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Diabetes Action Canada at Vascular 2023

Diabetes Action Canada at Vascular 2023
By kristalamb
Posted date: November 29, 2023

In October, members of the Diabetes Action Canada team spent several days in Montreal as part of the Vascular 2023 conference. This event brought together healthcare providers, researchers and Patient Partners from the diabetes and heart health communities for several days of education, information-sharing and networking.

“At Vascular 2023 we had excellent opportunities to connect with the community to discuss the great work of DAC, the importance of patient-oriented research and the impact of Patient Partnership on healthcare delivery,” said DAC’s Executive Director, Tracy McQuire said DAC’s Executive Director, Tracy McQuire.

DAC’s Lead of Patient Engagement and Knowledge Mobilization, Linxi Mytkolli, was not only there to support our Patient Partners, but also as a speaker sharing her own lived experience with type 1 diabetes. She was part of a panel discussing the Connect1d Canada and Type 1 BETTER programs—two resources focused on improving research outcomes for the type 1 diabetes community. “I had the honor of being on a panel discussing the integration of patient perspectives into type 1 diabetes clinical research. This experience reinforced that research is not just about data; it’s about people. Collaboration with individuals with lived experience is key to making our research more equitable and impactful,” she says.

Our researchers were well-represented throughout the conference, including presentations from Drs. Bruce Perkins, David Campbell, and Sonia Butalia. Dr. Campbell also screened his team’s short film, Low, which highlights the experience of living with diabetes while homeless. The film was developed alongside a team of people with lived experience who were involved every step of the way—from conception to production.

Patient Partner, Al Martin, participated in a foundational science presentation. He shared his personal journey as a way to put a human face on the work being done in the lab. “Witnessing Al’s compelling story about living with diabetes and obesity left a profound impression on me,” said Mytkolli. “His dedication to improving the healthcare system for future generations is a testament to the power of lived experience in advocacy.”

DAC’s Communications Lead, Krista Lamb, was active throughout the conference. She shared photos and updates from all DAC-related events on our social media channels and attended many meetings and sessions to advise on effective and empathetic science communications. This was her first in-person, out-of-town conference since the pandemic and it was a reminder of the need to support different learning styles and access levels. “ I met new people, was inspired by conversations, and was able to have meaningful interactions with so many. That said, I believe there are many wonderful reasons to continue to have hybrid meetings (or fully online learning sessions) to support EDI and ensure access to education to more people. We have a lot of options now that grew out of pandemic pivots, which I think will continue to improve the way we offer education in healthcare.”

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