Diabetes Hands Foundation

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Diabetes Hands Foundation
DiabetesHands logo 400x400.jpg
Founded March 2008
Founders Manny Hernandez, Andreina Davila
Focus "No one touched by diabetes should ever feel alone."
Key people
Eugene Kunde (CEO), Dennis Urbaniak (Chair)
Website diabeteshandsfoundation.org

Diabetes Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Berkeley, California that has been connecting, empowering, and mobilizing the diabetes community since 2008. Diabetes Hands Foundation is funded through sponsorship income, donations, grants,[1] and earned income.[2]

Current Programs[edit]

Online Communities[edit]

TuDiabetes (in English) and EsTuDiabetes (in Spanish), are social networks for people touched by diabetes.[3][4] The sites were established in 2007 as the first social network for people touched by diabetes.[5] TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes have more than 65,000 registered members[6][7] and are visited by well over 200,000 people per month.[8] Initially built on the Ning platform,[9] both nonprofit online communities[10] were moved to the Discourse platform in 2015 to continue helping patients live with diabetes without feeling alone.[11]

Between 2010 and 2013, Diabetes Hands Foundation partnered with Children's Hospital Boston to develop TuAnalyze (in English) and EsTuAnalisis (in Spanish), two diabetes data collection, mapping, and surveying applications.[12] Members of the online communities could submit their Hemoglobin A1C data, and the aggregate data and displays the results on maps.[13] The project's goal was to rapidly survey and better understand populations of people with diabetes through data donations.[14] A research paper detailing the first lessons learned in connection with TuAnalyze[15] was published in the Public Library of Science in 2011, and many other survey results have been published by the Boston research team.[16]

Big Blue Test[edit]

The Big Blue Test Logo.jpg

The Big Blue Test is a program started by Diabetes Hands Foundation to raise awareness of the importance of exercise for people with diabetes. The program takes place leading up to World Diabetes Day[17] (November 14). It reinforces the importance of exercise in managing diabetes by having participants test their blood sugar, get active, test again, and share the results online at bigbluetest.org. The results typically show how exercise reduces blood sugar levels for both people with diabetes and people without diabetes. For each Big Blue Test submitted, a donation to a diabetes charity has been made to help people with diabetes in need of supplies and/or education. More than 100,000 Big Blue Test entries have been received since 2009.[18] As a consequence, more than $250,000 have been awarded in the form of Big Blue Test grants.[19][20]

Past Years[edit]

  • 2009 - Participants were asked to do the Big Blue Test once on November 14th (World Diabetes Day). The test was done at 2pm (14:00 hours) local time (regardless of timezone).
  • 2010 - The Diabetes Hands Foundation produced a video describing the benefits of doing the Big Blue Test. The program sponsor (Roche - makers of ACCU-CHEK diabetes products and services) made a donation of $75,000 to help the Life for a Child Program (run by the International Diabetes Federation and Insulin for Life).[21] More than 2,000 people did the Big Blue Test. Over 120,000 viewed the video.[22]
  • 2011 - A new promotional video was released, set to "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities.[23] More than 8,000 Big Blue Tests were logged during the period of November 1st through November 14th. The program sponsor was once again Roche Diabetes Care. Five nonprofit organizations received $10,000 while $25,000 went to support the Life for a Child program.
  • 2012 - In 2012, American Idol's Elliott Yamin and Amazing Race's Dr. Nat Strand were integral to the Big Blue Test campaign.[24] Both live with type 1 diabetes. Between October 14th and November 14th 23,000 Big Blue Tests were collected.[25] The program sponsor was again Roche Diabetes Care, making a $100,000 donation to support the work of seven nonprofit organizations.
2012 Grantees:[26]
  • 2013 - The 2013 campaign looked a lot like the previous year's. The campaign started on October 14th, 2013 and ended on November 14th. More than 20,000 Big Blue tests were collected.[27] Unlike previous years, the 2013 campaign had multiple program sponsors. The program was sponsored by Tandem Diabetes Care, Dex4, The Safeway Foundation and Genentech. The Big Blue Test iPhone app was updated,[28] and an Android version was released for the first time.[29] In addition to the iPhone and Android apps, the diabetes smartphone app mySugr held a Big Blue Test challenge.[30]
2013 Grantees:[31]

Diabetes Advocates[edit]

Diabetes Advocates is a program that serves as a platform for connecting individuals and organizations that have taken a leadership role in improving the world for people touched by diabetes, to amplify their voices, offer assistance in accurate reporting about diabetes in the media,[32] and increase their impact in the diabetes community. Since 2009, the program has grown to nearly 400 members, many of whom have been featured on Health.com[33] and other publications. Among other benefits, members are eligible to apply for scholarships to attend diabetes conferences, and micro-grants to support their creative ideas focused on making life better with diabetes possible.[34] In 2012, nine grants of $2,000 were awarded as part of this program in support of diabetes education and awareness campaigns, conducted in their majority by members of Diabetes Advocates.

Other Initiatives[edit]

Word in Your Hand[edit]

The Word in Your Hand project invites participants to share photos showing a word in their hands describing life with diabetes. Through the project, people with diabetes along with their family, friends and caregivers describe their feelings towards diabetes.[35] Between 2008 and 2011, DHF licensed the Word in Your Hand project to LifeScan, Inc. for use as part of its Global Diabetes Handprint Campaign.[36]

No-Sugar Added Poetry[edit]

No-Sugar Added Poetry is a book of diabetes poems published in 2010 by the Diabetes Hands Foundation.[37] It contains poems about life with diabetes written by members of TuDiabetes.org with a foreword by Bill Polonsky, founder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute.


HealthSeeker was a social game on Facebook aimed at helping people live healthy lifestyles.[38][39][40] The game was developed in 2010 by the Diabetes Hands Foundation in collaboration with the Joslin Diabetes Center. Players select missions such as stress-reducing or exercise-inducing activities to complete within a given period of time to help create a healthier lifestyle.[41][42] In November 2010, the game was made available in Spanish.[43] In June 2011, a HealthSeeker mobile app became available for iPhone and Android users.[44] In late 2012, Diabetes Hands Foundation sold HealthSeeker to Ayogo Health, the original developer of the game.

Awards and Recognition[edit]

  • On Nov. 12, 2013, Diabetes Hands Foundation co-Founder Manny Hernandez was chosen by WebMD as one of the magazine's 2013 Health Heroes, an award for visionary Americans who met a health challenge and gave back to others in an inspiring way.[45]
  • On Nov. 5, 2013, Diabetes Hands Foundation co-Founder Manny Hernandez was named #1 Social HealthMaker on Diabetes by Sharecare.[46]
  • On Oct. 21, 2013, Diabetes Hands Foundation co-Founder Manny Hernandez was recognized by American Diabetes Association for his outstanding commitment to serving the diabetes community.[47]
  • On Sep. 24, 2012, Diabetes Hands Foundation co-Founder Manny Hernandez was the Keynote at the 2012 Joslin Diabetes & Innovation Summit at Hyatt Regency Crystal City - Arlington, VA.[48]
  • In 2012, Diabetes Hands Foundation was named by MedCityNews as one of 4 social media-savvy nonprofits using the Web creatively to make a difference in healthcare.[49] The other three groups mentioned were Malaria No More, Stand Up To Cancer, and LIVESTRONG.
  • In 2012, Diabetes Hands Foundation won two more Telly Awards for the Big Blue Test video.[50]
  • In 2012, HealthLine included the Diabetes Hands Foundation blog and TuDiabetes among The 17 Best Diabetes Blogs of 2012.[51]
  • In 2011, SharecareNow named Manny Hernandez, co-Founder of Diabetes Hands Foundation one of the Top 10 Online Influencers in Diabetes.[52]
  • In 2011, Diabetes Hands Foundation won two Telly Awards for the Big Blue Test video.[53]
  • In 2011, Diabetes Hands Foundation was a Finalist in the Technical Innovation category of the Health Care Heroes awards organized by the San Francisco Business Times.[54]
  • In the 2011 Dose of Digital Dosie Awards, TuDiabetes won Silver (Judges' Choice) for Patient Community – Non-Brand Controlled (Communities created with no direct affiliation to a pharma or healthcare company) and was Runner Up (People’s Choice) for Patient Community – Non-Brand Controlled (Communities created with no direct affiliation to a pharma or healthcare company).[55]
  • In the Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards 2011 Diabetes Hands Foundation received the Connecting Patients Award by Creation Interactive.[56]
  • In the 2010 Dose of Digital Dosie Awards, TuDiabetes won 2nd place for Best Patient Community - Non-Brand Controlled (for communities with no direct affiliation to a pharma or healthcare company).[57]
  • In the 2010 Healthcare Engagement Strategy Awards, TuDiabetes received the Best Patient Community award by Creation Interactive.[58]
  • In 2009, Diabetes Hands Foundation was designated as a World Diabetes Day Champion by the International Diabetes Federation.[59]
  • In the 2008 Web 2.0 Awards by SEOmoz, TuDiabetes received 2nd place for Niche Social Networking.[60]

Board of Directors, Advisors[edit]

Chairing the Board is Dennis Urbaniak. Among the members of the board are former acting United States Surgeon General, Kenneth P. Moritsugu; Lorraine Stiehl and Dayton Coles, current and former members of the Board of Directors for JDRF, respectively; Donna Hill, Vice President, Legal at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics; and other key Patient Opinion Leaders in diabetes.[61]

