De Dw da dehs nye>s Diabetes Education Program

It is our goal to provide programs and services that empower community with the knowledge to minimize their risks for developing diabetes and it’s complications.

What is Diabetes?  Diabetes is a condition that causes the body to lose its ability to make or use insulin. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or does not properly use the insulin it makes.

Without insulin, the body can’t take glucose (a type of sugar produced from digested food) and convert it into energy. High levels of blood glucose caused by diabetes can lead to many long-term health problems, including a high risk of heart attack and stroke, kidney and eye damage, and serious skin or healing conditions.

Who we are

The diabetes team consists of:

  • a registered diabetes nurse educator
  • a registered dietician
  • as well as a range of foot care services including; chiropody, reflexology and a registered nurse practitioner.

The program works in conjunction with health promoters, cultural artists and fitness practitioners to deliver a dynamic and holistic program.

Who we serve

The DEP program is focused on the needs of the Aboriginal community but are open to the public who are:

  • Living with diabetes;
  • People with pre-diabetes;
  • Women with gestational diabetes;
  • Those that are at risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes Education

Our team of specialized diabetes educators includes a nurse, dietitian and pharmacist who are able to talk to you about your diabetes and address the following questions you may have

  • What is diabetes?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is diabetes treated? (Do I need to take pills or insulin?)
  • How can I manage my diabetes?

Nutrition/Dietitian Support

What is a Dietitian?

Dietitians are regulated health care professionals who have expertise in food and nutrition. They are essential members of the health care team that practice in a wide range of diverse workplaces.

Dietitians must complete an undergraduate degree specializing in nutrition from an accredited post secondary education institution, including a 1 year internship. Dietitians must also register with a regulatory body (College or Association) in the province in which they intend to practice. Most provinces require successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) for applicants to gain registration status.

How can a Dietitian help you? 

The dietitian in our diabetes program can help you:

  • design a meal plan that fits your lifestyle and needs
  • understand how food affects diabetes
  • prevent, manage or treat high cholesterol, hypertension and weight management
  • identify other nutrition problems (ie – celiac disease, food allergies, cardiovascular disease

Diabetes Nurse Educator
Diabetes Nurse Educators provide patient care, perform health and learning assessments, develop and update your individualized self-management education plan.

Diabetes Educators partner with patients, their families, and their family physician to teach diabetes self-management and help patients gain control of their disease. We will collaborate with other team members (foot care nurse, reflexologist, chiropodist and social work) to help treat, prevent, or maintain health status.

Diabetic Nurse Educators will teach you management skills, including:

  • blood glucose monitoring and how to handle sick days
  • how to treat your diabetes when traveling across time zones
  • how to recognize and treat low or high blood glucose
  • how to begin an intensive diabetes program using insulin and other new technologies

Diabetes Nurses Educators have completed college or university requirements to practice as a nurse. They also have specialized training in diabetes and are nationally recognized as CDE’s (certified diabetes educators).

Foot Care Services

The Foot Care program provides assessments, consultation and treatment to people with diabetes and other barriers to health at no cost to eligible clients. These services are provided by a team of specialized clinicians such as Registered Practical Nurses, Chiropodists, Reflexology,


Reflexology promotes healing by stimulating the nerves in the body and encouraging the flow of blood. In the process, reflexology not only controls the sensation of pain, but relieves the source of the pain as well.

Reflexologists work from maps of predefined pressure points that are located on the feet. These pressure points are reputed to connect directly through the nervous system and affect the bodily organs and glands. The reflexologist manipulates the pressure points. By means of this touching therapy, any part of the body that is the source of pain, illness, or potential debility can be strengthened through the application of pressure at the respective foot or hand location.

Chiropody is the profession dealing with assessment and treatment of the feet in order to prevent or relieve diseases and disorders. This is done through therapeutic, surgical and palliative means.

A Chiropodist commonly treats conditions including toenail and skin problems (e.g. ingrown toenails), corns and calluses. These are often due to structural foot problems, so the Chiropodist may prescribe orthotics (shoe inserts) or special foot gear (braces or shoes).

Contact Information:

To register for or to contact the Diabetes Education Program please call 905-544-4320 ext. 221 in Hamilton or 519-752-4340 ext. 341.


Funding is provided for this program by the Primary Care Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

External Links:

Canadian Diabetes Association