I am pleased to be here today for the official opening of the Hilton Hill Diabetes Centre.
The Bermuda Diabetes Association (BDA) has significantly impacted so many people in Bermuda. They have led our community to reduce the prevalence of diabetes.
Expanding your premises has allowed the BDA to create a purpose-built facility in the heart of North Hamilton which can support your growing programs and services to persons with diabetes or who are at risk.
We have come a long way in diabetes care and education since the Bermuda Diabetes Association was formed in 1978 by nurses Joanne Dean Armstrong and Debbie Hollis Jones. Your progress is a testament to many years of dedication and hard work from the very beginning.
I am particularly grateful to the Bermuda Diabetes Association for implementing the Bermuda Diabetes Epidemiology Project in 1995. This project provided Bermuda with much-needed evidence of the seriousness of diabetes, in that Type 2 diabetes is a serious threat to population health, and Type 2 diabetics were more likely to experience obesity and hypertension than people who are not diabetic.
They also partnered with the Ministry of Health to offer schools an opportunity to apply for funding by becoming creative with programmes that were both academic and addressed exercise and eating healthy. The programme was the start of the Healthy Schools Initiative.
Another great initiative for the Association is its partnership with Argus, delivering an in-person Diabetes Rewind Programme. The program has helped people living with Type 2 Diabetes achieve weight loss, reduce prescription medication use and achieve lasting remission of the disease.
In addition to your diabetes-related programs and services, the BDA Community Pharmacy is open to everyone and provides a full range of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
The pharmacy team provide the Know Your Medicine program, which helps to improve people’s understanding and use of their medicines. This programme is available to everyone and free of charge.
The benefits of structured medication reviews are well documented in medical and pharmaceutical literature. Many participants have limited financial means, are older, have diabetes and co-morbidities, and take multiple medications.
Health outcomes have been improved through pharmacist interventions addressing interactions, side effects, and compliance. With the approval of patients’ doctors, you were able to de-prescribe medicines from patients’ medicine lists, improving compliance with remaining medicines and reducing out-of-pocket expenditure.
Living with diabetes can be challenging, but thanks to the dedication, commitment and support from the Bermuda Diabetes Association, many in our community live a full, active, happy, healthy life with diabetes.
On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, I extend a big thank you to the incredible team at the Bermuda Diabetes Association.
Your expanded premises will be the center of future programs and services to improve self-care and peer support.