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February 21, 2018

Executive Compensation at the American Diabetes Association

by Anne Paddock

The American Diabetes Association consists of three separate 501 (c) (3) organizations:

  • American Diabetes Assocaition® (ADA)
  • American Diabetes Association Research Foundation, Inc. (ADARF)
  • American Diabetes Association Property Title Holding Corp. (ADARTHC)

All three organizations are based out of the same address in Arlington, Virginia but have distinct functions which are briefly described as follows:

  • The ADA is the organization that most people refer to when they are talking about the American Diabetes Association. This organization provides information, delivers services, funds research and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes, according the organization’s website. In 2016, the ADA had 1,502 employees.
  • The ADARF secures major gifts and grants to fund diabetes-related research. The CEO, CFO and the Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the ADA serve in the same roles for the ADARF. The ADARF reports having no employees in 2016.
  • The ADARTHC holds title to property utilized by the ADA and is managed by the CEO and CFO of the ADA. The ADARTHC reports having no employees in 2016.

Both the ADA and the ADARF award grants. Each of the above organization’s files an IRS Form 990 annually and the most recent (2016) reports the following information:

The 1502 employees of the ADA received total compensation of $69.1 million (an average of $46,000 each). 90 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation. The most highly compensated 26 individuals of the ADA received $6.2 million (an average of $240,000 each) and were reported to be:

  • $524,096:  Kevin L Hagan, CEO
  • $470,922:  Robert Ratner, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer (departed employment 12/19/16)
  • $386,446:  Cynthia J Hallberlin, COO
  • $323,721:  Corey Gordon, Chief Development and Stewardship
  • $302,178: Charlotte M Carter, CFO
  • $284,065:  Jane Chiang, SVP, Medical and Community Affairs (departed employment 11/25/16)
  • $277,809:  ER Banfield, SVP, Operations and Integration
  • $269,014:  Kimberly Baich, Chief Marketing and Communications
  • $259,537:  Shereen Arent, Chief Advocacy Officer
  • $231,264:  Tamara Darsow, VP, Research Programs
  • $216,501: Suehilla Glass, SVP, Field Development and Operations
  • $211,827:  Linda Cann, VP Professional Education
  • $209,423:  Christopher Boynton, VP, East Territory
  • $205,069:  Greg Elfers, Chief Field Development Officer (departed employment 8/7/15)*
  • $200,000:  Geraldine W. Brown, Director of Corporate Development (departed employment 10/31/14)*
  • $196,132:  Deborah L Johnson, CFO (departed employment 10/13/15)*
  • $194,594:  Michael Eisenstein, SVP, Products and Publications
  • $193,419:  Michael Chae, Regional Director
  • $187,217:  Dave Becker, VP, Central Territory
  • $185,555:  Suzanne Werdann, VP, Sports and Entertainment
  • $179,032:  Jonathan Webb, VP, Corporate Alliance
  • $178,275:  Elaine Curran, VP, Development
  • $165,226:  Christa Wilson, Interim SVP IT&S and Chief Technical Officer
  • $155,835:  Jeanette Flom, VP, Eastern Division (departed employment 9/16/16)
  • $127,099:  Rodney Sampson, SVP, IT&S and Chief Technical Officer (departed employment 7/22/16)
  • $110,434:  Andrea Maddox, SVP Eastern Key Markets and Program Implementation (departed 11/6/15)*

*These 4 employees were not employed with ADA in 2016 and consequently the compensation reported appears to be severance pay totaling $711,635.

The ADA reported paying for travel for companions . Notes indicate this was for the Chief Executive Officer’s companion.

The ADAARF does not report compensation because the organization does not have employees. Instead, the IRS Form 990 for 2016 reports the ADAARF paid $1.4 million in fees for services described as management.

On Schedule L of the IRS Form 990 (2016) submitted by ADAARF, $4.5 million in grants/assistance were given to “interested persons” – which are people affiliated with the organizations. Specifically, the following 35 grant review committee members received the following research grant awards:

