For release: April 5, 2017
Contact: William R. Murman, Chairman
Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland Board of Directors
DIABETES PARTNERSHIP TO DISSOLVE WITH AIM OF EVOLVING INTO SEPARATE PROGRAMS
Immediate Goal: Launch New Groups to Operate Diabetes Summer Camp, Community Programming
(Beachwood, Ohio) – The Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland’s board of directors today voted to end the organization in its present form and immediately begin efforts to launch two separate groups that would oversee and operate the annual diabetes summer camp for children, Camp Ho Mita Koda, and the community programs that include insulin distribution and ongoing diabetes self-management education and support for living with the chronic disease.
Board members said profound changes in the national healthcare landscape and the evolving needs of people with diabetes and their families, along with the cost of owning and operating the 73-acre camp site in Newbury, dictated the dramatic step of dissolving the current Diabetes Partnership and launching separate efforts that can rethink how best to deliver services and help those affected by diabetes.
“In effect, we’re going out of business. It’s a sad day for all of us who have dedicated our time and talents to this cause,” said William Murman, board chairman. “But we also know that in this case, the most difficult step can be the right step in finding a better way forward.”
That way forward begins immediately, with two meetings designed to gain community support and gather ideas.
A meeting for those interested in saving and operating the community programs is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18 at the Partnership offices in Beachwood, at 3601 S. Green Road. Community programs have included services for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, such as emergency insulin distribution, health and wellness programs on nutrition, and self-management education and support programs.
A meeting for people interested in saving and operating the summer programs at Camp Ho Mita Koda in Newbury for children with pre-diabetes as well as type 1 or type 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, April 24 at the camp. The camp is at 14040 Auburn Road.
Tom Bennett, executive director of the Diabetes Partnership, said the board vote triggers a “winding-down” period and that the emergency insulin program will continue for a time. But it is crucial, Bennett said, to move quickly and find people dedicated to the mission of helping people with diabetes learn how to improve their lives so that the camp and community programs can be reborn.
Bennett stressed that anyone with questions about any Diabetes Partnership programs such as the summer camp and other upcoming events should contact him at 216-591-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Diabetes Partnership has been challenged in recent years by declining summer camp enrollment, the increasing reluctance of donors to support single-issue chronic disease causes and the growing trend for health systems to focus on lifestyle and chronic disease management such as Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSME) classes, duplicating some Partnership programs, Bennett said.
Murman said diabetes remains a very serious healthcare issue and that community needs continue. But there also is a need for new voices and fresh ideas to address how the programs should be administered and operated in an era when health care and the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to go through dramatic change.
“Our most fervent hope is that this ending will lead to the beginning of a reimagined and transformed approach to serving the community in Northeast Ohio affected by diabetes,” Murman said. “I just know there are people out there ready to step up and take on the challenge.”
ABOUT THE DIABETES PARTNERSHIP OF CLEVELAND
Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland (DPOC) is an independent organization that has served Northeast Ohio as the major local source of education, research, and advocacy for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Partnership services fall within four main areas: programs, resources, supplies and education, funding of local diabetes research, and youth programs, including Camp Ho Mita Koda, a summer camp for children with diabetes that has been operating for 87 years – the oldest camp of its kind in the nation.