Story by: Maggie Roetker on February 28, 2023
Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute has received $500,000 in funding from the James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation. The gift, made to the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation, will support hiring additional endocrinology specialists to help care for patients with diabetes, especially older children getting ready to transition to adult-based care.
This follows an October 2022 gift of $15 million from the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation to create the institute and serve as a starting point for a $60 million vision to expand diabetes care for children and adults, as well as build the top diabetes institute in the country.
“We make this grant in honor of and with our deepest affection for Wendy and David Novak,” noted Judy and Jamie Dimon, co-founders and directors of the Dimon Foundation. “Their extraordinary leadership in helping to address the dearth of high-quality health services for people living with diabetes in Kentucky and Southern Indiana is truly inspirational, and we are honored to be a part of this endeavor.”
Jamie Dimon is chair of the board and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The goal of Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute is to become a national center of excellence by expanding and elevating diabetes care and services across the region, while helping children and adults with diabetes manage their conditions. The institute’s current areas of focus will help adults and children living with all forms of diabetes by expanding facilities and providing workforce and patient support, programming and research.
Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute treats both children and adults. For children, it is a service of Norton Children’s Hospital and recognized as 16th in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings for pediatric diabetes and endocrinology. The program ranked 18th in 2020 and 2021, fueled by funding from the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation.
Nearly half a million children and adults in Kentucky have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a rate of 14%, making Kentucky the eighth worst in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norton Healthcare and Norton Children’s provide care for more than 69,000 patients with diabetes who come from 137 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Of those, approximately 1,400 are children.
“Funding from the community is vital for us to further improve our resources and elevate the care our patients need to manage their diabetes and live long, active, healthy lives,” said Kupper A. Wintergerst, M.D., director of Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute and pediatric endocrinologist with Norton Children’s Endocrinology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.
“This gift from an organization outside of our immediate area shows the importance of what we are trying to do,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., R.N., CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “We are grateful to the Dimon Foundation for recognizing this and helping to strengthen services for patients at Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute.” “This support is key in expanding the services that will help so many adults and children with diabetes,” said Dr. Wintergerst, who also is Wendy L. Novak Chair of Pediatric Diabetes Care and Clinical Research and chief of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics