The Steno Diabetes Center was founded in 1932. It has since been a leading player in the struggle against diabetes through clinical care and development, and wide research activities. During the 1980s, the paternalistic model of care was shown to be inadequate to cover the demands of people with diabetes. The need for coaching, learning and education became clear. A team approach was gradually developed, involving nurses, dietitians and foot specialists, as well as physicians.