World Diabetes Day 2020 – Diabetes: Nurses Make the Difference


November 14th is World Diabetes Day.  The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is The Nurse and Diabetes. The International Diabetes Federation’s campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes. Nurses are members of a larger healthcare team that play a vital role in helping individuals with diabetes understand their condition and manage it daily. Our vibrant community has many health care providers that support either people who are living with diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition.


Today, we would like to highlight the diabetes nurse educator at the Lady Dunn Health Centre’s North Algoma Diabetes Education Program for our Nurse Spotlight: Renée Mellish



How long have you been working as a diabetes nurse educator?

I have been working as a diabetes educator for 8 years. Time is flying!


What inspired you to become a diabetes educator?

I completed a diabetes education certificate through a local college and it was during my work placement that I recognized how important the role of the nurse educator was – the clients themselves, the relationships that we develop as educators, providing individualized education and support – this is what inspired me to pursue this career path.


What are some of your interests/hobbies outside of diabetes education? 

When I moved to Wawa 22 years ago, I must admit that I was not an avid outdoorsperson.  Fishing and hunting were foreign pastimes to me.  Since that time, I have certainly come a long way.  I have embraced all that Northern Ontario living has to offer… fishing (on warm days only!), hiking the amazing trails, cycling, trying my luck at gardening and tinkering in our garage making projects with wood. My husband shakes his head every time I bring home another piece of “rotten” wood!


What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Being allowed to embark on a client’s diabetes journey with them.  There may be struggles and challenges along the way, but if I am able to play a role in an individual’s sense of wellbeing and help them achieve their health-related goals, then, I am a happy diabetes educator!


What services are offered through the North Algoma Diabetes Education Program?

The North Algoma Diabetes Education Program offers diabetes self-management education and support to adults 18 years of age and older living with diabetes.  These individuals may have prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes or gestational diabetes.  Our staff includes myself, Justine, a Registered Dietitian, and Kim, a Foot Care Nurse.  We offer services throughout North Algoma, visiting White River and Dubreuilville monthly, Missanabie twice a year, and Michipicoten First Nation as requested.  The way that we are providing our services has certainly changed during the COVID19 pandemic, however, we continue to encourage those living with diabetes to reach out for support – we are just a phone call away.  We can be reached by calling 705-856-2335 extension 3108.


Today we celebrate all of the outstanding health care providers within our community who positively impact individuals living with diabetes!

THANK YOU for your commitment and passion for patient care and for


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