Joslin Diabetes Center Medalist Program | Longevity Awards for People with Type 1 Diabetes


Joslin's Medal Program recognizes individuals who have lived with insulin-dependent diabetes for 25, 50, and 75 years with special awards to commemorate their dedication to lifelong diabetes management.

History of the Program
Joslin first began awarding medals to people with diabetes in 1948 with a 25-year Victory Medal. Believing that proper self-management was the key to minimizing long-term complications, the program was the vision of Elliott P. Joslin, M.D. and served as an incentive for those committed to good, though challenging, diabetes care. In the early 1950s the name was changed to the Blue Ribbon, and as more and more people lived long healthy lives with diabetes it finally became the 25-year Certificate that is awarded today. In 1970 Joslin expanded the program and began awarding a 50-year bronze medal. And Joslin presented the first 75-year medal in 1996.

Awards to Date
Since 1970, Joslin Diabetes Center has presented more than 2,200 50-year medals. Joslin has also awarded 16 distinctive 75-year medals from 1996 to present. To date more than 500 people have received certificates recognizing 25 years with diabetes.

The medalist program is far-reaching, and Joslin has awarded medals across the country and around the world.

Application Guidelines
Have you or a loved one lived with insulin-dependent diabetes for 25, 50, or 75 years or more? If so, Joslin would like to recognize this achievement. This program is open to everyone. You do not have to be a Joslin patient in order to participate. There are no physical restrictions for these awards, however some form of documentation is required. Records of the date of diagnosis with diabetes and the date of beginning insulin treatment are most helpful. Click here for a printable Application Packet.

For additional information, please contact:
Siri Nanneman
One Joslin Place, Suite 745
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 732-2412

Already a Medalist?

Medalist Stories

Do you want to share your story? Please send a photo of yourself with your medal, and up to 300 words describing your life with diabetes to Siri Nanneman at Please include "My medalist story" in the subject line. Some stories may be selected for future publication on the Joslin and dLife websites. Please include your full name and address so that we may send you a photograph release form.

Click here to read about Sandy Asherman, a 50-year medalist.
Click here to read about Lynn Wickwire, another 50-year medalist leading a full, happy, and active life.

50-Year Medalist Study
Joslin's 50-year medalists are invited to participate in a special study, examining outcomes of long-term diabetes. The study attempts to understand what factors contribute to the longevity of individuals who have received this honor. Currently, over four hundred medalists are interested in participating in the study. To date, over 300 of these have completed an extensive questionnaire about their life with diabetes. Data from this questionnaire suggests that the risk of kidney, eye, and nerve problems is different after 50 years with type 1 diabetes than the risk among all individuals with the disease.

A second study is currently being undertaken, which examines factors in the blood and DNA that may help in modifying the risk for complications and survival. Participation in this study is open to all individuals residing in the United States who have received the Joslin 50-year medal. In coming months, updates for this study and findings from the previous study will be posted on a separate web site. For further information on participating in this study, please e-mail

To make a donation supporting the medalist study, click here.


Last Modified Date: May 20, 2013

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