St. Joseph's partners with pharmacists to offer neighbourhood diabetes education

Nov. 14, 2011

In a unique partnership with London pharmacists, the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program (PCDSP) of St. Joseph’s Health Care London is providing diabetes support and education to people in their own neighbourhoods.

Knowing their customers well, pharmacists are identifying those with diabetes who may be struggling with self-care and offering them education and support through sessions held in their pharmacy by the PCDSP team. The purpose is to improve access to diabetes self-management support for those with complex needs, such as mental illness, addictions, language barriers, and financial challenges. Currently, regular sessions are held at four community pharmacies in London.

“Pharmacists are in an ideal position to identify people with diabetes who may not be getting the care they need,” says Amanda Mikalachki, diabetes educator with PCDSP, which provides diabetes care and education to those without family doctors or patients with complex needs. “With this partnership, we are bringing education and support to people who need it most in their own neighbourhood.”

Pharmacist Gamal Awad, owner of Guardian Wonderland Pharmacy at 1061 Wonderland Rd. South, refers about 10 to 12 customers a month to the PCDSP team, who come to his pharmacy to meet with the individuals.

“I know when my customers are having trouble controlling their blood sugar levels or are missing the information they need to look after themselves properly,” says Awad. “I’m proud that my pharmacy is part of this amazing program. It’s easy access to help right in their own pharmacy.”

For World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, three sessions are planned in neighborhood pharmacies.

About nine million Canadians are currently living with prediabetes or diabetes. Considered the epidemic of the 21st century, diabetes is the contributing factor in the deaths of about 41,500 Canadians each year.  November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

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For more information, please contact:
Dahlia Reich, Communication and Public Affairs
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Phone: 519 646-6100 ext. 65294
Email: dahlia.reich@sjhc.london.on.ca

About the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program
Located at the St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre, the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program (PCDSP) provides diabetes education and support for those without a family doctor or who live with various challenges that make managing diabetes more difficult, such as poverty, language barriers, social isolation, addictions or mental illness. A multidisciplinary team, which includes two physicians, a nurse practitioner, diabetes nurse educators, dietitians and a social worker teaches patients how to become diabetes self managers  and helps them access the resources they need to manage their diabetes effectively. The team also assists family physicians in London to build capacity for diabetes care in their own practices. The program is part of St. Joseph’s Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, the primary regional centre for diabetes and endocrine disease management in Southwestern Ontario.

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading patient care, teaching and research centre in Canada with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.

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