News releases

October 23, 2023

Sun Life U.S. awards $350,000 to six local organizations around the nation through Team Up Against Diabetes grant program

WELLESLEY, Mass., Oct. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Life U.S. announced today the 2023 winners of the company's annual Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, which supports local organizations around the country offering fitness, nutrition, and diabetes management programs and services to at-risk and underserved communities. The grant program is part of Sun Life's ongoing commitment to improving access to healthcare.

"Our goal is to help people get the care and benefits they need, focusing on broadening access to communities that need it most," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "Our grant program has been instrumental in this effort, supporting local organizations that provide impactful programs and services to their communities. Diabetes has been Sun Life's philanthropic focus for nearly a decade because it's an epidemic in this country and can cause or exacerbate many other health issues. We're pleased to continue this grant program that helps people manage their diabetes and live healthier lives."

Sun Life's Team Up Against Diabetes grant program was launched in 2016 and has awarded more than $2 million to community organizations in the U.S. The local groups selected for grants provide health and wellness services for diabetes prevention, awareness, education, management and care to communities most vulnerable to diabetes.

The 2023 recipients of the Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program are:

Bright Beginnings, Inc.| Health & Wellness for diabetes prevention in Wards 7 & 8
Washington, D.C.

Sun Life's Team Up grant will support Bright Beginnings' efforts to incorporate diabetes awareness, education, and prevention into their programming for children and families residing in Wards 7 and 8, the two most under-resourced districts in Washington, D.C. The programming impacts more than 400 individuals through the organization's Health & Wellness program, which aims to establish a fresh food farmers market, host weekly physical education activities, cooking classes, and parent fitness classes, and provide educational materials and resources.

Camp Surefire| Access to Camp Surefire for children living with type 1 diabetes
Bristol, R.I.

Camp Surefire will use its Team Up grant to provide financial assistance for youth to attend its overnight camp, which offers children with type 1 diabetes a community of peers and promotes the development of life-long skills to minimize the impact of diabetes on their lives. Sun Life's grant will also support staffing and program supplies for the camp. Camp Surefire is the only camp dedicated to children living with type 1 diabetes in Rhode Island.

Chicago Commons Association| Heroes of Healthy Habits

Chicago Commons Association's Heroes of Healthy Habits program provides holistic health and wellness services to low-income parents on Chicago's South and West sides, reaching nearly 470 families. Sun Life's grant will support expansion of programming for diabetes awareness and prevention, including culturally relevant messaging, leadership training, nutrition and cooking workshops, and one-on-one diabetes nutrition counseling.

CompuRecycling Center| Medical Ascension Program
Washington, D.C.

The CompuRecycling Center's Medical Ascension Program provides high school youth with the opportunity to become Youth Diabetes Management Coaches (YDMCs) for their families and communities. Sun Life's grant will support a variety of program expenses, including staffing support, physical education instructors, registered dieticians, produce boxes for participants and training manuals for YDMCs. The Team Up grant will be part of the program's goal to create 300 new YDMCs.

Iowa City Free Medical Clinic| From Good to Great: Improving health outcomes for Hispanic/Latinx individuals living with diabetes & pre-diabetes
Iowa City, Iowa

The Iowa City Free Medical Clinic's Good to Great program aims to supplement ongoing routine care for Hispanic/Latinx individuals who are at risk for or living with diabetes by providing tools that support their overall health. Participants receive Spanish-language one-on-one health education, access to group workshops, exercise programs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and nutrition and cooking classes. Sun Life's Team Up grant will specifically support increased staffing capacity to hire a registered nurse, purchase insulin and other patient supplies, and hire a part-time Spanish-speaking health instructor to create and facilitate a bilingual diabetes program.

T2 Fitness Foundation| Fresh Start Initiative
Virginia Beach, Va.

The T2 Fresh Start Initiative is a free, 12-week comprehensive wellness program that aims to decrease the health disparities impacting Black women and individuals living in under-resourced communities who have diabetes. Program participants attend bi-weekly fitness classes, nutrition classes, and regular meetings with a diabetes educator, and have access to group mental health therapy. Sun Life's support will help T2 expand the program to additional participants living in the Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater areas of Virgina.

The 2023 Team Up Against Diabetes video highlighting the six organizations can be viewed here.

Each year, grant recipients are chosen by a panel of experts from Sun Life and business partners. The panel reviews applications and determines the organizations that have demonstrated innovative approaches to diabetes support and education and broaden access to nutrition and health services. This year's panel of judges included:

  • Samantha Breen, Sun Life U.S.
  • Robert Connors, M.D., Sun Life U.S.
  • Kim Coutinho, Sun Life U.S.
  • Tracy Hamill, M.D., Sun Life U.S.
  • Ann-Marie Hejna, ComPsych
  • Latoya Keatts, Sun Life U.S.
  • Peter Kilmartin, Aon
  • Andre Lockett, Sun Life U.S.
  • Ryan Niles, Sun Life U.S.
  • Brian Piccolo, DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S.
  • Nicole Potvin, Sun Life U.S.
  • Samantha Wu, M.D., Goodpath

In the U.S., Sun Life partners with the American Diabetes Association as a national sponsor of the Project Power program and supports local programs regionally with the Boston Celtics, Maine Celtics, and Kansas City Royals. Globally, Sun Life has given more than $37 million to diabetes causes and health programs around the world.

Find more information here about the Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program.

About Sun Life 
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life 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, 2023, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.37 trillion. 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.

Sun Life U.S. is one of the largest providers of employee and government benefits, helping more than 50 million Americans access the healthcare and coverage they need. Through employers, industry partners and government programs, Sun Life U.S. offers a portfolio of benefits and services, including dental, vision, disability, absence management, life, supplemental health, medical stop-loss insurance, and healthcare navigation. Sun Life employs nearly 8,300 people in the U.S., including associates in our partner dental practices and affiliated companies in asset management. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information visit our website and newsroom.

Media contact
Anjie Coplin
Sun Life U.S.

Connect with Sun Life U.S.

SOURCE Sun Life U.S.