Nonprofit Profile: Diabetes Foundation … Helping with medication and support

(Editor’s Note: This story was published prior to the coronavirus outbreak and social distancing measures.)


The Diabetes Foundation was founded to fill a critical need in the care of people living with diabetes. The brainchild of initial lead partners Dr. Charlotte Sokol and Dr. Martin G. Blechman, from Hackensack University Medical Center, and a team of dedicated business leaders throughout New Jersey, the foundation has helped more than 10,000 individuals and their families access the care and support needed to follow a care regimen necessary to remain healthy.


The Diabetes Foundation has been empowering individuals struggling with prediabetes, type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes since 1990. By providing access to critical resources and medication necessary to remain healthy, the Diabetes Foundation is a safety net for New Jersey residents in need — children, parents, adults and caregivers, regardless of income or health care coverage. 


The Diabetes Foundation plans to launch two major programs in the year 2020. The first is a transportation program, providing transportation for individuals unable to access medical appointments by public transportation or a personal vehicle for a multitude of reasons. The second is an Online Diabetes Resource Center, providing resources through a website to be a one-stop shop for critical information necessary to manage diabetes.


In 2019, the Diabetes Foundation served more than 700 individuals and caregivers, residing in all 21 counties throughout the state of New Jersey. The foundation gave medication to patients who were unable to purchase their own from 81% of New Jersey hospitals, with over 120 referring New Jersey facilities partnering with the foundation to serve those in need. The organization also hosted its first “Be the Healthiest You” Restaurant Week/Day of Wellness and the It Takes a Village discussion panel.


  • The Diabetes Resource Advocacy Program: Our Diabetes Resource Advocate program provides participants with a structured long-term coach dedicated to building an active diabetes health care plan that works. The average length of time participants use our services is six months to a year. 
  • The Medication Assistance Program: The DF Medication Assistance program provides a short-term supply of diabetes medication and supplies for people who are struggling with insurance, or in financial distress and cannot afford their medications. In addition to a short-term supply, we direct participants to long-term medication solutions. 
  • The Campership Program: The Campership program gives kids the chance to spend time during the summer in an environment dedicated to children living with diabetes.


The Diabetes Foundation raises money through personal contributions and partnerships with local organizations and other foundations. The foundation also hosts multiple fundraising events throughout the year, including the annual Visions of Hope gala, a charity golf tournament and a Porsche car raffle. 


The Diabetes Foundation’s partners and sponsors are helping to build healthier futures for individuals living with diabetes by collaborating with the foundation to bring information and resources to the community. You can find a full list of the Diabetes Foundation’s partners and sponsors on its website at


Currently in New Jersey, one in every 10 people is living with diabetes. People with diabetes can suffer emotionally due to their ongoing chronic condition, physically by experiencing complications including cardiovascular disease and kidney disease, and financially with costs that average over $1,000 per month. To ensure that every child and adult is able to access the resources and information they need to successfully follow their diabetes care plan and delay or avoid future complications, the foundation is dedicated to helping our participants learn about diabetes management through a structured program.

In brief

Location: Hackensack
Serving: Entire state
Key members: Ginine Cilenti, executive director; board includes many members of local medical community and corporate executives.

Conversation Starter

For more information about these programs, please contact the Diabetes Foundation at 201-444-0337 or email: