Diabetes non-profit goes digital thanks to Medtronic Foundation grant

ADJ Diabetes Brazil receives Health Access Grant to make greater impact for people living with the chronic disease.

SAO PAULO – It wasn’t very long ago when Debora Leoni said, “Building a new website would be a dream.” 

More than a dream, going digital had become a serious need for ADJ Diabetes Brazil, a Sao Paulo-based non-profit organization focused on providing diabetes education and support. Connecting with supporters, health care workers, and those living with the chronic disease was becoming increasingly difficult without a strong online presence. 

“Our website was 11 years old,” says Leoni, who has worked 16 years for ADJ.  “We couldn’t reach people.” 

And reaching people is important in Brazil, a country where nearly 14 million people live with diabetes.1 

But thanks to a few local Medtronic employees, ADJ’s dream was realized.

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Those employees nominated ADJ for one of the Medtronic Foundation’s Health Access Grants.  The non-profit program makes direct financial contributions to organizations committed to expanding access to health care for the underserved. 

“We rely on those local employees who know their communities and the organizations that are making a difference,” says Jennifer Chavez Rubio, Medtronic Foundation’s Senior  Director of Global Engagement. “We offer two-year grants that allow organizations to do some amazing work and greatly impact the community.” 

With the Foundation’s support, ADJ was able to build a new website – complete with a mobile version. The platform provides more information for patients and has allowed for greater engagement on social media. Leoni says the results have exceeded expectations. 

“We immediately noticed a 90 percent increase in new visitors and a demand from people wanting to volunteer.” 

For 36 years, ADJ Diabetes Brazil has been committed to raising awareness, educating the public, and supporting those impacted by the disease. The organization offers free screenings, nutritional classes, public awareness campaigns, and even summer camps for children living with diabetes. 

The organization’s CEO believes that impact will only grow. 

“We know that 18,000 people have come through here,” says ADJ CEO Carlos José Augusto da Costa. “And when we see the joy in people who get things under control, that’s when we feel satisfaction. We won’t stop.” 

Since 2014, 122 Medtronic Foundation Health Access Grants have been made in 18 countries totaling $8 million.  In 2016, the number of communities making Health Access Grants was increased from 36 to 72.