Help A Diabetic Child (HADC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting children and families who are dealing with diabetes, announced the appointment of Michele Connors as Strategy and Engagement Director. In this newly created position, she will provide leadership and contribute significantly to the organization’s mission.

An innovative business strategist in the healthcare space, Connors brings more than 20 years of professional experience. Prior to joining HADC, she was Director of Strategic Partnerships for Wolters Kluwer in Waltham, MA. Before that, she was the firm’s Senior Director of Clinical Effectiveness – Canada and Director of North American Sales – East.

Connors holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University in New York. She has completed numerous professional development and training seminars and has written abstracts and has conducted presentations at the regional and national levels.

“We are delighted to welcome Michele to our leadership team,” said Tami Balavage, HADC President and Co-founder. “She is dedicated to strategic decision-making, creative problem solving and upholding a high level of integrity in every aspect of her work and will help us make a positive difference in the lives of those managing diabetes.”

Help A Diabetic Child supports underserved children and young adults in Southwest Florida who have Type 1 diabetes and cannot afford life-saving insulin, diabetes medical supplies and medical services. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to naturally regulate the body’s blood sugar, leaving diagnosed individuals with a life-long dependency on costly medical insulin.

Help A Diabetic Child was founded in Naples in 2010 by Balavage after her 16-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It quickly became evident that there was a significant number of children who were unable to get adequate medical supplies for blood glucose testing and insulin injections, which must be done multiple times daily.

In June 2023, the organization opened the HADC Resource & Advocacy Center. Located at 2800 Davis Blvd., Suite 107 in Naples, this center offers a variety of essential services, including Emotional Support Services; Nutritional Support Services; Information on Patient Assistance Programs; Information on Pharmacy and Health Insurance Resources; Volunteer Programs for high school and college students; On-site HADC Staff; Community Outreach Programs, Presentations and Support; and Educational Resources and Materials. These services are currently available by appointment.

As the new center develops into a full-functioning community resource, HADC is setting up a campaign to request donations specifically for office supply needs, including funds for computers, furniture and supplies. For additional information or to support HADC’s mission of providing life-saving supplies and services, visit

Statistics show that the number of Americans being diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise at alarming rates. The American Diabetes Association reports that almost 10 percent of the population has diabetes, while another 8 million are undiagnosed. In addition, the ADA reports that 86 million Americans over the age of 20 years have pre-diabetes.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a nearly 30 percent increase in Type 1 diabetes diagnoses in the United States, with youth cases growing most sharply among diverse populations.

Diagnosed cases of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are surging among youth in the United States. From 2001 to 2017, the number of people under age 20 living with Type 1 diabetes rose 45 percent and the number living with Type 2 diabetes grew by 95 percent.

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