North East LHIN’s Role in Coordinating Diabetes
Responsibility for coordinating Diabetes education programs and services was transferred to the North East LHIN in the fall of 2012 from the Northern Diabetes Health Network. Since then, comprehensive work has been undertaken at the LHIN to:
- ensure seamless clinical service delivery during transition;
- improve coordination of care;
- increase access to more integrated diabetes programs; and
- identify and address both duplication and gaps of services.
In Northeastern Ontario, there are 21 adult and 4 pediatric diabetes education programs that receive their funding through the NE LHIN. Adult Education Programs are located within hospitals, Community Health Centres, and community agencies throughout the region. The four pediatric programs can be found at Health Sciences North in Sudbury, North Bay Regional Health Centre, the Group Health Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and VON’s Porcupine Diabetes Information Services in Timmins. The expertise of the Diabetes Education Program staff is also made available to surrounding locales via outreach (in person and using the Ontario Telemedicine Network) to ensure equitable access for residents of remote and isolated communities in NE Ontario.
Education is essential in the management of diabetes. People living with diabetes are encouraged to take an active role in the day-to-day management of their own health care. Diabetes Education Programs staffed by Certified Diabetes Educators provide the information, knowledge and skills needed to support self-management of diabetes. Help in learning how to self-manage can be found in group or one-on-one sessions at time of diagnosis , during transitions or changes (i.e. going on new medications), or anytime in between.
Two clinical leads have been hired by the North East LHIN to assist in its new role in coordinating Diabetes care and education across the region: Dr. Boji Varghese, Endocrinologist based in Sudbury, and Barbara Kiely, a nurse practitioner and Certified Diabetes Educator based in Kirkland Lake.
Diabetes Advisory Committee
The LHIN is in the process of putting together an advisory committee, made up of health care providers, administrators and patients, which will meet eight times a year to improve care coordination, education and prevention of Diabetes in the North East.