Nurse practitioners and physicians offer a broad range of health care services including assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Our goal is to support people to achieve and maintain the best possible overall health. Our services range from care for acute, occasional illness to supporting management of chronic diseases.
Regular NP clinics are offered in First Nation communities, and at our central service location in Kenora. In-house laboratory services are also available in Kenora, and on a monthly basis in most First Nation communities.
Diabetes education and management is provided by a registered nurse, a registered dietitian, and foot care nurses. Together they provide care and support lifestyle choices intended to promote living well with diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when the body can’t produce insulin or properly use the insulin it does produce. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood, and how nutrients are absorbed by the body and converted to energy. Too much blood sugar can cause damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves.
There are three types of diabetes:
Happens when the pancreas doesn’t make insulin.
Happens when the body has trouble using the insulin it makes.
Happens when the body can’t use the insulin during pregnancy.
Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. Not everyone with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes, but many of them will.
It’s important to know if you have prediabetes, because research shows that some complications associated with diabetes – such as heart disease – may begin during prediabetes.
Diabetes is a relatively new health issue for Indigenous people. Our traditional lifestyle – with lots of physical activity, traditional foods, and medicines – kept us healthy. Living a healthy lifestyle can help to delay diabetes, and can help those living with diabetes to have a healthier life.
Because diabetes is a significant health concern for our people, WNHAC offers a comprehensive array of culturally appropriate specialized services aimed at supporting people to live well with diabetes and avoid secondary impact as much as possible.
The gold standard of care for people living with diabetes includes controlling blood glucose levels, and regularly monitoring other health indicators related to secondary impacts of diabetes.
If left untreated, too much blood sugar can cause damage to organs, blood vessels and nerves. This is turn can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney issues, loss of vision and nerve damage to the feet.
WNHAC’s wholistic model of care offers culturally appropriate specialized resources for people living with diabetes:
Nurse/Educators provide assessment, education, and therapeutic support to facilitate self-care for clients living with diabetes. They provide detailed information and education, support regular glucose monitoring, and adjust as needed.
Retinal screening is aimed at early identification of nerve damage that impacts vision to prevent or delay loss of sight.
Dieticians provide very similar self-care support, with a special emphasis on nutrition counselling and exercise. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with healthy foods an regular exercise as well as medication.
Emotional Wellness Therapists are available to help manage the impact of a chronic disease diagnosis and navigate the stresses that can impact physical health.
Both nurses/educators and dieticians also work closely with principal providers to facilitate regular bloodwork monitoring A1C (blood glucose level), ACR (albumin/creatine ratio), and cholesterol levels. These look at blood glucose levels over time and early indications of heart or kidney issues.
Access to traditional counselling, medicines and ceremonies can also be arranged for those who choose.
Regular footcare is aimed at maintaining foot health and early identification of potential concerns such as nerve damage or infections,
We use a portable retinopathy device to collect 4 pictures of your eyes. Once images are captured it will tell us within seconds if you have a positive or negative result! Positive results are then sent to Vison Loss Canada where they will take over your care.