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Berlie’s story: Building Healthy Habits for the Future


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Berlie began the Complex Care program following a diagnosis of diabetes in July of last year. After feeling unwell for a time, she performed several tests with her family doctor, as she previously developed diabetes around 2008 when she was pregnant. As it turned out, her diabetes had returned so she began to consider her options: should she start seeing a dietician or invest in diet foods?

Berlie was driven to participate in the Complex Care program as she began thinking about the future. She began to ask questions about what would happen if she didn’t look after herself. Severe diabetes, she recounts, can lead to a loss of eyesight and soreness of the limbs. Were she to become blind, she would be unable to engage in her profession; she works helping people file taxes. Severe diabetes would make it much more difficult to look after her family.

Berlie realized that there would be obstacles if she didn’t look after herself. Compromises and changes needed to be made to be healthy and take control of her diabetes. She worked with her family nurse specifically around food and exercise, routinely working on new suggestions. In the past, he would get frustrated when she would deliberately eat healthy foods, but her blood sugar stayed high. She has learned healthy alternatives to target her blood sugar specifically. On top of this, her nurse encouraged her to start incorporating regular exercise, stressing that consistency is key when forming healthy habits.

A few months out of the program and she is feeling good – her clients ask what she has done. She looks and feels younger, and can engage more with life, as losing weight and treating diabetes has ended up mending other problems. Berlie recalls that she has been trying to lose weight for many years. She recounts consistently weighing in around 135 pounds, now she fluctuates between 116 and 120 pounds. She takes regular walks after supper, aiming for half an hour to an hour. She is more able to go canoeing and biking in the summertime, and she has more energy to be involved with her child – who is now 13 – spending good quality time. To make long-lasting change, she says, you have to work yourself and make a dedicated effort.

She has become more in tune with her body, explaining that: “I will know when my blood sugar is average, I feel I am healthy and feel no side effects. But on the other hand, you know when you are not following the rules because there are consequences.” Between her job and her family, she is busy, but she finds ways to use what she has learned in the Complex Care program to stay accountable and keep her blood sugar manageable.

Bernie recalls that the program was a positive experience, and while she would recommend the Complex Care programs to others in her situation, she wants others to know that while the programming works, people must be consistently motivated in order to change their lifestyles.

“It is important to take care of your body while you have the opportunity,” she says. “Life is not a movie where you can call cut and start from the top. You need to make good use of your one shot.”

Health Basics was my Kick Start to a Healthier Weight

Click here to visit the Red Deer Primary Care Centre.

Red Deer Primary Care Network (RDPCN) is a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists work in clinics alongside family doctors. In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care. RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community.

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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Last Day: What would you do with $20,000 Early Bird Prize?

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Thank you so much for your support, and best of luck in the draws. 
403.340.1878      1.877.808.9005
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