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On March 4th, 2016, the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH) hosted the Ontario Paediatric Diabetes Network (PDN) annual Professional Development Event.

The PDN is a collaborative network with the shared goal of ensuring the best possible health outcomes are achieved for children and youth living with diabetes.  It is composed of thirty-five specialized paediatric diabetes education programs located in communities across Ontario, with thirty programs located in secondary level healthcare organizations, and five tertiary-level programs in Ottawa, Toronto, London, Hamilton and Kingston.

The purpose of this annual event is to provide a forum for paediatric diabetes care providers across Ontario to learn, collaborate and network in order to improve the health, social outcomes and wellbeing of their patients. This year’s theme was The Changing Face of Paediatric Diabetes in Ontario and was facilitated by an engaging mix of speakers, captivating presentations and lively discussions.

This event brought together over 160 healthcare providers and stakeholders who specialize in diabetes management in children and youth and included representation from over thirty of the paediatric diabetes programs in Ontario.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Mike Evans, a leader in innovative health messaging. His presentation highlighted the importance of building relationships with patients and how, with the integration of different technologies and creative means of communication in healthcare, the approach to relationship building and interacting with patients in general is changing.   Dr. Mike Evans also touched upon the value of the wisdom of patients, how to cultivate peer-to-peer healthcare and ways to empower patients and their families both in the realm of paediatric diabetes and within the broader healthcare landscape.

The remainder of the day included informative presentations and novel insights, along with development of solution-based strategies.  The following key themes emerged throughout the PDN Professional Development Event:

1. There is an opportunity to curate media and leverage innovative technologies to effectively engage and interact with children, youth and families living with diabetes.

2. Patients’ and families’ perspectives, resiliency and wisdom should be captured and integrated into the development of tools, resources and projects.

3. Advancements in medicine and technology can be used to improve patient engagement and paediatric diabetes care.

4. Enabling peer-to-peer healthcare can foster communities of support amongst individuals living with diabetes.

5. We need to enhance the current translation of research to clinical care, build trust, and capitalize on opportunities to measure outcomes and integrate quality improvement efforts into paediatric diabetes care.

6. A combination of psychosocial, biomedical and socio-economic characteristics in children and families living with type 2 diabetes can affect their ability to manage their diabetes.

7. Efforts are underway to ensure that the appropriate supports exist for children and youth with type 1 diabetes to thrive in school environments while managing their diabetes safely and effectively.


Some quotes from our speakers

“We [healthcare providers] often ask what is the matter while missing what actually matters”.

– Mike Evans

Staff Physician, St. Michael’s Hospital; Lead, Digital Preventive Medicine, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; Associate Professor, Family & Community Medicine; Endowed Chair Patient Engagement, Centre for Child Nutrition & Health, University of Toronto

Paediatric diabetes patients “are kids first, and kids with diabetes second”.

– Elizabeth Moreau

Director of Communications & Knowledge Translation, Canadian Paediatric Society

 “There is a sport for every body and a body for every sport”.

– Stasia Hadjiyannakis

Paediatric Endocrinologist, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario


Let’s Make Our Day Harder

Check out Dr. Mike Evans’ video encouraging everyone to make their day a little harder to improve health outcomes.


For more information, please contact:

Aryn Gatto
Senior Program Manager
W: 416-813-7654 x 228106