The Power of Community Benefit to Fight Against Diabetes

Norwegian American Hospital Foundation is set to host its Third Annual Power of Community Benefit, which will take place on June 22, 2017 at the Union League Club of Chicago beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The event raises money to address chronic health disparities in Humboldt Park, West Town, and surrounding neighborhoods and will support the Norwegian American Hospital Comprehensive Diabetes Center.

Luis Navarro, a Mexican native of Zacatecas and a resident of Little Village in Chicago is among 13% of the population in Illinois who suffer from diabetes. Navarro was diagnosed with diabetes 12 years ago. In 2012 an artery was blocked in his left foot and his toes turned purple. Navarro went to a clinic - where he was hospitalized for a month - and they decided to amputate three toes and tendons due to his pain. The doctors then told him that they would have to amputate his entire foot. Luis Navarro recalls that during his desperation, he became lucky that someone recommended him to visit Dr. Ángeles Valdés, who has worked at Norwegian American Hospital’s Wound Clinic for more than 23 years. Under the care of Dr. Valdés, Navarro says that he was able to see the light again since his foot was saved and is now able to walk.

The Humboldt Park community has a high incidence rate of diabetes, among the highest in the nation, and major disparities in outcomes around other chronic diseases as well, including breast and prostate cancer, heart disease, mental health, and maternal and infant health. According to Norwegian American Hospital, 12% of adult residents in Humboldt Park have diabetes, compared to a national benchmark of 8%. A contributing factor is the high rate of obesity, in which 36% of the residents are obese, compared to the national benchmark of 28%.

"They have been very understanding, kind and have an incredible generosity," stated Luis Navarro, who says he is more than grateful to Norwegian American Hospital, who have helped control his diabetes for several years and taught him to lead a healthy life. "If my foot would have been amputated, my life would have changed drastically. I would have been disabled and my quality of life would not have been the same," he added. "I do not care that the hospital is not in my neighborhood and need to drive to get there. I've heard of people that come all the way from Waukegan because of the great service and the way diabetes wounds are cared for at this hospital,” concluded Luis.

Under the leadership of José R. Sánchez, attacking diabetes is one of the hospital’s top initiatives.
Proceeds from this year’s The Power of Community Benefit will directly impact Norwegian American
Hospital’s ability to expand its, integrated services for diabetes through the Norwegian American Hospital Comprehensive Diabetes Center, which become a reality in April when the Center held its grand opening celebration.

“This year’s Power of Community event represents Norwegian American Hospital’s commitment to the power of partnerships. We are proud to be able to recognize our community partnership. Like Norwegian, these organizations are devoted to addressing and improving the health disparities in the communities they serve,” said José R. Sánchez, president and CEO, Norwegian American Hospital. “What better way to acknowledge the relationships than through the Power of Community Award. These valued professionals and friends are the hospital’s partners in transforming the lives of patients and delivering on the promise of a healthier future.”

Norwegian American Hospital Foundation will honor the following community partners at The Power of
Community Benefit: New Life Covenant Church, Erie Family Health Center, Near North Health Service Corporation, St. George’s University, and PCC Community Wellness Center. The hospital will also name Dagoberto Camacho, MD as the 2017 Norwegian American Hospital Physician of the Year. 

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit

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