American Diabetes Association Announces Three Year Collaboration with the Dignity Memorial® Network

Alexandria, VA - October 03, 2007

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) today announced that the Dignity Memorial network, North America’s largest funeral and cemetery services provider, is committed to fighting diabetes as the ADA’s new National Strategic Partner (NSP).  Diabetes is the nation’s fifth-leading cause of death by disease.  As a National Strategic Partner, Dignity Memorial will support a three-year diabetes awareness campaign that will encourage others to live the best possible life and further ADA’s mission to prevent and cure diabetes.


“The relationship between ADA and Dignity Memorial makes sense because it will provide a great public service to heighten awareness of the devastating impact of diabetes and the importance of living a healthy life,” said Darlene Cain, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association.  “If current trends continue, 1 in 3 Americans born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.  We need to stop that trend, and demonstrate the emotional and long-term value of planning for a healthy life.”


As a National Strategic Partner, Dignity Memorial will support ADA’s efforts to raise awareness and much-needed funds to support diabetes research, information, and advocacy efforts.  A key element of this relationship will include the development of a life planner that will include tools and resources to help consumers with personal and household planning to enhance quality of life.  Areas of focus will include information about nutrition, exercise, meal planning, disaster preparedness (particularly as it relates to managing diabetes in an emergency), planning for retirement and long-term health, including end of life planning.


Working together, ADA and Dignity Memorial want to raise awareness of the importance of life planning across the life stages.  “This process encourages each individual to take a more proactive role in planning his or her life,” said Ms. Cain.  “When it comes to the health crisis our country faces with diabetes, we need to do so much more to get in the hearts and minds of people who aren’t taking the time to consider the health of themselves and their children and grandchildren as part of their life plan.”


 “The physical and emotional impact of diabetes on families, children and employees is why Dignity Memorial has decided to respond to this important health issue,” said Tom Ryan, President and CEO, Dignity Memorial.  “We are going to call upon our greatest resource – the compassionate enthusiasm of our employees – to lead the fight to defeat diabetes.  Dignity Memorial will focus on funding research and advocacy, educating our communities and each other, acting upon what we learn and treasuring those we lose to this disease.”


To that end, Dignity Memorial will form nationwide employee teams for participation in ADA’s fund raising events throughout the year, including Step Out to Fight Diabetes (a one day walk in more than 200 cities nationwide in the Fall) and Tour de Cure (a series of bicycling events held in more than 80 cities nationwide in the Spring). 


Dignity Memorial will also help ADA expand its memorial program, “Always & Forever,” by honoring those who have passed away from diabetes.  ADA will develop an online tribute page to allow families to celebrate the memories of loved ones.


Nearly 21 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, a disease characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and/or use insulin.  Another 54 million Americans are estimated to be at high risk for developing this disease.  Diabetes can lead to severely debilitating or fatal complications, such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. 


About the American Diabetes Association


The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy.  The Association’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.  Founded in 1940, the Association provides services to hundreds of communities across the country.  For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.  Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.


About Dignity Memorial


Dignity Memorial is the first coast-to-coast funeral service brand in North America.  It is marketed through a network of independent service providers as well as those owned by Service Corporation International®, (NYSE:SCI) headquartered in Houston, Texas.  The Dignity Memorial network is North America's leading provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery products and services.  The Dignity Memorial brand offers assurance of quality, value, caring service and exceptional customer service.  For more information about Dignity Memorial products and services, or to locate a Dignity Memorial network provider, please visit www.DignityMemorial.com.

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