Canadian Diabetes Association announces the appointment of new President and CEO

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Canadian Diabetes Association announces the appointment of new President and CEO

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:04 pm

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Rick Blickstead as President and CEO, effective October 1, 2013.

Mr. Blickstead will be responsible for overseeing the CDA's mission to lead the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure.

Mr. Blickstead joins the CDA after almost 11 years as CEO of the Wellesley Institute, a Toronto-based population health research and policy institute. He has experience working with multiple stakeholders in this role and previously in executive leadership roles with Peoples Jewellers, Wal-Mart, Dylex, Holt Renfrew and RONA. He has a diverse background in strategic leadership, organizational and board governance, and operational excellence. Mr. Blickstead is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, a Fellow of the Social Innovation Generation at MaRS and has been the operational team leader for Seeing is Believing, an initiative of the Prince's Trust (UK) and Prince's Charities Canada. He has an MBA from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto and has completed the non-profit leadership certificate joint program at the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government. He is also a member of several boards, including the Toronto Central LHIN, Young Presidents/World Presidents Organization, and Toronto Region Board of Trade's Policy and Advocacy Committee.

"Rick is an accomplished leader and strategic health care thinker who is passionate about our mission and commitment to help people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure," says Ms. Suzanne Deuel, Interim Chair of the Canadian Diabetes Association Board of Directors. "He brings a wealth of knowledge, education and experience to our organization and the people we serve."

"I see this as an exciting and pivotal time to join the Canadian Diabetes Association," says Mr. Blickstead. "Today, one in four Canadians is living with diabetes or prediabetes and that number is projected to rise to an alarming one in three by 2020. Together, with the commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers and through the unwavering support of our funding and program partners, we will work hard and work quickly to improve the lives of the people we serve and are about to serve. This is the commitment we make to all people in Canada affected by diabetes today and the growing population of tomorrow."

The Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank Mr. Doug Macnamara for his considerable contributions as Interim President and CEO of the CDA from February 2013 to October 2013. In that role he provided strong team leadership and management expertise to ensure the CDA maintained momentum while the search for a permanent leader was underway. Mr. Macnamara invested a tremendous amount of time and energy during this period and his efforts have made a lasting and positive contribution.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

SOURCE: Canadian Diabetes Association
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Canadian doctors leading the way in islet cell transplants for diabetic patients

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:18 pm

Canadian doctors leading the way in islet cell transplants for diabetic patients.
Doctors in Canada are helping eliminate daily insulin injections for patients with type 1 diabetes by carrying out islet cell transplants.
The groundbreaking work is also being conducted at record speed, with 66 islet transplants performed by physicians at the University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, in 2012. Of those, 61 were for diabetic patients – almost double the figure for 2011 and 10 times more than any other facility in the world.
"This is a world record and we're very proud of it," said Dr. James Shapiro, director of the Clinical Islet Transplant Program. "Every other program in the world is around five or six transplants, so we're incredibly proud of what's been achieved."
The procedure, dubbed the 'Edmonton Protocol,' involves isolating islet cells, which are comprised of insulin-producing beta cells, from a healthy donor pancreas and transplanting them into a patient with severe type 1 diabetes – a disease which destroys the body’s supply of beta cells.
Once transplanted, the healthy islets begin to produce insulin, which either eliminates or reduces the patient's dependency on insulin injections or other forms of insulin therapy for keeping blood sugar levels under control.
The procedure only takes about 20 minutes and has been carried out on around 400 type 1 diabetic patients in Edmonton since 2000, which according to officials represents about one-third of all islet transplants performed worldwide.
Patients who have received islet transplantation say they now live fuller, freer lives, with 60% now becoming insulin injection-free, compared to just 10% in 2000.
"Nobody anticipated that it was going to be so successful," said Shapiro, adding that last year’s rise in transplant procedures was due to improvements made in isolating islet cells.
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Diabetes in Canada: children, youth and First Nations

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:22 pm

Diabetes in Canada: children, youth and First Nations

Editor’s note: this article is the second in a series of three about diabetes in Canada.

Some two million Canadians live with diabetes . This week we look at the prevalence of diabetes in children and youth, and among First Nations. Next week we wrap up with a look at how to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Children with diabetes face most of the same challenges as their adult counterparts, but they must manage the disease and its risks over their entire lives.

The main form of diabetes among children and youth is type 1 which is characterized by the presence of autoimmunity against insulin producing cells. However, type 2 diabetes, historically viewed as an adult disease, has been on the rise globally in children and youth for the last twenty years. It is estimated that 90 per cent of cases in this group were type 1 diabetes. As rates of obesity increase, type 2 diabetes also increases, typically between the ages of 10 and 19 years.

The risk factors for type 2 diabetes among children and youth are much the same as for adults. Obesity is a key factor: in the last 25 years, rates of obesity in children and youth have been increasing rapidly throughout the world. The emergence of type 2 diabetes in children and youth has occurred concurrently with the rise in rates of childhood obesity. Family history is also a factor as children and youth with a family history of type 2 diabetes show reductions in insulin sensitivity at a younger age than children with no family history.

Children from some ethnic groups (First Nations, African/Caribbean, Hispanic, and South Asian) are also at higher risk of earlier onset of type 2 diabetes. Three quarters of Canadian children with type 2 diabetes belong to a high-risk ethnic group.

And a unique risk factor is the onset of puberty as young people aged 13 to 17 going through puberty appear to be more vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes.

Canada’s aboriginal populations are over-represented among people with diabetes. Prior to 1940 diabetes was rare among Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) in North America but rates increased rapidly after 1950 and are now at epidemic levels for some communities. Not only are there more cases of diabetes including among children and youth, but the earlier age of onset and high rates of complications amplify the problem.

The most recent national data show that the highest rate of diagnosis is among First Nations individuals living on-reserve. After adjusting for difference in age structure, the prevalence of diabetes was 17.2 per cent among First Nations individuals living on reserve, 10.3 per cent among First Nations individuals living off-reserve, and 7.3 per cent among Métis. Among non-Aboriginal Canadians, the prevalence is five per cent.

As with other Canadians, lifestyle factors such as diet, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, and smoking are all key risk factors for type 2 diabetes in First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations.

However we define the group facing diabetes, the impacts of both type 1 and type 2 go far beyond the management of the disease itself. Complications may lead to disability or lower quality of life. In our next article, we discuss strategies for reducing the risks of type 2 diabetes.

Editor’s note: Dr. Paul Martiquet is the medical health officer for rural Vancouver Coastal Health including Powell River, the Sunshine Coast, Sea-to-Sky, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
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