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Hoag Receives $3 Million Gift from the Iacocca Family Foundation to Expand Type 1 Diabetes Program

Categories: Press Room

NEWPORT BEACH, CA. July 26, 2021 – Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian today announced a $3 million gift from the Iacocca Family Foundation that will expand and enhance a program for type 1 diabetes at the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center. In appreciation of the generous gift, Hoag is naming the Mary & Lee Iacocca Program in Type 1 Diabetes to honor the Iacocca Family Foundation’s mission to fund innovative and promising diabetes research that will lead to a cure for the disease and alleviate its complications.

Lee Iacocca established the Iacocca Family Foundation in 1984 in honor of his late wife, Mary K. Iacocca, who died from complications of type 1 diabetes. Since its inception, the Iacocca Family Foundation has funded more than $40 million in promising research projects. Lee Iacocca was president of the Ford Motor Company, where he was credited with being the “father of the mustang” in the 1960s. He then became chairman and CEO of the Chrysler Corporation and was responsible for the company’s turnaround in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He passed away in 2019.

“We could not be more grateful to the Iacocca Family Foundation for supporting Hoag’s role in becoming the preeminent, trusted destination for comprehensive type 1 diabetes care in Orange County,” said Flynn A. Andrizzi, PhD, president of the Hoag Hospital Foundation. “This gift facilitates research and educational programs to expand our knowledge of diabetes prevention and management and will help provide truly comprehensive, connected and customized care for the lives of people living with diabetes and their families.”

Hoag’s Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center ranks nationally for all types of diabetes and endocrinology care. The Center offers traditional clinical services, dietitians, nurse educators, health coaches, support groups, pump trainings and a specialized pharmacist—as well as access to cutting-edge technology through clinical trials.

Through the Mary & Lee Iacocca Program, patients with type 1 diabetes have an Orange County hub for patient-centered care across their entire lifespan. From supporting pediatric patients and their families, to successfully transitioning adolescents into young adulthood, to navigating healthy pregnancies and to reducing long-term complications in older populations, the program provides care that is tailored to an individual’s personality, cultural upbringing and values.

Lee and Mary Iacocca’s daughters, Lia Assad and Kate Hentz, are proud to be carrying on their parents’ legacy by establishing this program on the West Coast on behalf of the Iacocca Family Foundation. “Until we find a cure, it feels right to help people with diabetes through a program that has an immediate impact on their day-to-day lives,” said Kate. Lia, an Orange County resident, echoed her sister’s sentiments: “It’s important to me that families right here in our community have the resources and support they need.”

“Thanks to philanthropic support, we’re able to provide patients with access to specialized and comprehensive care under one roof, including tailored clinical care, emotional support, education and social connections,” said David Ahn, M.D., program director and the Dr. Kris V. Iyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Care at the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center. “As a condition without a cure, T1D requires nonstop attention to navigate its highs and lows. It can be isolating and burdensome, leaving people feeling helpless and demoralized. Our patient-centered approach empowers and allows people with diabetes to live their lives to the fullest.”

About Hoag Hospital Foundation

Thanks in large part to philanthropy, Hoag has become one of the nation’s finest health care systems, serving a diverse and growing population. Hoag Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Hoag, is an integral partner in Hoag’s vision to become a trusted and nationally recognized health care leader. Through the generosity of a dedicated community of supporters, the Hoag Hospital Foundation completed Hoag Promise, Our Campaign to Lead, Innovate & Transform in 2020. The Campaign far surpassed its goal of $627 million, driving Hoag’s continued clinical leadership, innovative spirit and transformative potential. For more information about opportunities to support Hoag, please visit hoaghospitalfoundation.org.


Hoag is a nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 30,000 inpatients and 480,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals—Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which opened in 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010—in addition to nine health centers and 14 urgent care centers. Hoag has invested $261 million in programs and services to support the underserved community within the past five years, including areas like mental health, homelessness, transportation for seniors, education and support for single mothers. Hoag is a designated Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, women’s health and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute, which consists of an orthopedic hospital and two ambulatory surgical centers. In the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings, Hoag is the highest ranked hospital in Orange County and the only OC hospital ranked in the top 10 in California. For an unprecedented 23 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.


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