Dr. Ian Zenlea, Clinician Scientist and Lead, Family and Child Health Initiative (FCHI), Institute for Better Health (IBH), and Paediatric Endocrinologist, Trillium Health Partners (THP), and a team of researchers from at IBH (Dr. Dianne Fierheller, Co-Lead and Scientist, FCHI, and Dr. Cilia Mejia-Lancheros, Research Lead, FCHI), Roots Community Services, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Institute, recently received an End Diabetes Award from Diabetes Canada.

The End Diabetes Awards is an annual competition that aims to dramatically improve the lives of people living with or at risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes through innovative research. Each research project receives a $100,000 grant annually for three years for $6.2 million in funds committed by Diabetes Canada for the research community.

By 2025, one in six adults living in the Peel Region will have type 2 diabetes, and its risk is carried across generations, necessitating a family-based approach to prevention. We know that people who identify from Black, African and Caribbean (BAC) communities have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and related complications. The award-winning IBH project, “Working Together to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Black, African, and Caribbean Communities in Peel, Ontario,” will mobilize community agencies, service providers, researchers and BAC caregivers who have prediabetes, gestational diabetes, or type 2 diabetes or who directly care for a person with type 2 diabetes in co-designing type 2 diabetes prevention interventions that are family-based and culturally sensitive to BAC communities.

The project will consist of photovoice workshops, in which participants will be asked to visually document and reflect on their experiences related to type 2 diabetes prevention. Participants will also exchange and generate actionable prevention ideas in a community event. Findings will support ongoing advocacy to co-design more equitable and inclusive interventions for type 2 diabetes prevention that can be tested and adapted to other settings across Canada.

“The End Diabetes Award will support our team in working alongside community partners to co-create type 2 diabetes prevention interventions and services for Black, African, and Caribbean communities in Peel,” says Dr. Zenlea. “The voices of our community will be centred throughout this project, and we are grateful for the continued opportunity to work and learn alongside our community partners.”

This End Diabetes Award-winning project builds on FCHI’s portfolio of work focused on supporting the health and well-being of children, youth and families in the Peel Region. Dr. Zenlea and the FCHI team are trailblazers in partnering with our community to improve health care services and outcomes, and we congratulate them on this award!

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