First Nations Companies Support Diabetes Prevention and Management for Toronto’s Indigenous Community

Toronto, ON May 1, 2017 : As of today, people with diabetes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)can choose diabetes monitoring products that return 50% of profits back, to help change diabetes outcomes for the Indigenous community.

First Canadian Health and Spirit Pharmaceuticals are donating 50% of profits from the sale of SPIRIT meters, lancets and test strips in the GTA to Anishnawbe Health Foundation. This money will help fund services, programming and projects that support better health outcomes for Indigenous people with diabetes in the GTA. These diabetes initiatives will be managed through Anishnawbe Health Toronto.

Diabetes in Toronto’s Indigenous community is three to five times greater than the general population. The disease also tends to start at a younger age in this community.

“We are so pleased to join with such an outstanding organization as Anishnawbe Health Foundation in our first Ontario endeavor,” says SPIRIT’s CEO Heather Berthelette. “Anishnawbe Health Toronto has been at the frontline of working with the Aboriginal Community on Diabetes for many years. We are pleased to be able to provide this support for this gold-standard service.”

“Anishnawbe Health Foundation is very grateful to be the beneficiary in the GTA for this unique program. This funding initiative allows Anishnawbe Health Toronto’s clients and others within the GTA area to support their Community Health Centre and diabetes programming,” says Julie Cookson, Executive Director, Anishnawbe Health Foundation.

Spirit Pharmaceuticals and First Canadian Health are First Nations-owned companies that focus on the betterment of Indigenous communities.

“We are taking steps to both improve Indigenous health outcomes and to build economic stability within our communities,” says Stephanie Pangowish, Director of Indigenous Relations for First Canadian Health. “It’s about taking control of our future and working together towards health and wellness as a community.”


Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a fully accredited Community Health Centre in downtown Toronto. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in spirit, mind, emotion and body by providing traditional healing within a multi-disciplinary health care model. Since 1987, Anishnawbe Health Toronto has been the only provider of western medical services and traditional healing services to a rapidly growing urban Indigenous population, in the GTA.

Anishnawbe Health Foundation is a recently established registered charity that supports the work of Anishnawbe Health Toronto in building a strong, healthy urban Indigenous community. Its inaugural project is to help fund a new Community Health Centre that will bring all of Anishnawbe Health Toronto’s services under one roof as part of a new 2.4 acre development in the West Don Lands neighborhood.


SPIRIT meter is an Indigenous-branded diabetes monitoring device. The SPIRIT meter is available through licensed pharmacies. ARA Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the licensed manufacturer of the SPIRIT meter.


Julie Cookson
Anishnawbe Health Foundation
Stephanie Pangowish

First Canadian Health
(647) 739-0421


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