As the country’s leader in supporting those with all types of diabetes and faced with a growing diabetes epidemic, Diabetes Canada announced today that it is evolving to better serve Canada and those affected by diabetes.
A year and a half ago, Diabetes Canada launched a bold new brand and promised to lead the movement to end diabetes. It also recognized at that time, despite its efforts, the diabetes epidemic in Canada continues to grow. Since 2000, the number of Canadians with diabetes has doubled, with one in three Canadians now living with prediabetes or diabetes. Beyond the immeasurable human costs of diabetes, if prevalence grows by 40 per cent in the next decade as projected, the direct costs associated with treating diabetes in Canada will top $39 billion by 2028.
“Faced with a diabetes epidemic in Canada, we feel a growing sense of urgency to better support Canadians. The challenge we face has outgrown our ability to effectively address it at a community level,“ said John Reidy, Acting CEO, Diabetes Canada. “We need to raise our sights and direct our efforts to activities that can create change broadly. Accordingly, we are adopting a much more focused strategy to deliver population impact against our mission to prevent, care for those affected and cure diabetes.”
In its new population impact strategy, Diabetes Canada will continue to support outstanding young scientists whose research will have national and international reach. It will advocate for healthy public policy. Unhealthy environments are the key drivers of the diabetes epidemic and legislation such as the ban on marketing of unhealthy foods to kids that we recently advocated for are critical to preventing type 2 diabetes at a population level. Diabetes Canada will close care gaps and promote outstanding clinical care for people with diabetes by pushing its clinical practice guidelines out into the front lines of healthcare. Increasing the use of digital channels to amplify the organization’s voice and deliver credible information, it can greatly extend its reach and do so in a way that is consistent with the preferences of those it serves today. Connecting more youth to youth with type 1 diabetes, as it does through its Diabetes Canada camp (D-Camps) program, will also be a focus. And finally, Diabetes Canada will enhance its partnerships with organizations that have local delivery capacity to provide impact more broadly. As Diabetes Canada creates population impact by focusing its resources on these initiatives, it will also need to reduce investment in direct service delivery.
Simultaneously, the organization recognizes and is responding to changing patterns of philanthropy and reduced revenues impacting many Canadian charities, and in particular, health-focused charities.To meet its goals, Diabetes Canada started to implement this new approach at the beginning of 2018, which has meant a significant change for the organization. These changes have included increased investment in strategic priorities but also a reduction of offices, program changes and a decrease in staff by approximately 20 per cent – changes which affect all regions and the national office. Diabetes Canada will continue to evolve as it accelerates its strategy to more closely align with its mission to prevent, care for those affected and cure diabetes.
Change – especially at a rapid pace – can be challenging. And, many of its programs and staff have contributed greatly to building the organization into Canada’s leading voice for those affected by diabetes. Still, Diabetes Canada with the support of its partners, donors and volunteers must act urgently to end the epidemic and provide better outcomes for the 11 million people affected by diabetes now and for generations to come.
About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
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