of insurance, wealth, and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate Clients. Sun Life Financial has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2017, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management of C$944 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial, Inc., trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

In the United States, Sun Life Financial is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium, and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life's broad portfolio of products and services in the U.S. includes Disability and Absence Management, Life, Dental and Vision, Voluntary, and Stop-Loss insurance. This includes the acquisition of Assurant Employee Benefits in Q1 2016. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

About the Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program

The Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program provides support to charitable organizations focusing on diabetes prevention and management, as well as wellness, nutrition, and obesity prevention. Grants are awarded in $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000 amounts. For more information, visit www.sunlife.com/usgrants.

Contacts:

Devon Portney Fernald, 
Sun Life Financial, 
781-416-7151
devon.portney.fernald@sunlife.com