Diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death for Latinos in the United States, Its impact on San Antonio is profound.
University Health opened the Texas Diabetes Institute (TDI) on May 9, 1999 on the site of the old Lutheran General Hospital on San Antonio’s West Side, where incidence of diabetes is among the highest in the nation. Today, TDI is not only a continued source of pride for the neighborhood and revered milagro (miracle) for the San Antonio community, it is also recognized as a worldwide leader in diabetes research.
“It’s a miracle, not just in terms of outcomes,” said Theresa De La Haya, RN, senior vice president of Community Health and Clinical Preventive Programs, “but in how we as a community came together and collaborated and respected each other to make this place a reality.”
University Health President and CEO George B. Hernández, Jr. added, “Where TDI is different from other facilities is that it has a research component, and that’s been a partnership with the Health Science Center for all these years.”
“The studies that we carry out here have implications not only for people in San Antonio, but in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Dr. Ralph DeFronzo, TDI’s deputy director.
Twenty years ago, TDI saw about 30,000 visits annually, and today has well over 100,000. Its impact has grown thanks to leaders who have contributed to the treatment, prevention and public awareness of diabetes. The Wall of Honor luncheon on November 14, 2019 celebrated the Institute’s 20th anniversary, and three new inductees were honored for diabetes research, education and care. An inaugural leadership award named for the late Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo was also presented to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.