Delivering better care for people with diabetes

When asked to describe his patient care experience at the Sun Life Financial Banting & Best Diabetes Clinics at University Health Network, Shams Khan doesn’t mince words.

“My care has truly added value to my life,” he says with confidence. “They’re the best at what they do.”

After undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery in 1994, Shams was referred to Dr. Gary Lewis for management of his high cholesterol. The inherently complex nature of diabetes and its close connection to cardiovascular disease meant that Shams was at elevated risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

“We provide care for a large and increasing number of complex patients with diabetes,” says Dr. Lewis, holder of the Sun Life Financial Chair in Diabetes. “In fact, over 80% of our patients are also seen in other UHN Clinics. A multidisciplinary approach to diabetes care in our Clinics permits us to utilize and creatively combine our resources and expertise to care for patients like Shams.”

Dr. Gary Lewis and Shams KhanDr. Gary Lewis and Shams Khan

As both a Chartered Accountant and Investment Advisor, Shams manages to keep a busy a life. Effective diabetes management and education is a key tool in reducing the risk of complications and allows Shams to go about his business as usual.

“I travel a lot around the world,” notes Shams. “The education I’ve received as a patient has been crucial to preventing some of the possible complications associated with my elevated level of risk. Gaining knowledge, skills and self-confidence has helped me take charge of my health.”

With a patient-centered approach to care, physicians at the Sun Life Financial Banting & Best Diabetes Clinics are acutely aware of the wide spectrum of comorbidities their patients face when managing them throughout their disease trajectory. For Shams, it is reassuring to know that when he goes to the Clinics he will receive personalized care and advice appropriate to his health concerns.

“The care I’ve received under the guidance of Dr. Lewis has allowed me to continue all my functions without any noticeable difference,” says Shams. “There has not been any significant change to my lifestyle; I have been able to purse my life as is. As opposed to just treating me for my ailment, Dr. Lewis took into account who I was as an individual, my unique needs and was always there to answer questions and concerns.”

With Canadian diabetes rates skyrocketing and an anticipated growth in the disease of almost 50 per cent over the next decade in Canada, it is vital for healthcare professionals to equip patients with the knowledge and information necessary to address and improve their quality of care.

“Improving diabetes management should decrease the rate of heart disease and improve the management of other common diabetes complications,” notes Dr. Lewis. “Whatever proactive steps we can take now will yield far-reaching benefits in the future.”

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