Dr. Edward Hertko founded Camp Hertko Hollow 39 years ago. It is Iowa’s camp for children with diabetes. He also helped found the Iowa Diabetes Association in the early 1960s, which later became affiliated with the American Diabetes Association in 1975. Dr. Hertko has met a community need and created a solution by tirelessly, endlessly, effortlessly and with great compassion, self-effort and volunteerism to promote, sustain and continue his camp for Iowa’s children afflicted with diabetes. Dr. Hertko, a retired diabetes internist with Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, still serves actively on many diabetes state agencies and medical advisory boards.
Camp Hertko Hollow was established to help educate Iowa children living with Type 1 diabetes how to better manage and control their disease in order to live healthy, long lives until a cure for their illness can be found. Dr. Hertko’s unselfish and true compassion to teach these youth better diabetes management skills, with the help of many qualified individuals who’ve volunteered their time at camp over the years, to help eliminate the long term devastating effects of diabetes complications is highly commendable. His sincere dedication to help these kids live better lives as they struggle and sufferer with insulin dependent Type 1 diabetes is respectable and honorable.
Camp Hertko Hollow is not affiliated with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) or American Diabetes Association (ADA). The money raised for camper ships/sponsorships for diabetic children to attend the summer camp is done solely by their fundraising efforts. They are a 501©3 designated nonprofit corporation.
This summer 337 children with diabetes from Iowa between the ages of 6 and 18 attended the two one-week long sessions. The camp staff consisted of 10 physicians, 17 nurses, 3 dieticians, 3 pharmacists, 8 pharmacy students, several dietetic interns and nursing students from state universities and colleges across Iowa. All of the staff, many of whom are diabetic themselves, volunteer their time for one to two weeks to be at the camp helping to educate the youth in developing better diabetes management skills; but the kids have fun, too! There are additional camp activities planned for their stays.
Many of the volunteers working for or involved with Camp Hertko Hollow are parents, relatives or concerned individuals of diabetic children. They know firsthand the importance and struggles kids with diabetes and their families go through trying to manage and control the disease. By establishing Camp Hertko Hollow, Dr. Hertko has created an environment and camp that enables all people affected by diabetes an opportunity to learn new behavioral, medical, and environmental advances and skills to combat, control and manage their illness effectively and safely.