Strategic Planning


A program that can help individuals improve their diabetes control and help them live healthy with diabetes. The team consists of certified diabetes educators which include registered dieticians and registered nurses. They work in cooperation with physicians, pharmacists and family members to deliver client-centered care. Individual and group appointments. For advanced care, they provide referrals and telehealth sessions with specialists. 

Diabetes education team members are located at 5 sites: 
* Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital  (613) 623-7962 x228
* Deep River & District Hospital 
* Pembroke regional Hospital 
* Renfrew Victoria Hospital 
* St Francis Memorial Hospital (Barry's Bay)


The following websites can provide additional information:

The Canadian Diabetes Association       

Eat Right Ontario      

Dietitians of Canada

Dr. Mike Evans - The ABC's of Diabetes 


Diabetes for a Day volunteers include hospital CEO

Arnprior Chronicle-Guide, November 21, 2013  By Sherry Haaima

News - When the diabetes educators at Arnprior Regional Health needed volunteers for the Diabetes for a Day program, they went straight to the top.

Volunteers recruited for the local initiative include Arnprior Regional Health CEO Eric Hanna, who completed the diabetes education session just like a patient newly-diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. ARH said the plan to have Hanna participate allowed the hospital's senior leader to gain insight into the learning curve of someone newly diagnosed.

"It was certainly an eye-opening experience," said Hanna. "It is one thing to be told you will have to modify your lifestyle to live with diabetes, but it is certainly more difficult to practice the necessary changes."

Hanna learned first-hand the self management skills required to maintain ideal blood glucose controls, including self-monitoring using a glucometer, portion control specific to carbohydrate intake, meal spacing, ideal water intake, daily physical activity, daily foot inspections and a medication/insulin regime.

"This mock experience certainly gave me an appreciation of the impact this medical condition would have not only on myself but also my friends and family. It also reinforced the importance of diabetes programs such as those offered at ARH," said Hanna.

The Diabetes for a Day program is designed to raise awareness of the disease, one that affects nine million people in Canada. Renfrew County's rates for diabetes, hypertension, obesity and physical inactivity are among the highest in the province.

The prevalence of diabetes for adults in the county is 9.3 per cent compared to 8.4 per cent across the Champlain LHIN region.


November is globally recognized as diabetes month and ARH officials and staff are keen to share information about the disease and the services available for patients from across the region, including West Carleton.

If left untreated or improperly managed, diabetes can result in a variety of complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease, impotence and nerve damage.

ARH dietitian Maureen Miller works alongside diabetes educator Janet James Whalen to educate patients and she decided to volunteer for the program by living as a Type 1 diabetic for the weekend, a process that included regular injections of saline.

At a meeting last week in the diabetes room at Arnprior hospital, the two volunteers joined Vicki and Greg Murdoch, a mom and son who over the years have learned to live with Greg's Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in younger people and is caused because the body cannot produce enough insulin.

In the more common Type 2 diabetes, usually diagnosed in adults, the body cannot use the insulin it produces. Miller said that although she's familiar with the ins and outs of managing diabetes, it was still a learning experience to go through the motions of a Type 1 diabetic. For her it underscored the importance of education for patients living with the disease.

"Self-management is key. Eating habits, physical activity, medication or insulin - all play a factor," said Miller. Something Miller and Whalen want the public to be aware of is that patients can self-refer to the diabetes program at ARH, as well as getting connected through their physicians.  The program, which runs two-and a-half days per week, includes group sessions and individual counselling.

"We try to give them the tools and skills to be able to effectively manage diabetes," said Whalen. Since April of this year alone, 240 clients have accessed services through the diabetes program at ARH. Whalen and Miller do not work alone and it's ideal to have the other professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and others, working towards the best care for a patient.


Supplies required for maintaining diabetes can be expensive, and pose a serious challenge to those with lower incomes and those without health insurance. The strips alone for testing cost $1 each and some patients will test four to six times per day. An insulin pump itself is an expensive venture, though there is some funding available.

For testing, it's recommended people not use thumbs or pinkies - second, third or fourth fingers are best, said Whalen. Washing hands before testing is a vital role in the process. Traces of juice or other substance can alter test results.


Vicki Murdoch and her son Greg know all too well the trials and tribulations of living with diabetes. Diagnosed at age 11, Greg, who is now 22, has Type 1. For the past six years, Greg has had an insulin pump that takes the place of daily injections -a change that has made a great difference in their lives.

"It works just like a pancreas," said Vicki. "It secretes a little bit of insulin all the time."  Adjustments can be made on a daily basis, if needed, to account for increased activity or a change in diet.

The pump can help ease the structure required for diabetics - especially for teens who might want to sleep in "With the pump you don't have to eat at certain times or worry about getting up to take a needle," said Vicki. "From injections to this, it's a whole new world."

The pump is worn at most times, except during sports for Greg, who is an active Special Olympian heading to compete in swimming in the national competition next summer in B.C. The pump sits clipped to his hip and connected to his body. And while it has improved quality of life for Greg and his family, the pump is not without its challenges.  "Sometimes I find it hard to sleep," said Greg.

Key in managing diabetes is having the proper supplies on hand and having people aware of and educated about the disease. Vicki had to have frequent conversations with teachers and other caregivers over the years, but eventually everyone settled into a routine. The Murdochs must have extra items, including an insulin injection in case the pump fails. "Travelling can be a nightmare," said Vicki.

But Greg and the family have learned to manage it well and have met some great people along the way.  Ongoing care includes regular medical appointments and meeting with the endocrinologist every three to four months.


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