One hundred years ago, Leonard Thompson, a 14-year-old boy dying from diabetes in a Toronto hospital, became the first person to receive an injection of insulin. Within 24 hours, Leonard’s dangerously high blood glucose levels dropped to near-normal levels.

Nearly a century later, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day, in 2006. It is marked every year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best, in 1922.

While insulin remains a gold standard of diabetes care, even today, we feel there is more that can be done to support people living with diabetes and are looking for new approaches to make its management more successful. A key to this lies in improved education that empowers people to take control of their condition. This is being recognized in the theme of World Diabetes Day 2022 – Education to Protect Tomorrow.

SHN is very excited to be furthering our strategic direction to transform the patient experience through innovation, education and research through our involvement as a key collaborator in a national study on diabetes being led by McMaster University.

The current study, Community Partnership Program for Diabetes Self-Management for Older Adults – Canada, builds on the team’s previous research showing that when people living with diabetes take more control and self-manage their condition this leads to improved health and quality of life. The current study is aimed at examining the effectiveness and implementation of a community-based program to support diabetes self-management compared to usual diabetes care in Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

We are thrilled to be partners in this research study, which will assess the scalability – the potential to expand the program for use in ‘real world conditions’. We expect the applications that come from this work will make a marked difference in the lives of the people in Scarborough that we are helping treat for diabetes.

Are you at risk for developing diabetes?

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that as many as 212 million people, or half of all adults currently living with diabetes, are undiagnosed. Most of these have Type 2 diabetes.

IDF has created an online diabetes risk assessment which aims to predict an individual’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years.

The test takes only a couple of minutes to complete. It is a quick, easy, and confidential way to find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Education is an important part of helping to manage the condition of diabetes. If you or someone you know are at risk of developing, or are currently living with diabetes, we encourage you to make use of the diabetes education services for children, adolescents, and adults offered at SHN.