Diabetes Action Canada in Action at the Diabetes Canada Professional Conference

Diabetes Action Canada kicked off the Diabetes Canada Conference in Edmonton, Alberta by hosting one of the pre-conference patient-oriented research training sessions. Twenty-six people participated in the training, with the vast majority being trainees and early career investigators and some established investigators, including Dr. Ron Sigal, Professor in Community and Health Sciences at the University of Calgary.  Overall, the feedback was positive about patients and researchers having meaningful interactions and developing a mutual understanding about the importance of involving patients in developing and implementing research plans.  On the next day, our Training and Mentorship Goal Group hosted another Trainee-Focused event with Diabetes Action Canada investigators presenting their patient-oriented research to the trainees. Those involved included Dr. André Carpentier (Training and Mentoring Goal Group), Dr. Jon McGavock (Indigenous Peoples Health Goal Group), and Dr. Amy Hoang-Kim (Women’s XChange, Sex and Gender Goal Group). There were approximately 21 participants, mostly trainees, with a guest appearance by Jovita Sundaramoorthy, Vice President, Research and Education and Jan Hux, Chief Science Officer of Diabetes Canada. This session was very well received with positive feedback lauding the patient interaction and grant writing sessions.

On the last day of the Diabetes Canada Professional Conference, Diabetes Action Canada was proud to host an Indigenous Interests session entitled “Integrated Care Models – Balancing Western and Indigenous Approached to Wellness for Persons Living with Diabetes”.  Presenters included the following:  Ameila Tekwatonti McGregor, Elder and Community Advisor on the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project (KSDPP), Roslynn Baird and Amanda Lipinski form the Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle and Melissa Stevenson and John Laforme from Anishnawbe Health Toronto. They detailed the journeys of these Indigenous organizations and their personal experience as they have engaged their communities. These groups share a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples’ spirit, mind, body and emotion by providing traditional healing within an integrated health-care model. Their approaches have been well adopted within their communities because they are rooted in relationships and understanding of Indigenous principles and beliefs.  A special thank-you to Dr. Jon McGavock and Pusha Sadi for coordinating and moderating this event.

Our Health Informatics team was also very active at the conference with Helena Medeiros presenting a poster on the proof of concept diabetes data repository and Shivani Goyal presenting a poster on the bant diabetes self-management mobile application.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of Dr. Bruce Perkins, our Clinical Trials and New Therapies Goal Group co-lead, who co-chaired the Diabetes Canada Conference.  We are looking forward to our continued involvement in next year’s event in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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