Jeff Robbins

One Hospital Drive

Columbia, MO  65212

B. 573.882.2273

Former Center Director Dr. Tom Sowers (left) with Founding Director Dr. Tom Burns (right) and his wife Joan
Program Overview
The Columbia Diabetes Center opened the door to its first patient in 1984. The founder and longtime director of the center, Dr. Thomas Burns, gives credit to the Cosmopolitan International organization and to University of Missouri officials for having the foresight 20 years ago to form a partnership in order to achieve the goal of opening a diabetes center.
Back in the 1970's, Cosmopolitan International decided to direct their efforts toward defeating diabetes mellitus through early detection, patient education, and research for a cure. Members realized that their efforts might be more effective if it focused on the single project of establishing a diabetes center at the University of Missouri.

In 1976, Dr. Thomas Burns accepted the directorship of the center. He worked tirelessly with the Cosmopolitans and MU officials, who agreed that the former would raise funds for the construction of a facility, while the latter would provide funding for operating expenses.

The Cosmopolitans raised more than $1 million for the building and equipping of the center.

The center has vigorously pursued its three objectives:

1) to provide state-of-the-art care to a large population of people with diabetes.

2) to educate patients and health care professionals about the disease.

3) to conduct basic and clinical research.

Cosmopolitan International and the University of Missouri have continued to support the center's efforts, and have been awarded certification as a "Recognized Diabetes Education Program" by the American Diabetes Association.