Michelle Sorenson

Michelle Sorenson Michelle Sorensen has been living with Type 1 diabetes since 1998, when she was 24 years old.  She was in the middle of graduate school, training to become a psychologist. She is now a member of the Ontario College of Psychologists and has a private practice in Clinical Psychology in Ottawa, Canada. Using a cognitive behavioural approach to therapy, Michelle helps patients with a wide range of issues.  Michelle has developed a speciality in counselling patients with diabetes. She combines her knowledge about changing thoughts, feelings and behaviours with the understanding that comes from personally living with Type 1 diabetes herself for over 13 years to help patients change their thoughts and modify their behavior.

Michelle believes adaptation to living with this chronic disease would be more manageable if more psychological support was available to people with diabetes.  She hopes to help fill this gap in diabetes care by helping diabetes health professionals become more aware of the ways in which they can support and educate their patients about issues like grief, accessing supports and changing the negative thoughts and behaviours that plague many people living with this challenging condition.  She speaks about various topics related to diabetes management, including counseling approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy [...] continue the story

Dee Christensen

Dee Christensen Dee Christensen is a writer, social advocate and the owner of Canada’s leading addiction magazine. This former street junkie turned entrepreneur used her life experiences and an academic background in Criminology and Social Work to found Recovery Wire Magazine. This common interest publication has become a vehicle for uniting the broader addiction community, and a medium to reach people who might not be ready to get help yet. As Editor in Chief, Dee is passionate about joining the fight to educate people about addiction, and end the cycle of isolation and recidivism. This grass roots magazine, written by people impacted by addiction personally, has become a major resource for addiction professionals and individual subscribers around the globe: from Canada to the United States, Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom and even China.

Derek Forgie of MTV Canada writes, “One would be hard-pressed to find a hipper, slicker, unapologetically honest approach to the important issue of recovery.” 

Dee credits her success to the everyday, hard working heroes in the mental health field that she met along the way. For every person who steered her in the right direction and cheered her on during her voyage back to life, she works tirelessly to pay [...] continue the story

Chloe Vance

Chloe Vance Chloe’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes 13 years ago ignited a passion for adventure. In threatening to take away her freedom, diabetes inspired her to do more, see more and be more. She’s guided expeditions by canoe to the Arctic Ocean, traversed the North by dog sled, circumnavigated New Zealand by bicycle, run half marathons, completed adventure races, ski toured 400km north of the Arctic Circle in northern Norway and backpacked around the world.

In the video  below, Chloe Vance, founder and executive director of Connected in Motion, shares a turning point in her life, when she went from unengaged to engaged patient, to patient activist and realized the power of community.

Follow the exploits of Chloe and the Connected In Motion team online http://www.connectedinmotion.ca/ , on Facebook and Twitter @ConnectInMotion

See the stories of each of the XX in Health Week healthcare transformers:

Guida Clozza

Guida Quaglia Clozza Guida Quaglia Clozza (B.PHE; B.ED) is a retired secondary school teacher with 31 years of experience in Physical and Health Education and has a specialist in Special Education. Her passion for teaching and advocating for the rights and the needs of exceptional students have led her over the years to become a voice of support for fairness, in both the educational and medical communities.

Guida has always been a strong advocate for special needs children and promoting inclusion in school and in the community. She has sat on parent school councils, presented workshops on navigating the school system, and has been involved in many school and community special education programs and parent workshops

(Erinoak Kids Treatment Center, Hospital for Sick Kids, Geneva Center for Autism, Community Living in Peel region, Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board Special Education Advisory Committee). In 2009, Guida was recognized for ‘her advocacy and efforts on behalf of special needs students’ by the Ontario Association for Developmental Education as the recipient of the Fred Soplet Humanitarian Award.

Guida has actively been involved in Epilepsy awareness as an Epilepsy ambassador for 20 years working through Epilepsy Toronto, where she received the H.O.P.E Award (Helping Out People with Epilepsy) [...] continue the story

Wendy Preskow

Wendy Preskow, NIED Founder, President & Chief Advocate As a parent, whose 27 year old daughter has struggled with Anorexia and Bulimia for over 12 years, Wendy is the passionate voice and driving force behind the National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED). Having lived with a sufferer and experienced the devastating effect Eating Disorders have on families and extended family and friends, Wendy reached the point of no return in late 2011. She could no longer sit back knowing her daughter was falling through the cracks of health care system that had failed her family and so many others in the same predicament.

Together with a core team of passionate advocates Wendy formed NIED in February 2012 to drive Eating Disorders awareness, understanding and action.

The National Initiative for Eating Disorders (NIED) is a not-for-profit coalition of dedicated health care professionals, counsellors and parents with children suffering from Eating Disorders.  Since we formed NIED in February 2012, we have become a respected and powerful voice, promoting Eating Disorders education and awareness to create positive change for a seriously underfunded, under-represented and misunderstood brain disease.

Did you know Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of ANY mental disease?

We collaborate with community groups, doctors, nutritionists, [...] continue the story