Carol and Mark A. Atkinson, PhD, Receive American Diabetes Association’s Humanitarian Award

Orlando, Florida
June 25, 2018

Secondary data analysis of more than 1,000 Asian Indians examined the impact of nutrition and physical activity on cardiometabolic risk factors

Carol and Mark A. Atkinson, PhD, of Insulin for Life USA, are the recipients of the American Diabetes Association’s® (ADA’s) Humanitarian Award. This one-time award honors their outstanding leadership and humanitarian efforts to support the diabetes community for the Diabetes Emergency Relief Coalition in 2017. The Atkinsons were recognized with the award today at the ADA’s 78th Scientific Sessions, June 22-26, 2018, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Led by Director Carol Atkinson, Insulin for Life USA was instrumental in coordinating and providing diabetes supplies to emergency relief centers in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean to assist those impacted by the three sequential, and devastating hurricanes in 2017—Harvey, Irma and Maria. Insulin for Life USA served as the cornerstone of the Diabetes Emergency Response Coalition, the ADA’s landmark partnership of eight leading diabetes care and research organizations that came together to provide urgent aid, information and resources to residents in the affected areas. Through Insulin for Life USA’s efforts, more than 4,600 pounds of diabetes supplies were provided to the millions impacted by the sequential Atlantic hurricanes. 

“Mark and I have been esteemed colleagues for more than 30 years, and when we first spoke about the horrible flooding that was occurring in Houston in the first 24 hours after Hurricane Harvey’s landfall and the devastating impact it would have on people with diabetes given my experience with Hurricane Katrina in South Louisiana, I didn’t even have to ask him if he would join with the ADA to provide support, Mark actually finished my sentence! He and his wife Carol jumped into action immediately, and the first truckload of diabetes supplies left their warehouse within three days,” said the ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “Of course, the response coalition encountered interesting challenges after each hurricane—whether it was the semi-truck stuck on the closed I-10 outside of Houston or the hand-delivered shipment of supplies to physicians in Puerto Rico via private plane—through it all Carol and Mark were resourceful, committed and determined to do everything they could to help people with diabetes. Thank you, Carol and Mark. You are an inspiration, and I am proud to have you as partners and dear colleagues in the ADA’s continued efforts to support everyone living with and affected by diabetes, especially when disasters occur.”

Insulin for Life USA, a non-profit organization based in Gainesville, Florida, provides diabetes medications and supplies to individuals with diabetes around the world who lack access due to a variety of reasons, most often due to severe financial limitations. Insulin for Life USA also seeks to aid those living with diabetes domestically by distributing supplies including life-saving insulin, glucose meters and strips, syringes and glucagon kits to professional agencies within the United States in times of natural disaster. Insulin for Life USA also collects unexpired, unopened diabetes supplies and certifies them for redistribution to those in need. Dr. Atkinson and Carol Atkinson serve as the President of the Board of Directors and Director of Insulin for Life USA, respectively. For more information about Insulin for Life USA’s efforts, visit

The American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions, to be held June 22-26, 2018, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, is the world’s largest scientific meeting focused on diabetes research, prevention and care. During the five-day meeting, more than 16,000 health care professionals from around the world will have exclusive access to more than 3,000 original diabetes research presentations, participate in provocative and engaging exchanges with leading diabetes experts, and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education (CE) credits for educational sessions. The program is grouped into eight theme areas: Acute and Chronic Complications; Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Education and Exercise; Clinical Diabetes/Therapeutics; Epidemiology/Genetics; Immunology/Transplantation; Insulin Action/Molecular Metabolism; Integrated Physiology/Obesity; and Islet Biology/Insulin Secretion. Felicia Hill-Briggs, PhD, ABPP, President of Health Care and Education, will deliver her address, “The American Diabetes Association in the Era of Health Care Transformation,” on Saturday, June 23, and Jane E.B. Reusch, MD, President of Medicine and Science, will present her address, “24/7/365 – Lifetime with Diabetes,” on Sunday, June 24. In total, the 2018 Scientific Sessions includes 375 oral presentations; 2,117 poster presentations, including 47 moderated poster discussions; and 297 published-only abstracts. Join the Scientific Sessions conversation on social media using #2018ADA.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)