We invite Letters of Intent for Innovative Diabetes Projects in Canada

The diabetes funding strategy awards grants every two years through a call for letters of intent.

Applications will be accepted until August 17, 2009.

Interest in supporting diabetes care and research dates back to the 1970s when The Lawson Foundation endowed the Helen and Frances Lawson Professorship in Diabetes Research for the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. The Professorship was established to support a senior scientist striving to improve the lives of people with diabetes through research to better understand this disease and its solutions.In the 1990s, the Foundation supported two groundbreaking, community-based projects – the Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project and the Latin American Diabetes Prevention Project. We were inspired by the success and outcomes of these initiatives. With this knowledge and in response to growing concern around the challenges of diabetes and the potential to make innovative changes to diabetes prevention and care, the Foundation introduced a proactive diabetes funding strategy in 2001-02.

The diabetes funding strategy supports innovative, evidence-based projects in Canada that promote effective partnerships and lead to enduring benefits for the community. To date, the Foundation has awarded 25 grants totalling $3,000,000 to projects in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, located in urban centres and in rural and remote areas, serving diverse populations including children, teenagers, young adults, pregnant women, First Nations, Inuit, ethno-cultural communities, and individuals with schizophrenia. The composition of project teams has varied from community-based groups with little formal research training to established researchers in academic centres.

The Health Council of Canada’s 2007 Report – Why Health Care Renewal Matters: Lessons from Diabetes – issues a challenge. “Health care in Canada needs to move from a “find and fix it” approach to “prevent it, find it, manage it” – to better stem the rising tide of chronic health conditions.” The report paints a current picture of the diabetes epidemic in Canada and forecasts that if trends continue – with our population inactive, overweight and aging, and with an estimated 60,000 new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year, the number of Canadians diagnosed with diabetes is expected to nearly double by 2016 – far outpacing population growth.

The value of successful pilot projects is emphasized in the report, which concludes with several good news stories about successful community initiatives that work. Three projects that were highlighted have received Lawson diabetes grants – a testament to the quality and outcomes of our grantees’ work.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada’s Inuit specific teaching tool to raise awareness
London Intercommunity Health Centre’s Latin American Diabetes Program that has been shared across Canada as the Global Village
Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project in Quebec

Our hope is that the next time the Health Council reports on diabetes, we’ll see the valuable outcomes of our grantees’ work in a slowing or reversal in the forecasted diabetes trends and in a health care focus of “prevent it, find it, manage it”.

The 2010-11 Diabetes Funding Opportunity of $1,200,000 is being promoted across Canada from May to August 2009.


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