The Cosmopolitan International Diabetes 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, and 3) to conduct basic and clinical research.

The center represents a strong alliance between the MU School of Medicine and the private sector, and its medical team members work with referring physicians to provide the best treatment possible to patients and many have focused their expertise to treat the neurologic, ophthalmologic and cardiovascular complications of diabetes.

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The center opened its doors 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 1970s, the Cosmopolitans, a private, philanthropic organization with 3,500 members worldwide, decided to make a campaign against diabetes mellitus their primary challenge. The group realized that its 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.

In June, 1999, Thomas W. Burns, MD, MACP, was recognized by the American Diabetes Association for his outstanding contributions to the field of diabetes.


Fundraising efforts continue to support the center’s work. The Cosmopolitans continue to be generous with their support of the Diabetes Center through funding of special projects. Many gifts are donated in memory of diabetes patients to help further the work done in the fight against the disease.

If you are interested in donating to the center, you may email, call 573-882-3818, or write the Cosmopolitan International Diabetes Center, 3315 Berrywood Dr., Suite 201, Columbia, MO 65201.