November 14, 2023

Sun Life surpasses $50 million in the fight against diabetes

Sun Life partners with University Health Network and SickKids Foundation on multi-year commitments

Sun Life logo (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Inc.)

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2023 /CNW/ - Today, Sun Life surpassed more than $50 million committed since 2012 to the fight against diabetes globally through strategic partnerships with organizations supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. This milestone was reached with two renewed diabetes partnerships with University Health Network (UHN) and SickKids Foundation, whose impact will help create healthier lives for years to come.

"With diabetes and pre-diabetes rates rising globally, supporting the evolving health needs of individuals and communities is more important than ever," said Dave Jones, President, Sun Life Health. "Sun Life's innovative partnerships are helping to bridge the gap between access and support to create positive health outcomes. We're thrilled to reach this exciting milestone which shows our commitment to helping people live healthier lives."

University Health Network

In partnership with UHN's Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab), Sun Life is committing $750,000 over three years to further invest in Sun Life Diabetes College resources and the myDiabetes program. Sun Life launched its partnership with Toronto Rehab in 2015 with a $1 million commitment over five years to create the Sun Life Diabetes College, and renewed its partnership in 2020 with an additional $600,000 commitment over three years.

This new investment will help develop culturally appropriate diabetes prevention resources for Indigenous and Black communities along with tailoring structured myDiabetes content to the unique needs of young adults living with diabetes and pre-diabetes. This support is expected to help 2,800 people over the course of the renewed partnership.

"We are so grateful for Sun Life's renewed partnership to help UHN expand critical diabetes resources," says Dr. Paul Oh, Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program at UHN. "Their support will enable us to bring tailored diabetes education and rehabilitation programming to some of our most at-risk populations, communicated in a way that is meaningful and accessible to them."

To date, the Sun Life Diabetes College resources have been accessed by more than 220,000 users since 2015. And, in a recent study of the myDiabetes program, participants reported a 25 per cent increase in their daily physical activity levels and a 10 per cent average decrease in their blood sugar levels.

To learn more about the Sun Life Diabetes College and myDiabetes program at University Health Network, go here.

SickKids Foundation

In partnership with the SickKids Foundation, Sun Life is committing $700,000 over three years to help create the BALANCE program, a type-2 diabetes prevention and pediatric weight management initiative using a 12-week group-based mental health framework to teach youth how to adopt and sustain healthy behaviour change.

This new investment will help support the cost of program development and implementation in year one, followed by scaling the BALANCE program to 10 partner organizations across Ontario in year two and three. Sun Life's funding is expected to support the delivery of the BALANCE program to 1,000 youth from 10 communities across Ontario during the partnership.

"SickKids Foundation is proud to partner with Sun Life on bringing the innovative BALANCE program to life that aims to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in vulnerable youth and children through healthy habit building and mental health resilience," says Stefanie McPherson, Interim Vice President, Corporate and Community Partnerships at SickKids Foundation. "With Sun Life's dedication and generous support of our programs and services, we can continue our fight to make every kid a healthy kid."

To learn more about the SickKids Foundation, go here.

Investing in diabetes prevention and care to help people live healthier lives

Sun Life's philanthropic investments reflects its commitment to helping people live healthier lives. In effort to make a real difference in the communities it serves, Sun Life is using its resources—including its people and expertise—to make a positive impact in its fight against diabetes globally. Learn more about Sun Life's recent philanthropic partnerships focused on diabetes prevention and promoting youth physical activity.


United States


Supporting the needs and well-being of vulnerable populations is key to a healthy and sustainable future. See how Sun Life is creating impact in the community at

Sun Life in the community 

Sun Life is sustainability-driven, focusing on areas where it can have the greatest impact. By actively supporting the communities in which Sun Life lives and works, the organization can help build a positive environment for Clients, employees, advisors, and shareholders. Physical health and mental health are at the centre of our philanthropic support, with a focus on supporting programs and organizations that strive to empower people to live their healthiest lives no matter where they are in their journey. Sun Life employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering and giving back to make life brighter for individuals and families around the world. 

Learn more about Sun Life in the community

About University Health Network

University Health Network (UHN) currently consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehab, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN.

Ranked among the top five hospitals in the world, the scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. UHN also has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. UHN is the only hospital in Canada with its own dedicated academic institution dedicated exclusively to applied health sciences education. UHN is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. 

About SickKids Foundation:

Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids – one of the world's foremost paediatric health-care institutions. Thanks to the generosity of the community, SickKids Foundation generated more than $205 million in revenue in support of children's health for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. Precision health for every child is the future. At SickKids, it's already begun. Join us at

Media Relations Contacts:

Sun Life 

Kevin Koudys

Manager, Corporate Communications

M: 416-574-2670


UHN Foundation

Jennifer Di Santo

Director, Brand Marketing

M: 437-230-8391 


SickKids Foundation

Tania Kwong

Associate Director, Public Relations

M: 416-801-5525


SOURCE Sun Life Financial Inc.