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Making an impact.


Mission & History.

The Diabetes Foundation, Inc., established on August 17, 1990, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the care and quality of life for children and adults living day to day with diabetes in the New Jersey/New York Metropolitan area. Through the efforts of staff and volunteers, the Diabetes Foundation, Inc. focuses its efforts on supplies and medication assistance, patient support services, community outreach and education programs, and camp sponsorships. Since its inception, DFI has provided supplies and medication assistance to more than 10,000 people; offered free monthly education programs to more than 12,000 people; expanded education programs to many new communities; and, provided funding for nearly 800 children to attend diabetes camps in the tri-state area. DFI’s approach to the prevention and/or management of diabetes has come full circle. We have better integrated our range of services and we continue to refine and improve our approach each year.  We also continue to establish a solid and diverse funding base, through grants, corporate sponsorships, individual donors and successful fundraising events, so that we can expand into new communities with the greatest needs.

Get all the facts.


The “epidemic” of diabetes throughout the country is a daunting one. According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million children and adults in the U.S. (8.3% of the population) have diabetes. The disease is a leading cause of kidney failure, blindness and amputations, and a major cause of heart disease and stroke. The emotional and economic impact of diabetes on families and individuals, and the escalating strain on the healthcare system in general, beg for short- and long-term assistance and solutions.

    The CDC data report released in June 2008 confirmed that diabetes is the largest and fastest-growing chronic disease in the nation. It claims the lives of more than 193,000 Americans each year.  By 2025, the number of people with diabetes is expected to double, placing increased demands on the healthcare system.

    Although more than 79 million people have been diagnosed with prediabetes, nearly 7 million go undiagnosed because they do not or cannot afford to go to the doctor for a check-up. A major factor fueling the diabetes crisis is the poor management of the disease. In the poorest neighborhoods, with higher percentages of uninsured residents, the situation is grave. Many patients must choose between paying for their medication or their meals. Some cut pills in half or skip doses completely, even though control of the disease is extremely sensitive to precise dosage of medication. Some do not keep track of their blood glucose levels regularly because they cannot afford the equipment needed to administer the tests.

      In New Jersey, nearly 1 million residents (nearly 1 in 11 people!) have been diagnosed with diabetes, with many more still undiagnosed. 


      Other challenges compounding the issue include the rise in obesity rates (leading to increases in Type 2 diabetes in teens), lack of knowledge about diabetes, and insufficient resources at hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices.     


      Meet our team.



      Executive Director
      Ginine Cilenti

      Director, Programs & Initiatives
      Bonnie Starr

      Accounting Manager
      Drea Evans

      Communications and Development Associate
      Jacqueline White

      Support Services & Outreach
      Marlene Korngold


      Charlotte Sokol, MD
      Diabetes Foundation, Co-Founder; Honorary Medical Staff (Ret.) Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes Section, HUMC

      Natalia Anchipolovsky, DO
      Louis F. Amorosa, MD
      Nicholas G. Baranetsky, MD
      Kevin Heaney, DDS
      Andrew Kagan, MD, Retired
      Janet Longo, RN, RD, CDE
      Mary O’Connor, MSN, RN, CDE
      Stephen H. Schneider, MD
      Marc Sandberg, MD
      John Shin, MD
      David Bleich, MD



      Michael J. Sullivan
      Managing Partner, Sullivan Greenberg Associates

      Edmund McCann, Esq.
      McCann & McCann

      Vice President
      Anthony B. Marrano
      Adjunct Professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University

      Executive Vice President
      Dr. Laurence Hirsch
      Vice President, Worldwide Diabetes Care, BD

      Gary Van Schaften, CPA

      Janet Longo RN, RD, CDE
      Hackensack Meridian Hospital

      - Byron C. Driscoll
      Global EUC Specialist, VMware
      - Jessica Woo
      VP/Senior Relationship Manager, M&T Bank; Healthcare & Not-for-Profit Group
      - Joseph E. Faherty
      Managing Executive, Royal Alliance Associates
      - Samuel C. Fusco, Jr.
      Co-Founder, Chairman Emeritus; Diabetes Foundation President; Steeple Associates, Inc.
      - Peter Fusco, Esq.
      Partner, Lowenstein Sandler
      - Dennis Salotti
      VP of Operations, The Avoca Group
      -Kenneth Geary, Jr.
      First Vice President–Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors
      Eleni Pellazgu
      MSN, APN, FNP-C, PCCN, CMSRN, RN-BC, CRA/CRC,  Morristown Medical Center
      Vikram Mehta, CAIA
      Oaktree Capital Management


      Samuel C. Fusco, Jr.
      Co-Founder, Chairman Emeritus; Diabetes Foundation President; Steeple Associates, Inc.

      - Jenny Carroll, Esq.
      Corporate Counsel, Atlantic Health Systems
      - Tara Charvat
      Chief Marketing Officer, WellDoc, Inc.               
      - Peter Fusco, Esq.
      Member of the Firm, Lowenstein Sandler PC
      - Anthony Masherelli
      Partner, Assurance Services Ernst & Young
      - Andrew Novielli
      Business Development Manager, VNA Central New Jersey