Bahamians took advantage of an opportunity to learn more about diabetes on Saturday, with over 600 people attending the ACE Diabetes Expo on November 14 at the New Providence Community Center. In addition, 58 healthcare professionals benefitted immensely from the ACE Diabetes healthcare professionals diabetes seminar, which occurred on November 13.

ace-diabetes-7789s“Both were well-attended, we had a wide cross-section of the general public as well as healthcare professionals at the events,” said Dr. Graham Cates, who established ACE Diabetes in 2012 with his wife, Nurse Anita Cates, to address the overwhelming need in The Bahamas for diabetes awareness and the challenge of managing diabetes on a daily basis.

“The expo was extremely well-attended, we had a mixture of children and adults, it was fantastic to see all of the families that came out, the healthcare professionals that were there providing free health screenings, education and health promotion activities, they all gave us rave reviews about how excited they were to be a part of the event and how much traction they felt they got. They felt that the general public was ready to engage and talk to them.” Cates added.

“The two presenters at the seminar, Dr. Charles Diggiss and Dr. Janine Sanchez, did an excellent job. The information was extremely well-received by the healthcare professionals, they felt it was a great opportunity to learn more about children with diabetes, the management of those children, and also the unique role of bariatric surgery in the management of patients who are obese and have diabetes.”ace-diabetes-0099s

Dr. Charles Diggiss, chief medical officer at Doctors Hospital and president/CEO of the MedNet Group of Companies, and Dr. Janine Sanchez, associate professor and director of pediatric diabetes at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, spoke at the seminar.

ace-diabetes-7717sDiggiss spoke on the topic “Bariatric surgery and diabetes”. He focused on the question, “Why should I have a gastric restrictive procedure to control my diabetes and reverse my obesity?”

Sanchez, who has been involved in diabetes research, including immune studies, prevention studies, insulin trials and psychological treatment studies, addressed the topic of diabetes and teens.

The theme for the seminar was “Mission possible: Diabetes down”.

“Every year both events are growing, last year as a matter of comparison we had 400 at the expo we had 40 healthcare professionals at the seminar, so every year it is growing and we expect that to continue as people become more aware of what the event is about, Cates pointed out.


ace-diabetes-0258s“It offers such informative sessions and great opportunities for interaction with others dealing with diabetes, as well as the wide spectrum of healthcare professionals that attend this event. If we go back to the foundation principle of why we founded ACE Diabetes, the need to reduce the burden of diabetes in The Bahamas, we recognized that there are three ways we could do this, awareness, compassion and education. The expo is really an awareness event for the general public, it looks at what is diabetes, how it is affecting people, and how we can take the necessary steps to prevent it and how to reduce the risks associated with the disease.

“The healthcare seminar speaks to the educational component. The feedback we received, from people who were there, people who have emailed us and commented on Facebook, it has been extremely positive,” noted Cates.

The Nassau Guardian
Health & Wellness section

Published November 17, 2015