Novaks give $15 million to Norton Children’s Hospital to create diabetes institute, 1/4 of $60 million plan

Norton Children’s Hospital and the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation announced Oct. 5 the creation of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute.
The foundation has given the hospital $15 million as the starting point of a $60 million plan to expand diabetes care for children and adults, as well as build the top diabetes institute in the country, a news release said. The institute will enhance services already available through the current Wendy Novak Diabetes Center.
Nearly half a million children and adults in Kentucky have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a rate of 14%, making Kentucky the eighth worst in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The goal of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Institute is to become a national center of excellence by expanding and elevating diabetes care across the region, while helping children and adults with diabetes manage their conditions, and making it easier for patients to transition from pediatric to adult care.
 “We are confident that with the strategic partnership with Norton Children’s and Norton Healthcare, and the outstanding leadership of Dr. Kupper Wintergerst, one of the most renowned endocrinologists in the world, we can continue to climb the rankings and become the best practice institution others will want to emulate,” David Novak, founder of the foundation, said in the release. “We see this impacting not only Louisville, but the world.”
One of the first initiatives of the institute will be to provide more patient support through expansion of the diabetes education program. “Living with diabetes is an enormous burden, and educators are able to help each child and adult face every one of life’s challenges.” Wintergerst said in the release.
Wendy and David Novak with daughter Ashley
(Photo by Pat McDonogh, The Courier Journal)

Wintergerst is a pediatric endocrinologist with Norton Children’s Endocrinology, which is affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where he is the Wendy L. Novak Chair of Pediatric Diabetes Care and Clinical Research.

Norton Healthcare says it provides care for more than 69,000 patients with diabetes, spanning 137 counties in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. About 1,400 of the patients are children, says the release.
Looking forward, the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation and Norton Healthcare Foundation have committed to raising another $12 million for a total $27 million investment. So far, $2 million has been raised. In the coming years, the goal is to raise additional funds to reach the $60 million vision.
The Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation was established in 1999 through a charitable trust by David and Wendy Novak. It funds innovative, high-impact projects that are led by passionate leaders committed to outstanding execution. Wendy Novak has had Type 1 diabetes since she was 7 years old, reports Maggie Menderski of the Louisville Courier Journal.
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