Sun Life Diabetes Prevention and Remission Clinic: 882 patients on the road to recovery in the past 4 years

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March 23, 2023

Sun Life announces an additional donation of $450,000

Since opening its doors in 2019, the Sun Life Diabetes Prevention and Remission Clinic has helped patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes make remarkable improvements to their health. Sun Life is announcing its renewed commitment to the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation with an additional $450,000 donation over three years.

Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits, the Clinic’s goals are early detection of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, halting disease progression, and improving patients’ metabolic health until they achieve remission. The Clinic’s multidisciplinary program is unique in Canada and is supported by a team of medical staff that includes physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and kinesiologists.

Positive results

Over the past four years, the Clinic has treated 882 patients, with remarkable results. By the end of the 12-month program, all patients’ body measurements and insulin sensitivity had improved. These results have been acknowledged by the European Society of Cardiology and the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.

Patients have taken part in more than 40,000 fitness sessions with a cardio-metabolic health professional, and the Clinic continues to expand its services. Patients now have access to virtual visits, more frequent follow-ups with specialist nurse practitioners, and behavioural therapy sessions to help them stay on track with the program.

“Since 2012, Sun Life has committed over $46 million to combat diabetes, both in Canada and around the world. We feel that awareness and prevention, focused on a healthy lifestyle, are key,” said Jacques Goulet, President of Sun Life Canada. “We’re proud to continue supporting the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, which is making a real difference in the lives of patients. This is one of the many ways we are helping build healthy and sustainable communities.”

Meeting a growing need

The program meets a growing need for prevention, with one in three Canadians affected by type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

“The Clinic’s innovative approach is based on several studies showing that when people with type 2 diabetes make lifestyle changes, they reduce their risk of dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease,” explains Alain Gignac, President and CEO of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation. “Sun Life’s ongoing support enables us to offer promising solutions that will improve quality of life for millions of people across the country.”

While studies show that Quebecers’ fitness levels have declined in recent decades, the Clinic’s results are encouraging: “Having support from many health experts gave me the tools I needed to make healthy changes to my lifestyle and improve my health,” says Gilles Godbout, a patient who spent a year attending the EPIC Centre program. “Now, by eating well and getting regular exercise, I feel more confident about my future.”

“We’re pleased that the Clinic has been able to continue providing and expanding its services. The results we’ve seen in our patients confirm the positive impact of regular exercise in controlling blood sugar and insulin sensitivity,” said Dr. Philippe L.-L’Allier, Director of Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation at the Montreal Heart Institute. “Sun Life’s corporate vision and financial support have been the catalysts for our Clinic and its innovative approach, which would not have been possible otherwise.”

Sun Life in the community

Sun Life is sustainability-driven, focusing on areas where it can have the greatest impact. By actively supporting the communities in which Sun Life lives and works, the organization can help build a positive environment for Clients, employees, advisors, and shareholders. Physical health and mental health are at the centre of our philanthropic support, with a focus on supporting programs and organizations that strive to empower Canadians to live their healthiest lives no matter where they are in their journey. Sun Life employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering and giving back to make life brighter for individuals and families across Canada.

Learn more about Sun Life in the community.

About the Montreal Heart Institute

Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly strives for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and fundamental research, ultra-specialized care, professional training and prevention. It is home to Canada’s largest cardiology research centre, cardiovascular prevention centre, and cardiovascular genetics centre. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 245 physicians and more than 85 researchers.

About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation

Created in 1977, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation raises and manages funds to support the realization of the Institute’s innovative and priority projects and to fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the world. Its philanthropic events and its donors’ contributions have enabled this leader in cardiovascular health to become the largest cardiac research centre in the country. Over the years, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation has raised more than $309 million in donations. Its 26,032 donors have made it possible to make important discoveries and to support the Institute’s specialists, professionals and researchers to provide state-of-the-art care to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.

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