Emergency notice: We're ready to assist Clients who have been affected by the recent weather and fire events. Read the notice


September 09, 2019

Sun Life awards $250,000 in grants to community organizations supporting diabetes programs

WELLESLEY, Mass., Sept. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sun Life U.S. is supporting five incredible community organizations around the country for this year's Team Up Against Diabetes grant program. Winners are chosen for their programs and initiatives supporting diabetes prevention, management and education, as well as healthy living and nutrition for local communities in need.

"We are so pleased to continue supporting many different grassroots organizations around the country since starting this program three years ago," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "We have been strongly committed to diabetes awareness and education for several years, and these grant winners show the same commitment and dedication to supporting the needs of diabetes patients and those at risk. With more than 30 million Americans afflicted with Type 1 or 2 diabetes, these local organizations play a critical role in diabetes awareness and treatment."

Recipients are recognized for their innovative approaches to diabetes prevention and/or management, wellness, nutrition and obesity prevention. Applications are reviewed annually by a panel of Sun Life employees, business partners and independent health experts.

2019 Team Up Against Diabetes grant program winners: 

Boston Children's HospitalOptimal Wellness for Life (OWL) program, Boston, Mass.

Boston Children's Hospital's OWL program is focused on addressing pediatric obesity. The grant support will help expand OWL's exercise component to the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody, Mass. Boston Children's hopes to engage about 200 children at this facility in a program that expands the scope of care and reinforces the importance of physical activity through fitness tracking and diverse programming.  

Mama's Kitchen, Home-Delivered Meals Service program, San Diego, Calif.

Mama's Kitchen provides home-delivered, medically tailored, nutritious meals free of charge to local men, women and children vulnerable to hunger due to HIV, cancer and other critical illnesses, including congestive heart failure and Type 2 diabetes. With this grant support, the program expects to serve 200 more homes, helping to improve access to nutritious foods and diabetes self-management coaching, reduce disease complications and lower healthcare costs while improving overall health outcomes.

NOVA Scripts Central, Inc.ALL PHASE, Falls Church, Va.

NOVA Scripts Central provides prescription drugs to uninsured and underinsured patients in the Northern Virginia community. Its ALL PHASE program pairs an evidence-backed medication regimen with a health literacy curriculum designed to reduce diabetic patients' risk of heart attack or stroke. Sun Life's grant will enable NOVA Scripts to continue to recruit patients to its ALL PHASE program and help support a nutrition pilot program for 250 patients.

Western Maryland Health SystemFood Security Program, Cumberland, Md.

Poor access to healthy, nutritious foods puts adults at a 50% higher risk for developing diabetes. Western Maryland Health System's food security program aims to prevent this risk by assessing and streamlining a sustainable approach to combating the problem. With this grant funding, the program will be able to screen 2,400 at-risk individuals to assess their need for cooking equipment, vouchers for healthy foods from local pantries, healthy living workshops, and access to dieticians and wellness programs. Additionally, the food security program will focus on monthly community outreach events that include risk assessments, cooking demonstrations and physical activities. In the long term, the program will develop a process to identify health gaps, recruit community partners, and integrate into county health and human service networks.

WMHS has been at the forefront of value-based care and is continually working to improve the overall health of the community with a variety of health initiatives. WMHS has also addressed underserved populations with the Hometown Healthy outreach program, which aims to help at-risk populations make more informed healthcare decisions.

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Farming For Life, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute's Farming For Life was created to reduce the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the local area and reverse the worsening health crisis with "prescriptions" for free, fresh organic vegetables, rather than expensive medications. A physician writes patients a weekly vegetable prescription based on their health measurements, and when participants fill their prescriptions, they receive enough vegetables to feed their family for the week. Sun Life's grant will help the center expand this program and serve more people in need in the Santa Barbara community.

The 2019 Team Up Against Diabetes grant program judging panel:

  • Jennifer Hudson, head of PR, ComPsych Corporation
  • Peter Kilmartin, Jr., partner, Mercer Health & Benefits
  • Cara Lamakina, wellness senior consultant, Sun Life U.S.
  • Glenna Lasater, vice president of Human Resources, The MGIS Companies, Inc.
  • Misty Randall, vice president, Employee Benefits Marketing, HUB International
  • Mark Vergilii, assistant vice president, Group Market Manager, Sun Life U.S.
  • Karen White, assistant vice president, Health Care & Exchange Solutions, Sun Life U.S.

Sun Life has given over $19 million to the diabetes cause globally. In the U.S., Sun Life partners with the Boston Celtics and the Kansas City Royals for the #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes and #SunLifeStrikeoutDiabetes campaigns, as well as with local youth programs that promote health and fitness in Kansas City and throughout New England. Sun Life U.S. also exclusively supports the American Diabetes Association's Call to Congress advocacy initiative, which lobbies for certain legislative priorities for the diabetic community. For more information about Sun Life's commitment to the diabetes cause, visit www.sunlife.com/usdiabetes.

The application process for the 2020 Team Up Against Diabetes grant program will open January 1. Please visit www.sunlife.com/usgrants for more information.

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate 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, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1,025 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 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 insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 5,500 people. 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, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

Media contact:

Devon Fernald
Sun Life U.S.

Connect with Sun Life U.S.


SOURCE Sun Life U.S.