A Celebration of Excellence: 70-Year Diabetes Veteran to Keynote JDRF Summit


Dr. Fred W. Whitehouse, a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, was part of the early planning committees for the TypeOneNation Summit (then known as the Diabetes Today and Tomorrow Conference and Exhibits), the nation’s largest of its kind diabetes conference, led by JDRF.

For the 8th Annual TypeOneNation Summit, he will take attendees on a seven-decade personal tour of diabetes through his own experiences during his 8:30 a.m. keynote speech – A Celebration of Excellence: Seven Decades of Dedication to Type 1 Diabetes. From his early experiences at the illustrious Joslin Center to his involvement in one of the most important clinical trials of the 1980s, which led to today’s understanding of diabetes management to prevent complications, Dr. Whitehouse will illuminate the arc of his career and its place in the understanding of diabetes today.

Dr. Whitehouse’s first experience with type one diabetes was in 1938, at age 12, when his brother was diagnosed. Dr. Whitehouse became significantly involved in his brother’s care, giving shots, boiling needles and syringes and testing urine for sugar with his chemistry set. He even carried snacks in his pockets, just in case his brother’s sugar levels dipped.

His experience manifested into a major interest in caring for those affected by diabetes (though his trajectory was briefly diverted by roles in obstetrics and the United States Navy). Dr. Whitehouse studied with the most well-known and respected physicians of the Joslin Clinic for more than a year in the early 1950s, leaving for Henry Ford Hospital in 1955. Beginning in 1962, he would spend the next 30 plus years as the chief of the Metabolism and Diabetes, regarded as a national leader in the field of diabetes.

In the 1980s, Dr. Whitehouse was one of the initial endocrinologists who participated in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. The DCCT established the data for the necessity of carefully managing diabetes to delay or prevent complications and established the hemoglobin A1c as one of the standard gauges for that management.

Not only has Dr. Whitehouse been instrumental in advancements in diabetes care, his service and volunteerism have been instrumental in JDRF’s ability to educate others about diabetes maintenance, care and prevention. To hear Dr. Whitehouse’s own words, register for the 8th Annual TypeOneNation Summit on May 9, 2015.


(And, to read more about Dr. Whitehouse, visit Diabetes Mine for a detailed bio sketch of his career, available here.)