By: Jan Chait
Francine R. Kaufman, MD, president of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and division head of endocrinology at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, California, was presented with the Woman of Valor Award at a benefit dinner on February 6, 2003.
The award, sponsored by the Los Angeles chapter of the ADA, recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the diabetes community. It was presented to Dr. Kaufman for her impact on the lives of children and adults with diabetes. Past recipients include author Iris Dart ("Beaches"), actress Jean Smart (of "Designing Women" fame) and civil rights attorney Gloria Allred.
The evening was a benefit for the ADA and Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles.
As head of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Childrens Hospital, Dr. Kaufman has created tools for managing diabetes, including insulin pump dosage guides and a CD-ROM game. She is a pioneer in the use of insulin pumps and helped to create a special snack bar designed to maintain blood-glucose levels.
Dr. Kaufman has also participated in a White House Summit on Healthy Schools/Healthy Students. As chair of a task force created by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, she was instrumental in banning soda vending machines on many public school campuses.
Dr. Kaufman has received funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1980. Recently, she chaired the NIH study on the Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Youth.
"Dr. Kaufman is an extraordinary physician and caregiver to children," Walter W. Noce Jr., president and CEO of Childrens Hospital, said in a news release. "We’re proud that she is one of the few pediatricians to serve as president of the ADA, particularly… at a time when the ravages of diabetes in children have reached near-epidemic proportions."