The University of Ottawa Heart Institute partnered with Diabetes Educators to ensure Heart Wise Exercise programs were also suitable for people living with diabetes. An initial pilot project with the Diabetes Outreach Team of the Renfrew County Diabetes Education Program and the Diabetes Regional Coordination Center was the first step for these partnerships.
This project focused on clients living with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes who have the capacity to participate in Heart Wise Exercise programs in their community. Exercise leaders from various Heart Wise Exercise locations received training from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and also participated in a training seminar developed by the Renfrew County Diabetes Education Program, covering the core competencies required to work people living with diabetes.
Since the successful implementation of the pilot, diabetes education is now integrated into Heart Wise Exercise leader training, so that all leaders feel comfortable and are knowledgeable about having those living with diabetes in their classes.
These partnerships with diabetes educators have provided opportunities for this population to participate safely and effectively in existing Heart Wise Exercise programs in the community. Regular daily exercise will routinely be prescribed as a component of diabetes education, with community Heart Wise Exercise programs routinely offered as a resource.