Diabetes Educators: an increasingly important role in our healthcare system

Chances are, you know someone with diabetes.

Over nine million Canadians have diabetes and every hour, 20 people are newly diagnosed with the disease, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that at least one in 12 people around the world has diabetes.

That’s why Diabetes Educators are vital members of the healthcare team. Diabetes Educators work directly with people with diabetes to help them manage the disease and promote self-care.

Diabetes Educators work collaboratively with their patients to develop the best treatment plan, educate on nutrition and medication as well as promote positive lifestyle choices. They work with patients and their families to teach diabetes self-management and help patients gain control of the disease.

“Diabetes Educators help people manage their own diabetes,” says Anne Belton, Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation and a Diabetes Education professor at Michener. “Our goal is that [people with diabetes] will learn enough that they can manage their lifestyle and make appropriate decisions.”

The focus for Diabetes Educators is putting the patient at the centre of their own care. As more and more people are diagnosed with the disease, awareness, management and education are essential for people with diabetes, their families and healthcare providers across the spectrum. The role has evolved from a provider of information to a facilitator, collaboratively working with people with diabetes to empower them to manage their disease.

Two hands holding an apple, promoting Continuing Education Diabetes Program.

Diabetes Education at The Michener Institute

The first program of its kind to be recognized by the International Diabetes Federation, Michener’s Diabetes Educator Graduate Certificate program offers comprehensive training to healthcare professionals in diabetes education. Around the world, hundreds of healthcare professionals, from physicians to nurses to pharmacists to dieticians, have taken part in Michener’s Diabetes Educator program.

“Diabetes Educators monitor the day-to-day care of their patients and help them to keep the disease under control,” says Debbie Warner, Continuing Education Manager in charge of the Diabetes Educator program at The Michener Institute. “They are an integral part of disease management.”

“The Diabetes Educator Graduate Certificate program is popular for nurses, pharmacists, physicians and dieticians who want to specialize in diabetes education or become a Diabetes Educator,” Debbie explains.

One of the most recent additions to the program is the Diabetes 101 Speciality Course. The course has been developed for both healthcare workers and family members of people with diabetes to teach the basics of nutrition and exercise, medications and complications for diabetes.

The program has also added the Intensive Insulin Management Specialty Course intended for practicing healthcare professionals.

As the program expands, it is serving more people than ever before. Michener recently launched the International Diabetes Educator program in the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Did you know?

In 2014, the Canadian Diabetes Association declared November 5 National Diabetes Educator Day

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% of diabetes worldwide

347 million people around the world have diabetes

By 2035, the International Diabetes Federation estimates that 205 million more people will have diabetes

Nearly half of those with diabetes don’t know that they have it

Diabetes Educator Graduate Certificate Program


International Diabetes Federation
World Health Organization – Diabetes Programme
Canadian Diabetes Association