New Tecumseth Free Press Online
June 7, 2012
With the fight to protect the Banting homestead from the clutches of residential development a distant memory, the focus has shifted to developing the property into a multi-faceted "publicly accessible, unique venue in which families and visitors from around the world can enjoy a welcoming recreational experience combined with motivational education in the environment in which a great Canadian and medical giant was born and spent his early years."
A step toward that vision was announced last week when The Sir Frederick Banting Legacy Foundation (BLF) and the Department of Pediatrics of McMaster University announced a partnership to support pediatric diabetes research.
Initially, the partnership will fund an annual expert-led think-tank to address the special challenges faced by diabetic youth as they transition to adult care. In addition, the partnership will fund research projects which will focus on children, First Nations and other at risk communities, according to the news release from McMaster.
"The transition of young people with chronic illness into adult health services has been a concern for the pediatric profession for decades," said Dr. Lennox Huang, chair of pediatrics at McMaster University. "We pediatricians, family doctors and other specialists recognize an alarming gap in care which contributes to the untimely death of young patients. McMaster's new partnership with the Banting Legacy Foundation will tackle this issue head-on."
The BLF's relationship with McMaster joins one already forged with Stevenson Memorial Hospital, and Southlake Regional Health Centre. Along with community partners the Alliston Lions Club and Alliston Rotary. That in addition to the Town of New Tecumseth, which owns what's now referred to as Banting Homestead Heritage Park.
David Sadlier, president of the BLF, told Free Press Online via email that the "formal partnership with a world-class diabetes research team is a significant achievement and one of which we are justly proud."
"It means we can now move forward to make an even greater contribution to the fight against diabetes and, given the special skills and experience of the McMaster team, it means we can make real our objective of emphasizing support for adolescents, youth, First Nations, and other at risk communities," wrote Mr. Sadlier. "It means that together we can leverage resources to more effectively focus on prevention, disease management and methods for helping to keep young folk connected to their essential diabetes protocols ... and all of that contributes to an improved quality of life for these folk."
The long term goal will include a new Diabetes Outreach Clinic and Learning Centre on the site.
"Some members of the outreach team will be re-located to that building and provide out patient services there," he added. "The classroom aspects of that buidling will be used by researchers and healthcare professionals to deliver results and to share them internationally... as well as to help diabetic families learn new approaches to menu preparation and other life style aspects essential to the effective mangement of diabetes."