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Province Funds Development of New Course to Support Diabetes Education, Care in First Nations Communities

News Release – Manitoba
July 5, 2011

Province Partners with Saint Elizabeth, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to Support Health-care Provider Education: Oswald

A new, web-based, professional development course on diabetes care and treatment will support health-care providers working in First Nation communities, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.“This innovative course will increase access to professional development related to prevention and management of diabetes in First Nations communities,” said Oswald. “Better-equipped health providers will lead to stronger prevention and education information, better patient self-management and improved care for patients.”

The development of the @YourSide Colleague First Nations Diabetes Circle of Care course was supported by $50,000 in provincial government funding. The course was developed in response to recommendations from the Manitoba First Nations Patient Wait Time Guarantee Project for the prevention, care and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. The project was a joint initiative between Manitoba Health, Saint Elizabeth First Nations Inuit and Métis Program and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

The course is one of 10 web-based professional development courses the Saint Elizabeth First Nations Inuit and Métis Program provides at no charge to First Nation communities.

“This new course builds on our longstanding commitment to combine best practices, innovative technologies and meaningful partnerships to positively impact health care in First Nations communities at the local level,” said Shirlee Sharkey, president and chief executive officer, Saint Elizabeth.

The course was developed with and for health-care providers working in First Nation communities and contains several topics including:

· prevention;
· nutrition;
· exercise and physical activity;
· diabetes management (medication and self-management);
· prevention and management of long-term complications;
· mental health and wellness; and
· health promotion (including community education).

“This initiative has been developed with and for First Nations and health-care providers who work directly in our communities across Manitoba,” said Grand Chief Ron Evans of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. “By working together, we can develop the most positive outcomes, tools and resources First Nations can utilize to enhance quality of care and skills to those who provide it.”

Through the website, health-care providers can access a library of diabetes education materialsand tools for client education and care, virtual discussion boards to connect health-care providers with theircolleagues and diabetes subject matter experts, and online resources. The course is available anytime and providers can learn at their own pace, said Oswald.

“Working together, Manitoba Health, Saint Elizabeth and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs have created a product that will support health-care providers and improve care in First Nations communities,” the minister said.

Saint Elizabeth is an award-winning, not-for-profit and charitable health-care organization known for its track record of social innovation and breakthrough clinical practices responding to client, family and health-system needs. The organization’s team of more than 5,000 nurses, rehabilitation therapists, personal-support workers and crisis-intervention staff deliver nearly five million health-care visits annually.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is the political voice of Manitoba First Nations. AMC promotes, preserves and protects Aboriginal and treaty rights for First Nation people in Manitoba. It is also mandated to promote and ensure social progress, harmony and the quality of life for First Nations peoples.

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