Centre for Complex Diabetes Care

The Centre for Complex Diabetes Care (CCDC) provides enhanced support to patients with diabetes and related, collective health issues that require more intensive treatment strategies. Specialized interprofessional teams within the CCDC use a coordinated approach to diabetes management and treatment to meet each patient’s individual needs and that of their families. The Centre for Complex Diabetes Care provides a single point of access to this type of care.

Level One (50% of diabetes population) means that routine care is provided by a primary care provider (family doctor, nurse practitioner, etc.)

Level Two (35% of diabetes population) patients receive assisted care since abnormal blood sugar levels may require some intervention but do not have any other related and continuing complications

Level Three (15% of diabetes population) require intensive case management – these are the services provided at the CCDC

The CCDC is different from other programs currently available in that it focuses on the care of Level Three patients only. Patients are discharged from the program when they are able to self-manage their conditions with support from a Level 1 or Level 2 program.

About the CCDC Program

The program is available to both inpatients and outpatients on a referral basis. Patients from across the region access the CCDC through a referral from their primary healthcare provider (for example, their family doctor) or specialist. The CCDC team works directly with patients to ensure comprehensive care. As blood sugar control is often disturbed during periods of unrelated illnesses and hospitalization, the CCDC also offers services for admitted patients. These programs are developed with the help of Patient and Family Advisors (PFAs) who provide valuable insights and feedback on the program continually to ensure we are meeting the needs of our patients.

The CCDC has physical offices in two communities: Thunder Bay, at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and Sioux Lookout, at the Meno Ya Win Health Centre. Telemedicine plays a vital role in helping to overcome the difficulties in delivering care to patients across Northwestern Ontario to provide closer-to-home care. Wherever possible, Telemedicine technologies are used to reduce the need for patients to leave their home communities to access CCDC services.

This includes eye exams which are so crucial to detecting diabetic retinopathy early when it is most treatable. Teleophthalmology is a web-based screening program that allows patients to get their vision exams faster and closer to home. The unit is portable so it can travel to the patients rather than vice-versa. The digital images are sent securely to ophthalmologists in Thunder Bay for review via the Internet, resulting in faster, more timely care for patients in the region.

What to Expect

If you have been referred to the CCDC, you likely have a range of problems related to your diabetes. The CCDC interprofessional teams will provide you with specialized, personalized care geared towards your specific needs. Generally speaking, you will work with one or more team members to assess your current condition and discuss strategies to help get your diabetes under control and maintain that control with the help of other community-based programs.

Please feel free to ask any team members any questions you may have. It may be helpful to write down a list of questions before your appointments, and to bring a pen and paper with you to write down the answers. All patients are welcome to bring a family member, friend, or other loved one to each appointment.

Please bring your Health Card to each appointment. If you cannot make your appointment for any reason, please call the CCDC at (807) 684-6944.

About Diabetes and Northwestern Ontario

While people with diabetes make up only a small percentage of Ontario’s population, Northwestern Ontario has more people suffering from the illness than the provincial average, especially among the Aboriginal community. Complications of the illness can also lead to other serious health issues including kidney failure and circulation problems.

The CCDC serves the largest land mass of the Province of Ontario (47%) coupled with the smallest and most dispersed population. In addition, the region has many small towns and First Nations located throughout rural and remote areas which makes planning, delivering, and accessing health services difficult. The CCDC is committed to overcoming these challenges through the use of Telemedicine and other innovative programming to help diabetics who need Level Three services get quality care, and get that care closer to home whenever possible.