With the summer coming to the end, all too quickly, Diabetes Action Canada is keen to start the new academic year with a renewed direction and a focus on evaluating our research and its impact. After reflecting on feedback collected for our Annual Workshop, summarized in a report on our website, at this half-way mark in our funding term we must critically assess our achievements to date and set in motion prospective evaluation. Are we fulfilling our Mission “to develop patient- and research-informed innovations in equitable healthcare delivery designed to prevent diabetes and its related complications”? In September and October, we will be meeting with each of the Research Program and Patient Partner co-leads, along with their Project Coordinators to identify the most relevant performance indicators for measuring impact of our SPOR Network. To guide this process an Ad Hoc Performance Planning Committee of the Steering Council, has been launched and will guide our approach. We look forward to connecting with each of the Research Goal Directed and Enabling Programs after a very busy summer to hear about the progress of each their projects and future directions.
In this Newsletter, you will learn about some exciting new developments for Diabetes Action Canada. The Steering Committee for the T1D Registry is now working on the plans for a proof-of-concept T1D Registry first in Ontario, and later in Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba. In addition to engaging Patient Partners already part of our Network in this project, we are collaborating with the Canadian T1D Think Tank to hold an ‘Insight Session’ on November 30th, 2018 to develop the Registry design and function and to test out new T1D research ideas for future SPOR funding competitions.
Diabetes Action Canada is a major stakeholder in the initiative lead by Diabetes Canada to develop a National Diabetes Strategy. This submission to Health Canada is accompanied by a request for funding from the Federal government to implement this strategy over the next 7 years. We have many innovative approaches to address the health concerns of those living with diabetes and are contributing these as part of this national approach.
We are very pleased to announce that our Foot Care and Prevention of Amputations Research Goal Group has received funding for their SPOR innovation clinical trial implementing a chiropody-led approach to diabetic foot care in a highly vulnerable population. The outcomes of this project will provide evidence for health policy decision-makers to support new care paths for persons with diabetic foot ulcers to avoid lower limb amputations.
In addition, we would like to congratulate the awardees for the Training and Mentoring Program Mentorship and Internship Awards listed in this Newsletter.
Finally, our featured Research Program in this edition of the Newsletter is the Sex and Gender Enabling Research Program. We have established a very fruitful collaboration with the Women’s Xchange, based out of Women’s College Hospital and led by Drs. Paula Rochon and Robin Mason. This program provides valuable service to our investigators to ensure that their research project outcomes are more comprehensive, inclusive and accurately representative of the Canadian population. Recently, this Research Program has launched an e-learning ‘Researcher’s Toolkit’ to build capacity in the area of Sex and Gender. Our Patient Partners were consulted during the development and contributed to these e-learning modules, particularly in Module 7.
We close by wishing everyone a great start to the academic year and thanking you all for your continued commitment to the important work within our Network.
Gary Lewis and Jean-Pierre Després
Gary Lewis Jean-Pierre Després