November 14, 2016

$1 million commitment to improve wellness around the globe through diabetes prevention and management

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, on World Diabetes Day, Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) is proud to announce a $1 million commitment to the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Foundation to launch the Sun Life Financial Diabetes College (SLFDC). As the next step in advancing the Sun Life Financial commitment to holistic health, the goal of the SLFDC is to help improve wellness around the globe through diabetes prevention and management. This online resource is available to people who have been identified as having diabetes or prediabetes. 

"We firmly believe that individuals with chronic illness such as diabetes have the power to take charge of their own health through certain lifestyle changes," said Dean Connor, President & Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial. "The SLFDC is a testament to the hard work being done to enhance new programs, new spaces and new research agendas that will stand at the forefront of medical advancements."

The SLFDC officially launches today, with full implementation expected by June 2017. Featuring a curriculum of five interactive modules, content includes such topics as how to prevent, manage and treat diabetes, healthy eating and active lifestyle tips, and information on diabetes complications and medications.

"The SLFDC is an open, accessible resource for anybody who wants to take control of their diabetes," said Dr. Paul Oh, Medical Director, Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. "Through the SLFDC, we're increasing access to physician-verified information and healthy behaviour programs to individuals regardless of barriers such as geography, financial constraints and language."

According to the Sun Life Financial Canadian Health Index, one-in-five Canadians believe they are at risk of developing diabetes, yet the majority has not been screened in the past 12 months. That's why Sun Life Financial is making it easy for clients and employees to take charge of their health with new initiatives across the business, such as: a commitment to expanding the innovation agenda – through digital and other health solutions – in order to respond to clients' needs and changing expectations; the opportunity to review blood test results online to determine risk of developing diabetes after applying for life or critical illness insurance; and partnering with leading organizations such as the Canadian Diabetes Association and Carrot Rewards to launch a pilot program for Group Benefits clients in British Columbia, making it easy to adopt healthy habits to prevent and manage diabetes.

Sun Life Financial takes a holistic approach to supporting the well-being of clients, employees and communities with the end goal of helping to achieve physical, mental and financial resiliency both now and in the future. Sun Life Financial has proudly committed more than $17 million in support of diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives since announcing support of the cause in late 2012.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. 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 September 30, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $908 billion. For more information please visit

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

About Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

As the world-leading rehabilitation research centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is revolutionizing rehabilitation by helping people overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness or age related health conditions to live active, healthier, more independent lives. It integrates innovative patient care, ground breaking research and diverse education to build healthier communities and advance the role of rehabilitation in the health system.  Toronto Rehab, along with Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and The Michener Institute for Education at UHN is a member of the University Health Network and is affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Toronto Rehab Foundation raises funds for Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars. 

Media Relations Contact:
Alessandra Nigro
Manager, Corporate Communications
Sun Life Financial
T. 416-979-4884
C. 416-859-6918

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.