Media Advisory - Vancouver officially joins the fight against urban diabetes

Cities Changing Diabetes aims to put urban diabetes at the top of the global healthcare agenda

VANCOUVER, Nov. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Across the globe, and here in Canada, cities like Vancouver are on the front-lines of the urban diabetes epidemic. The number of Canadians with diabetes has doubled in the last 12 years,and that growth continues with another person diagnosed every three minutes.2

In Vancouver, a growing number of cross-sector partners have teamed up to educate people on diabetes risk and to fight urban diabetes – the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, the Canadian Diabetes Association, Simon Fraser University and Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. They have joined together to fight urban diabetes in Vancouver by first mapping the problem, sharing the information and insights, and then acting to implement solutions. Next steps are to leverage resources and share key findings across Canada to change the trajectory of the disease.


A special event to mark the beginning of the end of urban diabetes


Monday, November 14th, 2016 (World Diabetes Day) at 10:00 a.m. PST


The Robert Lee YMCA gymnasium (2nd floor), 955 Burrard Street, Vancouver


  • Ann-Britt Everett, Danish Honorary Consul 
  •  The Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
  • Deputy Mayor, Councillor Heather Deal, City of Vancouver
  • Brian Hilberdink, President, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
  • Rick Blickstead, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association
  • Dr. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research, Simon Fraser University
  • Dr. Rolando Barrios, Senior Medical Director, Vancouver Community, Vancouver Coastal Health

The event will conclude with a soccer kick-off activity with midfielder, Ben McKendry from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Students from a local elementary school will also be taking part in the soccer kick-off activity.

Join us in the fight against #UrbanDiabetes!

About Urban Diabetes
The rise of type 2 diabetes remains one of today's greatest health challenges with 415 million people living with diabetes globally.3 Cities are home to more than half the world's population,4 and two-thirds of people with diabetes live in urban areas.3

The personal health burden of diabetes is significant—diabetes costs individuals five to 15 years of life expectancy; it contributes to 30 per cent of strokes, 40 per cent of heart attacks, and 70 per cent of all non-traumatic amputations as well as being a leading cause of blindness.                       

About Cities Changing Diabetes
Cities Changing Diabetes is a commitment to pushing for urgent action against urban diabetes on a global scale. The aim is to map its extent, share solutions and tackle the growing challenge of diabetes in the world's great cities, because we believe that when businesses, city leaders and planners, healthcare professionals, academics, and community leaders pull together, we can transform our cities into healthier places to live, work and play – and bring down the risk of urban diabetes. Vancouver joins the cities of Copenhagen, Houston, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Shanghai, and Tianjin in this global initiative. To learn more about the Cities Changing Diabetes program, visit 

Note: In Vancouver, Cities Changing Diabetes is funded in part by Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. Local partners will work collaboratively on the mapping, sharing and action phases of this initiative.


1 Canadian Diabetes Association, & Diabète Québec. (2011). Diabetes: Canada at the tipping point- Charting a New Path. Retrieved October, 2016, from
2 Canadian Diabetes Association. (2015). Types of Diabetes. Retrieved October, 2016, from
3 Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 7th edn. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2015.
4 United Nations. (2014). Urbanization - United Nations Population Division | Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved October, 2016, from
5 Canadian Diabetes Association. Diabetes in British Columbia.

SOURCE City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, Canadian Diabetes Associaton, Simon Fraser University, Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

For further information: To RSVP and/or schedule an interview opportunity, please contact: Jacqueline Zonneville, GCI Group, 416-486-2603,

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