MedicAlert Milestones

From the very beginning, MedicAlert set out to do one thing – save lives. We’re proud that over the last 65 years we’ve saved 4 million lives (and counting!). We’ve accomplished a lot since 1956.

1950s: A Simple Idea

After his daughter Linda suffers a near-fatal allergic reaction, Dr. Marion Collins has the idea for a medical alert system.

Dr. Collins and his wife Chrissie create the 1st MedicAlert ID bracelet.

1956 – MedicAlert Foundation is incorporated as a non-profit foundation in Turlock, CA.

1960s: Awareness Grows

MedicAlert establishes a 24 hour emergency phone service for members and first responders.

Dr. Collins undertakes a campaign – at his own expense – to promote global recognition of the MedicAlert symbol.

International development flourishes with affiliates in Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland & West Africa.

MedicAlert Foundation begins collaboration with the American Medical Association.

MedicAlert grows to over 20k members.

1970s: Automation Age

MedicAlert introduces a computerized database to automate storage and retrieval of member health information.

Founder Dr. Collins dies; Chrissie & Linda Collins carry on the Foundation’s work.

American Hospital Association endorses MedicAlert Foundation.

MedicAlert grows to over a million members.

1980s: Partnerships & Celebrity PSAs

Partnerships with MetLife Insurance, John Hancock Insurance and American Diabetes Association increase MedicAlert’s recognition and membership.

Celebrities such as Cher, Ed Asner, Donny and Marie Osmond, Tony Randall, Chris Evert, James Earl Jones, and Susan Anton help spread the MedicAlert message.

MedicAlert is featured on TV shows CHiPs, Columbo, Good Morning America & Today.

MedicAlert introduces the first designer sterling silver and 14K gold emblems.

1990s: Recognition & Innovation

For MedicAlert Foundation’s pioneering work in public health, Chrissie Collins receives the highest honor ever awarded a non-physician from the American Medical Association – the Citation of Distinguished Service.

August is proclaimed as National MedicAlert Awareness Month by the Governor of California.

MedicAlert acquires a state-of-the-art laser engraver that processes 42 emblems in just 15 minutes.

The first MedicAlert Foundation website is launched.

2000s: Living the Legacy

Linda Collins, the first MedicAlert member and longtime champion, passes away. The organization carries on under professional leadership.

New website allows members to enroll and update their health information online.

MedicAlert pioneers an initiative to include end of life directives in members’ health records.

TODAY: Protecting & Saving Lives

4 million lives saved – and counting!

MedicAlert Foundation serves millions in the U.S and through affiliates in 11 countries around the world.

MedicAlert partners with Alzheimer’s Association to address the safety issue of wandering in the dementia community. MedicAlert launches Wandering Support® services, which improve outcomes for those at risk of wandering.

New and innovative partnerships with RapidSOS and RapidDeploy will make member information available to 911 operators, so that first responders are better prepared when they arrive on scene.

MedicAlert introduces QR-code enabled medical IDs, making members’ MedicAlert health records portable and instantly accessible..