Major donation of $450,000 from Sun Life Financial : MHI creates a one-of-a-kind diabetes prevention clinic in CanadaHome > Press room > Major donation of $450,000 from Sun Life Financial : MHI creates a one-of-a-kind diabetes prevention clinic in Canada
November 14, 2018
In celebration of World Diabetes Day, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Diabetes Prevention Clinic sponsored by Sun Life Financial. The only one of its kind in Canada, this multidisciplinary program will launch in December at the Montreal Heart Institute’s EPIC Center, the largest center for cardiovascular disease prevention in the country. This initiative is made possible by a major donation of $450,000 from Sun Life Financial.
Dr. Martin Juneau, Director of Prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, will be the clinic supervisor. He will lead a multidisciplinary team consisting of a nurse, kinesiologist, nutritionist and medical staff including cardiologists, internists and general practitioners.
The program will meet a growing demand for preventive services for patients with diabetes and prediabetes, chronic conditions currently affecting 1 in 3 Canadians. Cardiovascular disease is the most common complication and leading cause of death in patients with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, many studies show that type 2 diabetics who make lifestyle changes, including a high-quality diet, regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, no tobacco use and moderate alcohol consumption, reduce their risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease.
“Creation of the Diabetes Prevention Clinic sponsored by Sun Life Financial highlights the need to prioritize this disease, which is affecting a growing number of Quebecers,” says Lino A. Saputo, Jr., Board Chair of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation. “This new diabetes prevention clinic will have a significant impact in the community, and is an excellent example of our Foundation’s key focus on prevention and cardiovascular health.”
“This project aligns perfectly with the Institute’s focus on prevention of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” says Josée Noiseux, President and CEO of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation. “It is more timely than ever today, on World Diabetes Day, to raise awareness among the public and stress the importance of healthier lifestyles in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.”
“Since 2012, Sun Life has committed more than $25 million in the fight against diabetes in Canada and around the globe. We believe that awareness and prevention is key to helping people live a healthy lifestyle. Our $450,000 donation to the Montreal Heart Institute will provide resources to help reduce the number of people that develop type 2 diabetes, a disease that can have very serious complications,” says Sun Life Canada President Jacques Goulet.
“It’s possible to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, or reduce its negative impacts, through lifestyle changes,” states Dr. Martin Juneau, the Montreal Heart Institute’s Director of Prevention. “Lifestyle is better than medication for treating diabetes, and doesn’t involve the side effects frequently associated with medication. The clinic will deliver the best tools to patients, so they can minimize complications related to their disease.”
A tailored program to meet growing demand
The clinic will be open to patients of the Montreal Heart Institute and EPIC Center with blood sugar levels near or above 7 mmol/L, as well as to the EPIC Center’s 3,000 primary prevention and 1,600 secondary prevention members. Current estimates suggest that 20 to 50% of patients hospitalized at the Montreal Heart Institute are diabetic.
Diabetes is the 5th-leading cause of premature death in the world. Hyperglycemia from the onset of diabetes has multiple adverse effects on cardiovascular risk factors, including atherosclerosis, hypertension and dyslipidemia. These issues, together with the damage hyperglycemia causes to small blood vessels, mean type 2 diabetes increases the incidence of coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times.
Sun Life Financial in the community
At Sun Life Financial, we are committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life and we’re proud to hold the Caring Company designation from Imagine Canada. Community wellness is an important part of our sustainability commitment and we believe that by actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders. Our philanthropic support focuses on two key areas: health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives through our Team Up Against DiabetesTM platform; and arts and culture, through our award-winning Making the Arts More AccessibleTM program. In Quebec our sponsorship and donation initiatives also focus on home economics and financial education.
We also partner with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Our Employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering over 29,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada.
About the Montreal Heart Institute
Founded in 1954 by Dr. Paul David, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly aims for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and basic research, ultra-specialized care, professional training and prevention. The Montreal Heart Institute is one of the three best cardiology centres in the world. It has the first Prevention Branch in Canada, a cardiovascular genetics centre, and Canada’s first simulation-based education program focused on cardiology. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 225 CMDP doctors and more than 80 researchers. We practise more than 2,300 surgeries each year.
About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
Founded in 1977, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation raises and administer funds to support the Institute’s priority and innovative projects and fight cardiovascular diseases, the world’s number one cause of mortality. Its philanthropic events and the contributions of its donors have enabled this leading cardiovascular health care organization to become the largest cardiac research centre in the country. Since its creation, the Foundation has raised nearly $260 million in donations. Its 27,350 donors helped make important discoveries and support specialists, professionals and researchers of the Institute to provide care at the cutting edge of technology to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.
About the EPIC Center
The Montreal Heart Institute’s EPIC Center is the largest centre for cardiovascular disease prevention in Canada, with more than 5500 registered members. The Center has a bit more than 80 employees and is part of the Prevention Branch of the Montreal Heart Institute. The centre is for healthy people who wish to keep it that way (primary prevention) as well as for patients who had a cardiac accident (readaptation and secondary prevention). The staff includes physicians, cardiologists, internists, emergency physicians, a physiologist, visiting professors, nurses, nutritionists, kinesiologists and rescuers.
From left to right: Éric Sinotte, Josée Noiseux, Dr. Martin Juneau, Robert Dumas, Jacques Goulet, Susan Kudzman, Yves Roy