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About Joslin's Medalist Program

How to Become a Joslin Medalist

Have you or a loved one lived with insulin-dependent diabetes for 25, 50, or 75 years or more? If so, Joslin would like to recognize this achievement.

This program is open to everyone. You do not have to be a Joslin patient to participate. There are no physical restrictions for these awards, however some form of documention is required. Records of the date of diagnosis with diabetes and the date of beginning insulin treatment are most helpful.

Click here for a printable application packet. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to print this packet. If you do not have Acrobat Reader on your computer, click here to download it free from Adobe.)

History of the Joslin Medalist Program

Joslin first began awarding medals to people with diabetes in 1948 with a 25-year Victory Medal. Believing that proper self-management was the key to minimizing long-term complications, the program was the vision of Elliott P. Joslin, M.D. and served as an incentive for those committed to good, though challenging, diabetes care. In the early 1950s the name was changed to the Blue Ribbon, and as more and more people lived long healthy lives with diabetes it finally became the 25-year Certificate that is awarded today. In 1970, Joslin expanded the program and began awarding a 50-year bronze medal. And Joslin presented the first 75-year medal in 1996.

Awards to Date

Since 1970, Joslin Diabetes Center has presented more than 2,905 50-year medals. Joslin has also awarded 28 distinctive 75-year medals from 1996 to present. To date, more than 720 people have received certificates recognizing 25 years with diabetes.The medalist program is far reaching, and Joslin has awarded medals across the country and around the world. Medals have been presented internationally to recipients in Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South America, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

50-Year Medalist Study

Joslin's 50-year medalists are invited to participate in a special study, examining outcomes of long-term diabetes. The study attempts to understand what factors contribute to the longevity of individuals who have received this honor. Currently, over 400 medalists are interested in participating in the study. To date, over 300 of these have completed an extensive questionnaire about their life with diabetes. Data from this questionnaire suggest that the risk of kidney, eye, and nerve problems is different after 50 years with type 1 diabetes than the risk among all individuals with the disease.

A second study is currently being undertaken, which examines factors in the blood and DNA that may help in modifying the risk for complications and survival. Participation in this study is open to all individuals residing in the United States who have received the Joslin 50-Year Medal. In coming months, updates for this study and findings from the previous study will be posted on a separate Web site. For further information on participating in this study,  or for further information on the 50-Year Medal, e-mail Leah Whelan.

To make a donation supporting the Medalist Study, click here.

Read aout Joslin Medalists, please click here.

Contact Information

For additional information, please contact:

Sara Turek
One Joslin Place,
Room 378
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 309-3481
(888) JOSLIN-2