The Elks Hall was bustling in Williams Lake last week with a diabetes conference hosted by Three Corners Health Services Society.
“It’s our first time we’ve done this and we are hoping it will become an annual thing,” said Stacey Isaac, nurse manager for Three Corners Society as lunch was being served Wednesday.
“We have brought together all of our five Secwepemc communities and some of the Tsilhqot’in communities to learn more about diabetes.”
The theme of the conference – From Burnout to Balance – reflected the fact it can be stressful to have diabetes, she added.
Ten different tables were set up around the hall, with information and services about community resources.
“We’ve got two pharmacists from Shoppers Drug Mart who work with us on a program for people who take several medications to see if they can get them off some of their medications,” Isaac said. “There’s someone else giving foot massages, because that can help people with diabetes.”
Leanne MacNair, an optometric assistant with Williams Lake Optometry, was manning a display on how to keep diabetes from affecting the eyes.
“If it does end up impacting somebody’s eyes then I we can tell them what kind of treatment is available,” MacNair said.
Trying out some of the exercise equipment brought to the conference by Red Tag Fitness was Edith William, a home support worker from Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation for the last 16 years.
As Kyle Dyck from Red Tag talked to her about the equipment, William’s face lit up.
She seemed to be enjoying seeing her progress on the monitor as she moved her arms and legs with the equipment.
Nurses Sagar Sandhu and Matthew Summerskill work with the Mobile Diabetes Clinic from Carrier Sekani Family Services out of Prince George and travel to many communities in the Interior.
During the two-day conference they ran their clinic in Williams Lake.
Pointing to a spinning wheel at their booth Summerskill said people could win prizes based on where it landed.
“Here this one says, ‘what is this organ?’” he said as the wheel stopped at one of the spots. “It’s the pancreas.”
“It’s a fun game,” Sandu added.
“Kind of like Wheel of Fortune, but Wheel of Diabetes Fortune.”
The fair ran Tuesday and Wednesday, with a healthy lunch served each day.
Isaac said she is hopeful the diabetes conference can become an annual event.
Three Corners Health Services Society has an office in Williams Lake and at Sugar Cane with a mandate to holistically address the health care needs of Secwepemc community members by incorporating traditional and contemporary practices.