  • $233,920:  Ling Qi at The Regents at the University of Michigan for career development
  • $243,203:  Labros S Sidossis at Rutgers, the State University of NJ for translational science award
  • $200,000:  Howard William Davidson at the University of Colorado for innovative clinical or translational science
  • $199,999:  Muhammad Abdul-Ghani at the UOT Health Science Center for clinical science and epidemiology award
  • $199,856:  John Peter Mordes at the University of Massachusetts for clinical/translation research
  • $197,984:  Christopher G Kevil at Louisiana State U Health Science Center for translation science award
  • $172,500:  Carey Nien-Kai Lumeng at the University of Michigan for career development
  • $172,486:  Janet K Bergeon at the Regents at the University of Colorado for career development
  • $115,000: Reza Abdi at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for basic science
  • $115,000:  Espen Eric Spangenberg at East Carolina University for basic science
  • $115,000:  Xin-Liang Ma at Thomas Jefferson University for basic science
  • $115,000:  Alexander Staruschenko at Medical College of Wisconsin for basic science
  • $115,000:  Qingchung Tong at University of Texas Health Center for basic science
  • $115,000:  Yong Xia at Ohio State University for basic science
  • $115,000:  Yi-Guang Chen at the Medical College of Wisconsin for basic science
  • $115,000:  Richard Glenn Kibbey at Yale University for basic science
  • $115,000:  John Patrick Driver at the University of Florida for basic science
  • $115,000:  Justin L Grobe at the University of Iowa for basic science
  • $115,000:  Kathryn M Haskins at the Regents of the University of Colorado for basic science
  • $115,000:  Chih-Hao Lee at Harvard University for basic science
  • $115,000:  Ji Li at the Research Foundation for SUNY on behalf of University of Buffalo for basic science
  • $115,000:  Yuguang Shi at the Milton S Hershey Medical Center at Penn State for basic science
  • $115,000:  Laura Cristina Alonso at the University of Massachusetts for basic science
  • $115,000:  Jeffrey S Elmendorf at the Trustees of Indiana University for basic science
  • $115,000:  Yingqun Huang at Yale University for basic science
  • $115,000:  Jang H Youn at the University of Southern California for basic science
  • $115,000:  Ji Li at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for innovative basic science
  • $115,000:  Qinglin Yang at the University of Alabama for innovative basic science
  • $115,000:  Darleen A Sandoval at the Regents at the University of Michigan for innovative basic science
  • $115,000:  William Durante at the Curators at the University of Missouri for innovative basic science
  • $115,000:  David Aaron Jacobson at Vanderbilt University for innovative basic science
  • $115,000:  Jonathan S Bogan at the Yale University School of Medicine for innovative basic science
  • $ 50,000:  Anders H Berg at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for innovation
  • $45,000:  Allison B Goldfine at Joslin Diabetes Center, Inc. for mentor-based minority postdoctoral fellowship
  • $45,000:  Holly A Ingraham at the Regents at the U of CA for mentor-based minority postdoctoral fellowship

ADARTHC’s sole purpose is to hold property which means the revenue stream is from rent is then paid to the ADA.

In looking at the prevalence of diabetes in the US population, there are two numbers worth looking at:  the total number of people with diabetes and the percentage of the population that has diabetes. According to the CDC, 1.6 million people or 0.93% of the population had diabetes in 1958.  In 1980, those numbers increased to 5.5 million or 2.5% of the population. By 2000, 12 million Americans or 4.4% of the population had diabetes and by 2010, 21.1 million Americans or 7% of the population had diabetes (primarily Type 2).  The CDC also estimates that 86 million Americans or 1 out of 3 have prediabetes, which can increase the possibility of developing Type 2 diabetes.

For 60 years, the trend has been going in the wrong direction and yet the ADA (which was established in 1940) raises nearly $200 million a year, employs more than 1,500 people, and works to “prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.” The organization does this by education, advocacy, and providing grants for research. So, why are more Americans in both real numbers and as a percentage of the population suffering from diabetes and why isn’t the ADA succeeding in reducing these numbers?

The percentage of the population may be an indicator of why.  What changed over the past 60 years? Primarily lifestyle choices and specifically our diet which has also contributed to the obesity epidemic. The CDC reports that from 1960 – 1994, the percentage of the population that is obese increased from 13% to 23%.  By 2004, 31% of the US population was obese and current estimates are at about 35%.

So, the ADA is obviously focused on diet which leads me to their website where “Recipes for Healthy Living” or “Diabetes-Friendly” recipes are posted on-line. Among these recipes are 51 recipes that include bacon (a meat labeled carcinogenic by the World Health Organization), 511 recipes that include cheese, 195 recipes that include butter, 120 recipes that include beef, 541 recipes that include chicken, 152 recipes that include pork, and 73 recipes that feature eggs. When I searched for “plant-based” recipes on the ADA site, the result was 10 recipes, 4 of which were vegan, and 6 of which included cheese, yogurt, and even turkey or chicken while a search for “vegan” recipes yielded 5 recipes, of which only 2 were vegan. What’s going on?

 If the ADA “envisions a life free of diabetes and all its burdens,” which is fueled by their mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes, then the questions that naturally arise include:
  • Why is the ADA not promoting a whole grain low-fat plant-based diet to prevent and reverse prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes?
  • Why is the ADA promoting recipes that include foods high in fat and particularly saturated fat?
  • Why is the ADA promoting the consumption of foods that have been identified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization?
  • Does the ADA really want to prevent and reverse prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes?
  • And, why is the ADA paying millions and millions of dollars to executives and employees who have not and are not reversing the trend in diabetes in this country?  Could they possibly be focusing their education and advocacy on the wrong lifestyle choices in relation to Type 2 diabetes?

To read the IRS 990’s (2016) for the ADA organization, click here.

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