Apply for grants

Novo Nordisk Foundation awards DKK 835.4 million to strengthen diabetes initiatives in Region Zealand

On 4 September 2018, the Board of Directors of the Novo Nordisk Foundation approved a grant of DKK 835.4 million (€112 million) to Region Zealand to strengthen its initiatives for preventing and treating diabetes. The initiatives include establishing Steno Diabetes Center Zealand in the Region’s four hospital units and in the mental health services.

The Foundation’s grant is based on a detailed project plan for establishing and operating the Center. On 20 August 2018, a broad political majority in the Zealand Regional Council approved the project plan, which was prepared with the involvement of health professionals, hospitals, patients and other sectors in the Region.

The aim of Steno Diabetes Center Zealand is that every person with diabetes in the Region can live longer with a higher quality of life. In addition, the Center will especially focus on minimizing the risk of socially disadvantaged people developing diabetes.

Based on Region Zealand’s decentralized hospital structure, the Center will be established in new and existing buildings at the Region’s four hospital units and in its mental health services. The Center will improve the quality of initiatives for preventing and treating diabetes in collaboration with general practitioners and the municipalities.

Heino Knudsen, Chair of the Zealand Regional Council, says: “Steno Diabetes Center Zealand will be an important boost for people with diabetes in the Region. We are bringing specialized treatment closer to residents – regardless of where they live and who they are. We will therefore treat adults and children as locally as possible – and set up special services for people with mental health problems who have diabetes. We will also participate actively in providing better prevention and more research across all of Denmark.”

Lars Rebien Sørensen, Chairman of the Board, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “The Novo Nordisk Foundation wants to contribute to Denmark being able to offer world-class research-based prevention and treatment of diabetes. The goals are that people with diabetes can live longer and improve their quality of life and that fewer Danes develop diabetes. One focus of Steno Diabetes Center Zealand involves a special initiative targeting vulnerable and disadvantaged families and individuals with the aim of ensuring that everyone in the Region receives the best possible diabetes treatment.”

About 10,000 people are expected to receive treatment at Steno Diabetes Center Zealand each year, but the ambition is that all the approximately 45,000 people with diabetes in the Region will notice an improvement in the quality of diabetes treatment.

The Center will especially focus on inequality in health in relation to diabetes, chronic complications and comorbidity. The Center will include initiatives targeting specific groups such as vulnerable families with children or adolescents who have diabetes; children and adolescents with a high risk of developing diabetes; obese adults; socially disadvantaged adults; ethnic minorities; and people with diabetes and multiple chronic diseases.

The grant to Region Zealand will start on 1 January 2019 and run for 10 years, until the end of 2028, with a possible extension thereafter.

About Steno Diabetes Center Zealand

Steno Diabetes Center Zealand will be established at Region Zealand’s four hospital units and in the mental health services.

The Center will have six core focus areas:

  • strengthening the treatment and prevention of chronic complications;
  • improving comprehensive patient initiatives;
  • minimizing inequality in health in relation to diabetes, chronic complications and comorbidity;
  • strengthening collaboration with mental health services;
  • strengthening research; and
  • improving patient education and the development of competencies among healthcare professionals.

To carry out the development, research and dissemination of knowledge within the initiatives of the Center, each hospital unit will take responsibility for developing a special focus area. The choice of focus areas has been determined based on established competencies: areas in which the respective hospital units already have developed a profile:

  • Nykøbing Falster Hospital: minimizing social inequality in health in relation to diabetes;
  • Zealand University Hospital (Køge and Roskilde): somatic comorbidity and the chronic complications of diabetes;
  • Holbæk Hospital: collaboration with primary healthcare in relation to diabetes; and
  • Næstved, Slagelse and Ringsted Hospitals and mental health services: mental health disorders and diabetes.

Region Zealand will fund all the standard activities in the Center, but the Foundation will fund the supplementary prevention and treatment activities. In addition, the Foundation will contribute to the Center’s other core activities not covered by the existing arrangements: clinical research; educating, training and developing the competencies of health professionals; increasing intersectoral collaboration; and the special focus area of inequality in health related to diabetes. The Foundation will also fund the adaptation of the physical framework of the hospitals in the Region. The renovation of existing infrastructure is expected to be completed in 2020, and an additional new building at Zealand University Hospital in Køge is expected to be ready in 2021.

Better treatment throughout Denmark

The DKK 835.4 million (€112 million) awarded to Region Zealand increases the total Foundation grants for establishing Steno Diabetes Centers in all five administrative regions in Denmark to DKK 7.375 billion (€990 million).

In 2016, the Foundation awarded DKK 2.945 billion (€396 million) for establishing Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen in the Capital Region of Denmark. In 2017, the Foundation awarded DKK 1.4 billion (€188 million) to the Central Denmark Region and DKK 1.4 billion (€188 million) to the Region of Southern Denmark for establishing Steno Diabetes Centers in both Aarhus and Odense and DKK 795 million (€106 million) for establishing a Steno Diabetes Center in the North Denmark Region.

Read more about the Steno Diabetes Centers here.

Further information

Region Zealand: Heino Knudsen, Chair, Zealand Regional Council, phone +45 5114 5496, or press office, phone +45 5787 5052

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]