Southwestern Diabetic Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was founded in 1947 with the sole purpose of operating a residential summer camp for children with Type 1 diabetes. Since 1950 Camp Sweeney has provided a positive turning point in the lives of more than 30,000 children.
After more than 60 years of operation, Camp Sweeney is regarded as one of the largest and most effective diabetes educational facilities in the world. Located north of Dallas, Camp Sweeney offers the only 3-week lifestyle change program in the United States and serves approximately 1,000 children ages 5-18 each summer. Camp Sweeney's goal is to educate and encourage diabetes management, fostering self-confidence and self-esteem in these children while creating an environment where they develop life-long friendships.
Camp Sweeney staff members are the foundation of our program’s success. Our staff is comprised of approximately 70 undergraduate students and 20 medical students from across the nation. Our Camp Director, Dr. Ernie Fernandez, is a practicing pediatrician and endocrinologist in Dallas and has dedicated his time and resources to Camp Sweeney for over 30 years.
Camp Sweeney counselors are trained to master the tools of diabetes care and management, including administration of blood tests and insulin injections. Counselors gain valuable hands-on experience working both autonomously and with a supportive team and, most importantly, make a difference in the lives of children with a life-long medical condition.