Rhode Island Foundation Grant will Enable the American Diabetes Association to Serve Northern Rhode Island Seniors

PROVIDENCE, RI –The American Diabetes Association (ADA) of New England will be able to serve hundreds of northern Rhode Island senior citizens thanks to a $49,920 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.

The grant will underwrite ADA’s Senior Signature Series, a year-long collaboration with the Woonsocket-based Senior Services Inc. to target and improve the health of northern Rhode Island senior citizens living with diabetes or at increased risk for developing diabetes.  The program’s goal is to prevent or delay complications related to the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

“We are grateful to have the funding and support of the Rhode Island Foundation for this very important initiative to improve the health of the aging population in Northern Rhode Island,” said Chris Boynton, the ADA’s executive director.  “We anticipate the Senior Signature Series program, delivered in part through monthly educational workshops and screenings at the Woonsocket Senior Center, will help us to reach approximately 400 seniors.  Our collaboration with Senior Services and the Woonsocket Senior Center will help us to educate and screen individuals at risk for developing complications related to diabetes.”

According to the state Dept. of Health, the percentage of Rhode Islanders with diagnosed diabetes has increased by one-third since 1993. In 2008, an estimated 7.4 percent of Rhode Island adults, or 62,000 people, were diagnosed diabetes and another 31,000 were estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes.  Significantly more Rhode Island adults have diabetes than the percentage of those diagnosed with the disease reflects, according to Boynton.

Approximately one-third of adults with diabetes in Rhode Island have not been diagnosed. By combining the estimated 31,000 cases of undiagnosed cases with the 62,000 known cases, the state Dept. of Health estimates that 12 percent of Rhode Island adults are living with diabetes.  Of the total estimated people in Rhode Island living with diabetes, 41.3 percent are 65 years and older.

“Every grant we make underscores our commitment to moving Rhode Island forward. We work closely with our donors and grantees to ensure there are the resources and the resourcefulness to achieve great impact,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2012, the Foundation made grants of more than $30.4 million to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit www.rifoundation.org.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.  Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.  For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.  Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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