LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Diabetes Health Network, a group composed of all the diabetes programs on the Island, hosted the Diabetes Network Conference last week at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, bringing out over 65 participants to enjoy workshops and keynote addresses from guest speakers.
“The conference was organized in recognition of National Diabetes Month,” explained Natalie Hastings, a diabetes wellness dietician with Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, who helped organize the conference. “We really tried to walk the talk and had a healthy lunch, and physical activity was intermixed throughout the whole day. The conference went really well and we were pleased with the turnout and participants’ response to the event.”
Master of ceremonies Tammy Albers provided comic relief throughout the conference, in addition to keeping the day’s many guest speakers and activities on schedule.
Following opening remarks and prayer, Ms. Albers introduced the first presenter, Earl Lambert, a dynamic motivational speaker who combined music, magic, hip-hop and humous interlaced with inspirational life lessons in his address.
Mr. Lambert began his presentation with a round dance to get the crowd loosened up and also to promote physical wellness.
Throughout address, Mr. Lambert shared personal and family stories about diabetes and stressed the importance of living life according to the medicine wheel.
“You are never to old to start taking care of yourself,” stressed Mr. Lambert. “You can be an inspirational story to those who came before you and to the seven generations ahead.”
There were booths set up in the conference room throughout the day from various health organizations, which participants were able to browse during the nutrition breaks.
After the morning break, the group was led in a Zomba exercise, followed by a presentation explaining diabetes labs.
In the afternoon there was a workshop on the TOP program and on Theraean exercises with Mike Jon Peltier.
There were also presentations on the dialysis program and a mental health presentation from social worker Alison Hall.
The conference concluded with closing remarks and door prizes.