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Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center Offers Free Insulin

for People with Type 1 Diabetes Undergoing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19


Extraordinary Hoag philanthropists Mary and Dick Allen and Diane and Michael Stephens made cash gifts allowing patients living with type 1 diabetes and experiencing financial hardship to receive free insulin upon being discharged from Hoag and from the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center.

The Allen Center dispatched letters, emails and phone calls to local physicians notifying them of this opportunity for their patients. They hope to spread the word so that no one goes without help.

“We want every physician and patient to know that the Allen Diabetes Center is here for them with complimentary Humalog and Lantus pens with needles as well as a variety of support services now available online during this time,” said David T. Ahn, M.D., the Dr. Kris V. Iyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Care, program director and endocrinologist at the Allen Diabetes Center. “I am forever grateful to the Allens and the Stephens who inspire and support us in advancing our understanding and care of patients everywhere.” 

The gifts specifically support people managing type 1 diabetes because, unlike those with type 2, their bodies no longer make insulin to regulate their blood sugar. These patients require multiple injections of short-acting and long-acting insulin every day to stay alive. In the event of unemployment or job loss, the cost of insulin can become staggering.

“Mary and Dick have been hands-on philanthropists for more than a decade, challenging and championing Hoag to build a comprehensive program serving adults and children with diabetes,” said Flynn A. Andrizzi, Ph.D., president of the Hoag Hospital Foundation. “Their kindness will ensure people in our community with type 1 diabetes will have the medication they need through this challenging time.”

Personal Connections

For the Allens, their granddaughter’s type 1 diagnosis inspired their mission to educate and support others who live with diabetes. When their granddaughter was nine years old and started using an insulin pump, Dick wore one for himself (his pump delivered saline as opposed to insulin for safety reasons) to understand what his granddaughter would experience. They are particularly keen to support the community with the costs of managing diabetes. Their gift in 2009 built the foundation for what the Allen Diabetes Center is today.

During his tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hoag (from 1975 to 2005), Michael Stephens saw firsthand the transformational impact community partnership and philanthropy can make. Two years ago, he and his wife Diane made a gift to support program innovation at the Allen Diabetes Center. They were impressed by the work the Allen Diabetes Center does through the Herbert Family Program for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes and the Ueberroth Family Program for Women with Diabetes.

“Mike and Diane have played a pivotal role in developing the Hoag culture of vision, collaboration and commitment that transformed it from ‘the hospital on the hill’ to a world-class health care asset,” Andrizzi said. “That they have stepped in to generously support the Allen Diabetes Center and its growing impact on the community is very meaningful to all of us.”

Providing comprehensive services for both adults and children with diabetes, the Allen Diabetes Center offers clinical, educational and support services designed to meet the needs of patients with diabetes and their families. Specialty programs include medical nutrition therapy, diabetes self-management education, the Herbert Family Program for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes and “Sweet Success” for pregnant women with diabetes.

A current prescription is required to process requests, and endocrinologists and physicians may contact the Allen Diabetes Center on their patients’ behalf at diabetescare@hoag.org or (949) 764-8065.

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