Professional Members
September 18, 2017 By Donna Lillie
Bringing Canada’s diabetes community together

Twenty years ago, the Canadian Diabetes Association’s (now Diabetes Canada’s) diabetes health-care community – through their two professional sections, Diabetes Educators Section and the Clinical and Scientific Section – decided to bring the diabetes community together to learn, connect, advance knowledge and discovery, and showcase the people with diabetes.

The Diabetes Educators Section had for many years recognized the importance of meeting on an annual basis to share strategies to help their patients while learning the latest care and management practices. Clinicians and researchers met on an annual basis through Royal College Meetings, but for major updates and networking within the diabetes community, they would typically attend meetings outside of Canada.

Canada has tremendous strength within the diabetes community, both nationally and internationally. Showcasing the talent of our Canadian experts and exposing our up-and-coming experts to a network of learning and support within Canada was a tremendous opportunity. Once the organization started our joint conference the support from the full diabetes community from bench to bedside was overwhelming.

The Professional Conference showcased the full Canadian diabetes community working together in the best interest of individuals with diabetes. The program attracted international speakers while highlighting Canadian experts and ensured programming that met the needs of all participants. Presentations allowed individuals and teams to highlight their work and share new ideas and information. The concept of knowledge translation/dissemination was in place well in advance of this becoming a research and information requirement.

The Professional Conference became the vehicle to announce the results of major clinical trials and the importance of ground-breaking work to both the Canadian and international communities. In addition, the Conference was a launching pad for Diabetes Canada’s Clinical Practice Guidelines. The entire organization felt pride and involvement.

The mutual respect and support of the varying players within the diabetes community was never more prominent than within this environment. Diabetes health-care providers came together to plan and support all requirements to ensure a leading-edge Conference program reflective of the needs of participants. The local diabetes community in the host city provided valuable support to logistics and administration as well as the organization. 

The Professional Conference has always been a jewel that highlights the incredible diabetes community in Canada and the wealth of expertise, information support, and passion that they give in support of people with diabetes in Canada.

Learn more about the Diabetes Canada/CSEM Professional Conference and Annual Meetings

Donna Lillie is the past vice president, research, professional education, public policy and government relations at Diabetes Canada and was part of the team that launched the Diabetes Canada/Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (CSEM) Professional Conference, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

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