Diabetes Resources: Reputable Versus Pseudo-Organizations

Dr. Bill Quick Health Pro
  • The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has some fascinating look-alike competition: the National Diabetes Association (NDA), the American Diabetes Foundation (ADF), and the National Diabetes Foundation (NDF). Several of these organizations have websites; however, sometimes an individual is responsible for buying an organization's name and claiming the URL.

     

    The National Diabetes Association used to have an active website; it’s at www.ndausa.net per their Facebook entry, but that URL doesn’t direct anywhere today. But you can see what it looked like at the Wayback Machine. Their website clarified at the bottom of their homepage that they were “not affiliated with ADA (American Diabetes Association). If you are trying to contact ADA, go to www.diabetes.org.” I called their 800 number today, and it is answered with music, but it never rolls to either a human voice nor to voice-mail. Their Facebook entry is none-too-active either: the last Facebook posting was June 27, 2011.

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    I can’t quite understand what the purpose of the NDA was; they seemed to be most interested in referring PWD to their network of diabetes specialists for medical advice. They had lots of stuff, including diabetes information, electronic medical records, and a glucose tracker. Bit of a shame that the website isn’t visible except to us geeks who use the Wayback Machine.

     

    The American Diabetes Foundation also has a Facebook presence. Their entry is described as “a page where diabetics may get some information and help.” The Facebook page indicates their location as “Global Medical Direct” at an address of “PO Box 15687” (which matches the mailing address for that company, which was in Lenexa, KS). Global Medical Direct, LLC, was a mail-order diabetic supply company; in October this year, the owners agreed to pay  twelve million dollars to settle allegations of healthcare fraud. The same month, Global Medical Direct was renamed to “Complete Medical Homecare“ – which is still heavily in the diabetes supply business. Interestingly, I only see one link at the ADF Facebook page cross-promoting Global Medical Direct.

     

    Googling “American Diabetes Foundation” pulls up lots of mentions of ADA activities. For instance, there’s a slideshow titled “American Diabetes Foundation” that clearly describes the ADA and its history and activities, including a mention of “ADA Camp.” There’s also other oops errors: for example, a blog discusses the ADA, but has a tag for “American Diabetes Foundation” rather than “American Diabetes Association.”  And if you enter the URL “americandiabetesfoundation.org” into your webbrowser, you’ll be transferred to a diabetes supply website (cute!)

     

    There was an effort (in 1984) to form a National Diabetes Foundation — in London. I can’t find any other information except one blurb in the Royal Society of Medicine journal. Google entries for the “National Diabetes Foundation” usually seem to be more oops errors: for instance, there’s an on-line statement  that “According to the National Diabetes Foundation, 8.3% of the U.S. population has diabetes” – but the hyperlink in that quote goes to the ADA’s website.

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    My main concern about these pseudo-organizations is that the potential hucksters might have for suckering people into donations to the wrong place. For example, if someone calls your telephone, and identifies themselves as being from the National Diabetes Association, hang up! (See Dialing for Diabetics at the AARP website).

     

    In closing, here are the "big three" of real US diabetes organizations and their websites:

     

    American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org)

    Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (www.jdrf.org)

    American Association of Diabetes Educators  (www.diabeteseducator.org)

     

Published On: December 17, 2013