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Catherine Z Paessun has joined The Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) as Director. She replaces Laura Moskow Sigal, who served an 11-month tenure as Interim Executive Director.  

Paessun has been the Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Central Ohio Chapter, for the past six years.  JDRF’s primary focus is to fund research designed to cure, treat and prevent type 1diabetes.  

Cathy was responsible for directing 26 counties in raising funds for research by growing the awareness of type 1 diabetes through annual events and other outreach efforts. 

Prior to JDRF, Paessun served for three years as Executive Director or the Central Ohio Chapter of The March of Dimes.  Cathy was also an executive with JP Morgan Chase, and operated her own consulting firm. 

Paessun has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from The Ohio State University and a Master’s Degree in Human Services Management from Franklin University.

Catherine volunteers as the Board President of Reins of Freedom, resides in Columbus, Ohio and is a yoga instructor.

For over 52 years, The Central Ohio Diabetes Association has helped Central Ohioans with diabetes to detect their condition, prevent onset and complications, and learn to live well with the challenge of diabetes.  CODA also operates youth camps for children with Diabetes, so they can learn how to better manage their diabetes and meet others with diabetes.

In early 2017, CODA merged into LifeCare Alliance, the Central Ohio not-for-profit leader in services for seniors and medically challenged.


At Camp Hamwi, a child might give himself an insulin shot or check his own blood sugar for the first time. Camp Hamwi is a place filled with firsts.  Most important, it's the first time some kids learn they are not alone in managing their diabetes. 

This summer, Central Ohio children will experience Camp Hamwi hosted by the Central Ohio Diabetes Association for the 50th consecutive year. 

The camp was originally named Camp Spill-A-Little, for its use of the glucose urine test, 50 years ago, which measures the amount of sugar (glucose) in a urine sample. During the first year, a volunteer staff hosted 35 campers for one week. 

“When camp started there was no such thing as blood glucose monitoring. We’ve grown from a week of volunteers to serving more than 200 kids and utilizing the newest and best technology so help these kids stay as health as possible.” explained Social Services Director, Darlene Honigford. 

Shortly thereafter, the camp was renamed after one of its founders, Dr. George Hamwi and has provided the overnight camp experience to over 8,600 children with diabetes.
Held outside Danville, Ohio, Camp Hamwi offers youth 7-17, a combination of traditional camping activities and diabetes education.  

Campers enjoy horseback riding, swimming, archery, canoeing, crafts and other fun activities while learning diabetes self-management skills.  Diabetes monitoring is important because, without proper care, diabetes can lead to serious health complications.  
This year, Camp Hamwi sessions begin with Senior Challenge for teen-agers, 13 to 17-years-old, July 23 to July 29.  The Junior Challenge week welcomes 7 to 12 year olds, to attend Camp Hamwi from July 30 to August 5. The cost to attend is $550 per camper.  Scholarships are available. The registration deadline is July 1.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Camp Hamwi, CODA will  present Under the Stars, a benefit fundraiser on June 24. Event attendees will be hosted by the Women’s Board of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association at a private residence in Upper Arlington. 

The evening will consist of dinner, live and silent auctions, raffle and music as we celebrate this incredible milestone. This event will help ensure every child, regardless of their families’ financial circumstances, has a great camp experience.

The Central Ohio Diabetes Association, an agency of LifeCare Alliance is a non-profit organization providing services to Central Ohioans with diabetes regardless of their ability to pay. 

 For more information call 614-884-4400 or 1-800-422-7946 and visit www.diabetesohio.org to get the whole story on Camp Hamwi.