DHF has received advice from Dr. Anne Peters, from Keck School of Medicine, USC; John Brooks, from Joslin Diabetes Center; Paul Madden; Steve Edelman, from TCOYD; Bill Polonsky, from Behavioral Diabetes Institute; Jeff Hitchcock, from Children With Diabetes; Kerri Sparling (from Six Until Me); Huffington Post columnist and diabetes advocate Riva Greenberg, mHealth Alliance Executive Team Member Jody Ranck; John Sjolund the CEO of Patients Pending Ltd the makers of Timesulin and others.[62]


  1. ^ Helmsley Charitable Trust Awards $150K to Diabetes Social Media Player
  2. ^ Diabetes Hands Foundation Guidestar nonprofit report
  3. ^ Social networking sites changing the way people learn about health
  4. ^ Comunidad virtual en español ofrece ayuda a diabéticos
  5. ^ "The Orange County Register - Fellowship In The Diabetic Community". 
  6. ^ http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/members
  7. ^ http://www.estudiabetes.org/profiles/members
  8. ^ Quantcast statistics for the Diabetes Hands Foundation websites
  9. ^ Nonprofit know-how when networking on Ning
  10. ^ 5 Tips for Creating Non-Profit Online Communities
  11. ^ Social Therapy: Online networks help patients handle diabetes without feeling alone (Endocrine News)
  12. ^ Children's project uses social network to map diabetes
  13. ^ Introducing “TuAnalyze”: Why Mapping Diabetes Data Matters
  14. ^ What if Self-Tracking Goes Mainstream?
  15. ^ Sharing Data for Public Health Research by Members of an International Online Diabetes Social Network
  16. ^ TuAnalyze blog entries on TuDiabetes
  17. ^ The Big Blue Test: Worldwide Diabetes Test-In
  18. ^ "What is the Big Blue Test?". BigBlueTest.org. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  19. ^ 2011 grantee: St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic, San Francisco
  20. ^ 2011 grantee: Moundville Medical Clinic, Alabama
  21. ^ "2010 Big Blue Test Video". 
  22. ^ "The Diabetes Hands Foundation Blog". The Diabetes Hands Foundation. 
  23. ^ "Big Blue Test FAQ". Diabetes Hands Foundation. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  24. ^ Elliott Yamin Is Jammin' for Diabetes and the Big Blue Test
  25. ^ "Big Blue Test Blog". 
  26. ^ "Diabetes Mine". Diabetes Mine. 
  27. ^ "Big Blue Test Blog". 
  28. ^ "Big Blue Test Blog". 
  29. ^ "Big Blue Test Blog". 
  30. ^ "Big Blue Test Blog". 
  31. ^ "Diabetes Hands Foundation Blog". 
  32. ^ Diabetes Advocates Offer Assistance in Accurate Reporting in the Media
  33. ^ 11 Great Blogs and Websites for Insulin Users
  34. ^ DHF Seeds program page
  35. ^ Word in Your Hand initiative
  36. ^ LifeScan Launches Diabetes Handprint Project
  37. ^ No-Sugar Added Poetry Book Tells Diabetes Like It Is
  38. ^ Video Games Modifying Behavior Towards Good
  39. ^ New Facebook game seeks to manage real-world diabetes risks
  40. ^ Facebook App Aims to Help Control Diabetes
  41. ^ Facebook Game Focuses on Health
  42. ^ Digital Channels for Diabetes: Facebook (video)
  43. ^ "Nuevo juego de Facebook encara el alarmante índice de diabetes entre los Latinos". El Periódico USA. November 10, 2010. 
  44. ^ Will DHF's HealthSeeker game compel diabetics (and others) to live healthier?
  45. ^ "WebMD Announces 2013 Health Heroes". WebMD. 
  46. ^ "Sharecare Names Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Diabetes". Sharecare. 
  47. ^ "Manny Hernandez Honored with ADA Community Award". DiabetesHandsFoundation. 
  48. ^ "Joslin Diabetes + Innovation - Day 2 Keynote, Manny Hernandez". YouTube. 
  49. ^ 4 social media-savvy nonprofits using the Web creatively to make a difference in healthcare
  50. ^ Diabetes Hands Foundation wins, again, 2 Telly Awards for 2011 Big Blue Test video!
  51. ^ The 17 Best Diabetes Blogs of 2012
  52. ^ SharecareNow Names the Top 10 Influencers in the Online Diabetes Community
  53. ^ Diabetes Hands Foundation Wins 2 Telly Awards
  54. ^ Diabetes Hands Foundation uses social media
  55. ^ Meet the 2011 Dosie Award Winners
  56. ^ The Diabetes Hands Foundation - Connecting Patients Award
  57. ^ 2010 Dose of Digital Dosie Award Winners
  58. ^ Best Patient Community Award - Creation Interactive
  59. ^ World Diabetes Day Champions
  60. ^ SEOmoz's Web 2.0 Awards
  61. ^ Diabetes Hands Foundation Board of Directors
  62. ^ Diabetes Hands Foundation Board of Advisors

External links[edit]