Improving diabetes care in Alberta

Press Release

The Diabetes Working Group held its first meeting to identify ways to improve diabetes care in the province.

About 403,000 Albertans have been diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and that number is expected to increase to 573,000 by 2032. The Diabetes Working Group will provide advice to the minister of health on how to improve care and provide recommendations on steps that may help prevent Albertans from developing Type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Working Group was created to address how diabetes care is delivered in Alberta. The working group will identify gaps in the current diabetes care pathway and determine how to provide better overall care while ensuring programs and services are sustainable.

“Each year, the number of Albertans diagnosed with diabetes increases and this trend is concerning. Finding ways to more effectively prevent, screen for and treat this serious, chronic condition is critical. With the group’s expertise and experience, and the insights gathered through this review, we can establish a way forward that better meets the needs of Albertans at risk for and living with diabetes.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health
Health Minister Jason Copping attended the meeting virtually to deliver opening remarks and to talk about the impact the group’s work will have in shaping the future of diabetes care in Alberta.

Recommendations will be shared with the minister of health in the fall.

Sixteen individuals, led by co-chairs Dr. Julie McKeen and Dr. Peter Sargious, are conducting this review and making recommendations for improvement as members of the working group.

“As a diabetes care provider and administrator, I have seen the impact of diabetes and its challenges, and I am excited to be part of the Diabetes Working Group. This is a unique opportunity to undertake a comprehensive review of diabetes prevention and management in Alberta and provide recommendations that can positively influence the care of Albertans at risk for, affected by and living with diabetes.”

Dr. Julie McKeen, co-chair, Diabetes Working Group

“Most of my medical practice and leadership roles have involved helping Albertans prevent or manage diabetes and its complications. I’m excited about the breadth of this review, and its potential to make a difference in the health of so many citizens – in both the years and decades ahead.”

Dr. Peter Sargious, co-chair, Diabetes Working Group

Other working group members include:

  • Diabetes Canada representative
  • JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) representative
  • Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association representative
  • Métis Nation of Alberta representative
  • First Nations community representative
  • Primary care physician, researcher with a focus on Indigenous health
  • Physician representative from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Council
  • Pharmacist representative from Alberta College of Pharmacy (regulated member)
  • Nurse representative from the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta
  • Dietitian representative from the College of Dietitians of Alberta (regulated member)
  • Physician representative from the Alberta Medical Association
  • Albertan with Type 1 diabetes
  • Albertan with Type 2 diabetes
  • Albertan who uses an insulin pump

The working group will also receive input from a variety of other representatives from the diabetes community, such as manufacturers and community advocacy groups, to ensure that all perspectives and experiences are considered while developing recommendations for the future of Alberta’s diabetes care pathway.

Albertans can email their suggestions to the Diabetes Working Group.

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