American Diabetes Association

2001 34¢ Diabetes Awareness
US #3503 has images symbolizing diabetes testing and research.

On April 2, 1940, the Committee for the Establishment of a National Diabetes Association was formed, paving the way for the creation of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).  Today it’s one of the top non-profit charity organizations in the country.

2001 34¢ Diabetes Awareness Colorano Silk Cachet Combination First Day Cover
US #3503 – Colorano Silk Cachet Combination First Day Cover

Several individual groups dedicated diabetes researched were formed in the 1930s, including the Council on Diabetes Public Health Federation, Detroit Diabetes Association, New York Diabetes Association, Philadelphia Metabolic Association, and the Committee on Diabetes Rochester Tuberculosis & Health Association.  In 1937, Dr. Cecil Striker and other doctors attending an American College of Physicians meeting in New Orleans began discussing a national diabetes organization.  They met again a year later and reached the conclusion that to form a national a group, they needed to work with the existing local groups.

2001 34¢ Diabetes Awareness Mystic First Day Cover
US #3503 – Mystic First Day Cover

Dr. Striker and Dr. Herman O. Mosenthal then sent out a formal invitation to physicians in each of the local groups to attend a meeting to discuss a national association.  On April 2, 1940, twelve doctors from these different associations met at the Hotel Stafler in Cleveland, Ohio.  Dr. Striker shared his plan for a new organization that would be independent of the existing groups, and all but one of the doctors agreed.  The delegates then established three committees to outline their purposes and scope, constitution and by-laws, and finances.

2001 34¢ Diabetes Awareness Fleetwood First Day Cover
US #3503 – Fleetwood First Day Cover

The group, which had grown to 26, met again on June 12, 1940, in New York City.  At that meeting they passed their constitution and by-laws and unanimously elected Striker as the first president of the ADA.  The ADA held its first annual meeting on June 1, 1941.  The organizers had hoped to have 250 attendants, and were pleased to welcome more than 300 physicians.

2001 34¢ Diabetes Awareness Classic First Day Cover
US #3503 – Classic First Day Cover

The ADA established several more committees to study various remedies (both proven and not), insulin improvements, summer camps for diabetic children, diabetes complications, and identification tags for diabetics in the case of an emergency.  In September 1946, the ADA joined with the University of Toronto to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.  More than 500 physicians from around the world attended.

Diabetes Awareness Bear
Item #M7638 – ADA teddy bear with the 2001 diabetes stamp protected in a clear holder

In 1947, the ADA achieved one of its goals when it opened its first camp for diabetic children in Montgomery, Alabama.  They following year, they published the first issue of ADA Forecast (now Diabetes Forecast), which was distributed to 53,000 doctors, pharmacists, and clinics.

2021 Insulin-100th Anniversary, Mint, Booklet Stamp, Canada
Item #MFN148 – 2021 Canada stamp honoring 100th anniversary of insulin

In 1949, the ADA worked with syringe manufacturers to establish specific unit measurements, so that insulin dosing could be more uniform and have less risk for error.  The following year, the ADA worked with the American Dietetic Association and the US Public Health Service to create the diabetes exchange system.  This system split foods into six categories based on calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat per serving.  This system would help diabetics cut down on weighing and measuring their food.

2021 100th Anniversary of Insulin First Day Cover, Canada
Item #MCV037 – 2021 Canada insulin stamp on limited-edition First Day Cover

For the organization’s first 30 years, its only members were doctors who worked to research ways to cure diabetes.  Then in the 1970s, they opened the organization to anyone who wanted to help research and improve the quality of life for those suffering from diabetes.  Today the organization has 565,000 volunteers, including 20,000 healthcare professionals.

1971 6¢ Canada Insulin Discovery FDC
Item #6A533 – 1971 Canada FDC honoring 50th anniversary of the discovery of insulin

Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, the American Diabetes Association is one of the top non-profit charity organizations in the country.  Its mission is “To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”

Learn more on the ADA’s website.

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