WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Diabetes Association today named Kevin L. Hagan, a proven, nationally-recognized leader, as its next chief executive to reinvigorate the national fight to end the diabetes epidemic in America. Hagan will join the Association at a time when the incidence and costs of diabetes are at an all-time high. Recent estimates indicate as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050. Hagan was the unanimous choice of the Association's Board of Directors.
"Our national fight to end diabetes is at a crossroads," said Janel Wright, Chair of the Board of Directors. "For too long, our nation has seen the number of cases of diabetes go up and up while the commitment to the necessary response has shrunk. Diabetes contributes to the death of more than 234,000 Americans annually and costs have reached $245 billion, or nearly 1 in 5 health care dollars. Diabetes impacts everyone—families, friends, employers and taxpayers."
Hagan's selection follows a six-month national search. He will join the Association from Feed the Children, one of the largest charitable organizations in the world. During his tenure as CEO, Feed the Children experienced tremendous growth after Hagan led efforts to diversify revenue channels. These efforts also increased average gift size by 20 percent, focused on long-term donor value while creating a corporate philanthropy engineering team to custom design corporate giving programs for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to his work with Feed the Children, Hagan served as chief operating officer for Good360, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the needs of nonprofits with corporate product donations. Hagan will succeed Suzanne Berry who has served as the Association's interim CEO since August 2014.
"The statistics are staggering but the human effect of diabetes is where the real story is told," Hagan said. "As I have seen in my own family, diabetes is a disease that not only affects the person with diabetes but has a devastating impact on the entire family. We must do everything possible to find a cure. I will be leading the charge to increase resources and engage partners – traditional and nontraditional – across the country to join the battle to end diabetes. We all have a stake in this fight and we all need to contribute to the battle ahead."
While the incidence of diabetes and prediabetes has been climbing, the national response has remained flat. For example, federal funding for diabetes research declined 5.2 percent from FY2011 to FY2015 and totals only $1.02 billion. Yet, diabetes kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined with no sign that these odds are improving. Twice as many Americans have diabetes as have cancer and diabetes is 20 times more prevalent than HIV/AIDS.
A major focus of the Association is to advocate for increased federal funding and it works day in and day out growing the state and federal commitment to diabetes research, treatment and programs. Since 1952, the American Diabetes Association has invested more than $700 million in nearly 4,500 diabetes research projects and contributed significantly to advances in diabetes care and reductions in diabetes complications, allowing people with diabetes to live longer, healthier lives. Currently, the Association has increasingly prioritized the elimination of health disparities because some communities, including Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and American Indian/Alaska Natives are disparately impacted by the disease but do not receive a proportional share of diabetes research, treatment and education.
"While the incidence of virtually every other major medical condition affecting Americans has shown signs of evening out or decreasing, diabetes rates keep skyrocketing and show no signs of slowing down," said Wright. "Our nation is facing a full-on diabetes epidemic: in the next 24 hours, 4,660 new cases of diabetes will be diagnosed; that's more than three friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members every minute of every day. Today, we draw a line in the sand in the fight against diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has hired a proven leader to transform the fight to end diabetes. Kevin brings a remarkable record of success in inspiring and reigniting organizations. His leadership skills and personal integrity will help us build upon and strengthen our legacy to stop the growing diabetes epidemic."
"I am honored to have been named CEO of the American Diabetes Association and ready to lead this important organization at this critical time for our nation," said Hagan. "The Association's extraordinary 75-year history of fighting for the rights and needs of people with diabetes is unparalleled. The task ahead is to build on that record and put an end to diabetes and its deadly devastation. I am excited to lead the Association's staff and work with its army of clinicians, researchers, members, and volunteers who work hard every day to Stop Diabetes."
Visit the American Diabetes Association website for more information. For additional facts about diabetes visit: http://www.diabetes.org/assets/pdfs/basics/fast_facts_american_diabetes_association.pdf.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
SOURCE American Diabetes Association