Marlene Grass

Marlene Grass, NR Founder/ Director of Clinical Services, Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre, Whitby, ON

Marlene has been involved in the world of Diabetes since the mid seventies.  In the early eighties she  initiated the first parent support group in Durham Region.  In 1989 she launched the first and only one of its kind, “The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre” as a registered Charity to provide ongoing Type 1 diabetes education, management and support to children and youth and their families in Durham Region.  The Centre began with 20 families and today the Centre serves approximately 350 pediatric patients and their families.

The year 1998 marked the “official” launch of the adult portion of The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre and today the Centre serves over 1300 adults with Type 1 diabetes ranging in age from 19 to mid 80 years of age.

The CDA Frederick G. Banting Award was presented to Marlene in 1990 in recognition of an individual who has developed a new and innovative program or service which has resulted in improved diabetes care.  Marlene was the first nurse to receive this award.

Most recently Marlene was awarded the 2012 Regional Outstanding Health Professional Award by the Greater Toronto Area CDA.

Miriam Kaufman

Miriam Kaufman Miriam Kaufman is a paediatrician and adolescent health specialist at SickKids in Toronto, Ontario.  She is the Head of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at SickKids and a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. All adolescent medicine specialists, whether they are nurses, doctors, social workers, psychologists, creative arts therapists, dieticians or child and youth counsellors, are interested in the patient experience and promoting self-advocacy and interventions that improve quality of life. As an author, Miriam has written or co-written a number of books for adolescents, young adults and parents.  The patient experience is most reflected in two books—“The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability” (Cleis Press) which she wrote with Cory Silverberg and Fran Odette and “Easy for You to Say: Q&As for Teens Living with Chronic Illness or Disability” (Firefly Books).  The key to writing both of these was listening to her patients and others about their experiences.  Miriam has a strong belief that her knowledge and understanding should be shared and not hoarded. As a clinician and teacher, Miriam cares for adolescents with chronic health conditions, including lupus and solid organ transplants. For the past 10 years, she has been very involved in efforts to improve the transition [...] continue the story

Carmen Wyton

Carmen Wyton Life is unpredictable… I have committed every day to filling it with things that bring me energy, while helping others, and demonstrating a model for building a caring community.

My passion is for people with disabilities, community health, and opportunities for youth – especially those at risk.  I am highly energized by coaching people to take charge of their life and their health, be the leader of their treatment team, and find a way to thrive regardless of the challenges.

My personal experience with arthritis as a child, followed by MS as an adult, has provided me with real-life…. life-long learning in chronic disease.  It looked different as a child in primary school, was often overwhelming as a young mother juggling a family and a career, and somehow it all settled in as I continued to age (gracefully). I believe these experiences are the primary drivers that moulded my community action and career choices.

My opportunity to pursue a career in leading community health with seniors, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Arthritis Society, and the MS Society allowed me to engage people/patients directly – I am confident I helped them cope with their disease, learn to navigate the health care system and … [...] continue the story