The diabetes working group is being established to provide recommendations for improving diabetes care in the province and help shape a provincial diabetes strategy.

The working group will assess the care currently provided, identify gaps and opportunities for improvement and develop a plan for moving forward. As part of this work, the group will review the overall diabetes care pathway including prevention, assessment, screening, management, treatment and monitoring.

“We have heard Albertans living with diabetes loud and clear. We need a long-term care plan that meets the needs of this growing population. I am pleased to have two highly regarded Alberta physicians who specialize in diabetes care leading the working group and guiding its efforts to shape a comprehensive strategy – one that will lower the risk of severe outcomes and strain on the health-care system in the years ahead.

“We will continue to provide Albertans with insulin pumps and related supplies through the Insulin Pump Therapy Program and will be adding newer, more advanced insulin pumps to the program as soon as possible this year.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“As an endocrinologist and the medical director of the Diabetes Centre, I see the impact of diabetes and its challenges first-hand. I am honoured to be part of this diabetes working group. This is a unique opportunity to develop a comprehensive and inclusive diabetes care pathway and diabetes strategy for Alberta, with the ultimate goal of improving the care provided to all Albertans affected by and living with diabetes.”

Dr. Julie McKeen, co-chair, diabetes working group

“Most of my medical practice and work with the Strategic Clinical Network involves helping Albertans prevent or manage diabetes and its complications. That's what excites me about being involved in the development of a comprehensive care strategy for the province.” 

Dr. Peter Sargious, co-chair, diabetes working group

Dr. McKeen is an endocrinologist whose clinical expertise includes diabetes and diabetes in pregnancy. Since 2009, she has been the medical director of the Diabetes Centre Calgary.

Dr. McKeen has been a core committee member of Alberta’s Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition Strategic Clinical Network since 2011 and is the medical lead for its provincial inpatient diabetes management initiative. She participated in the development of the Insulin Pump Therapy Program and is a member of the Insulin Pump Therapy Program clinical advisory committee.

In addition, she is a member of the resident training committee for the Endocrinology Fellowship Program with the University of Calgary and a contributor to continuous medical education programs, particularly for allied health-care professionals in the area of diabetes.

Dr. Peter Sargious is a general internist, based at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary, with an outpatient practice focused on diabetes care. He is also the senior medical director for Alberta's Diabetes, Obesity and Nutrition Strategic Clinical Network.

Dr. Sargious co-founded the Calgary Health Region's internationally recognized chronic disease management portfolio and was the first medical director of chronic disease management for Alberta Health Services.

Additional members of the diabetes working group will be appointed in the weeks ahead and will include Albertans living with diabetes, representatives from diabetes organizations, health professionals, researchers and representatives of health insurance providers.

The working group will share its recommendations with the Minister of Health by fall 2023.