Patient Partners

We believe that engaging patients in research is the cornerstone to building a health care system that is sustainable, accessible, inclusive, and equal for all.  In 2014, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) launched its Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Research Networks in Chronic Disease. Diabetes Action Canada is one of these networks and focuses on long-term improvements to the management and treatment of diabetes and its related complications. Engaging individuals and caregivers in our work, ensures the projects, research, tools and information Diabetes Action Canada develops is relevant to those that live with diabetes. This initiative reinforces the importance of partnering with the people whose lives are touched by chronic disease to achieve goals of finding real solutions to improve the lives of people and families who are living with these conditions.

At Diabetes Action Canada, Patient Partners are persons living with diabetes or caregivers (including family and friends) that have agreed to collaborate within the Network, bringing their lived experience with diabetes to help inform current and future research within the Network and beyond.

Patient Partners

Click a Profile to See More Information About Our Patient Partners

  • Howard is a Patient Partner co-facilitator for the Training andMentoring Program. Howard is retired from the Canadian Military from Winnipeg who has lived with T2D since 2008.
    He had pre-diabetes for 15 years prior to that. He is a Patient Partner of the Collective Patient Circle. Since retiring, he has been involved in supporting diabetes care and research, including as a subject in two drug research projects, a Board Member of the Youville Clinic Centre of Diabetic Excellence in Manitoba, and a member of one of six Local Health Involvement Groups under the auspices of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He took part in the Foundational Training Seminar in Ottawa for Patient-Oriented Research volunteers and is enthusiastically providing input for improved care for Canadians living with diabetes.

  • Kate Farnsworth is the patient partner co-lead for the Innovations in T1D Goal Group. Kate has been heavily involved in the Do-It-Yourself #wearenotwaiting movement since her daughter Sydney was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8. With a background in information technology and graphic design, Kate has lent her skillset to developing diabetes watch faces for remote monitoring used by patients worldwide. Kate has created an online patient-driven support community for people who are exploring DIY closed-loop solutions and continues to advocate for all people with diabetes to have access to the best tools to manage their diabetes.

  • Doug is the Patient Partner co-lead for the Digital Health to Improve Diabetes Care Program. Doug has lived with T1D since 1968. Initially, with only urine testing and animal-derived insulins, management was difficult to achieve and Doug is very grateful to be alive and healthy 49 years later! In2009, he volunteered in a clinical trial to determine whether a Sensor-Augmented Insulin Pump could enable patients to lower their A1C. As a measurement and control engineer, he saw this as a tool finally capable of controlling blood glucose levels. His A1C level reduced notably during the trial and as a result, has continued to use this technology to improve his blood glucose control.

  • Barbara, a member of Pine Creek First Nation is a retired mother and grandmother of 35 years of federal public service. Barbara is active in the Urban and surrounding areas serving on Advisory Councils and Boards as Elder and Cultural Advisor. Presently, serves on the Special Indigenous Advisory Council to the Canadian Human Rights Museum, Arts & Cultural Industries, and Advisory Council member for U of Brandon and two Research Programs with the U of Man. Clarence, a member of Pine Creek First Nation is retired from the provincial/federal service of 27 years continues to serve on national and local Boards and committees. . Clarence is also a member of the Special Indigenous Advisory Council for the Human Rights Museum, the St. James Historical Museum, and Healthy Aboriginal Network in Vancouver.

  • Debbie is the Patient Partner co-lead for the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program and serves on the Diabetes Action Canada Steering Council. She has been living with T1D for 50 years. Due to diabetic retinopathy, she completely lost her eyesight 24 years ago. In 2003, she was part of a Clinical Islet Cell Transplant Trial (aka Edmonton Protocol) and was fortunate to receive two islet cell transplants, which she is certain saved her life from diabetes complications. Research has played a major role in her health and wellbeing. Throughout the years she has had many opportunities to speak to community groups on behalf of Diabetes Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDFR) about how research has had such a positive effect on the lives of so many.

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