2017 Health Care Heroes | The Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk, volunteer-group
The Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk keeps its promises.
In 1985, EVMS and community leaders envisioned a local medical center dedicated to diabetes care. At the time, those diagnosed with the illness had to travel out of state for treatment.
The Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk, joined by its sister clubs in the Cosmopolitan Capital Federation, pledged $1 million to help start the project. That endeavor is now known as the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center on Brambleton Avenue in Norfolk.
The center’s international team of clinical providers, scientists and educators has dual goals: find a cure for diabetes and prevent the associated complications of neuropathy and cardiovascular disease through training, research, community education and the development of innovative methods to diagnose and treat the ailment.
Respected for its research and treatment, the center partners with leading academics and organizations from around the world. And it does so with the Cosmopolitan Club’s full support.
As they have for more than three decades, the club continues to subsidize the center’s efforts with proceeds from its annual First Citizen program combined with a variety of regular fundraising activities.
Cosmopolitans supported the 1999 EVMS discovery of INGAP, a key protein involved in the development of diabetes. The club’s labors are remarkable given the organization’s size. There are only 2,000 members worldwide.
Chartered in February 1924, the Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk has both new members and those who have received 50-year pins, club president Peggy Haile McPhillips said. A historian for Norfolk, McPhillips was invited to speak at the group’s regular luncheon program 10 years ago. Drawn to the group’s cause, McPhillips joined and has served two terms as its leader.
In 2014, EVMS selected Cosmopolitan International as its Outstanding Community Organization during the school’s annual donor appreciation event.
“EVMS is indebted to the Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk and Cosmopolitans everywhere for their support of the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center for the last three decades,” said Dr. Richard Holman, president and provost of EVMS and dean of its school of medicine.
Cosmopolitan International held its annual meeting in Norfolk last year, in recognition of the organization’s strong ties to EVMS. Participants from around the world toured the EVMS facilities and met with staff scientists and researchers.
Though the club has also helped other charitable causes – the SPCA, the Food Bank and ForKids among them – the Strelitz center and the eradication of diabetes will always be its primary focus.
“We’re known as the club that fights diabetes,” McPhillips said.
Full article from Virginian-Pilot’s Inside Business: pilotonline.com/inside-business