Transforming post-pregnancy diabetes care for women at risk

Friday, May 11, 2018 General News
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Sun Life Financial and Sinai Health System to launch innovative prevention program for women with gestational diabetes


May 10, 2018 /CNW/ - Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman's life; however, many women experience complications throughout their pregnancies that can have lasting effects, including gestational diabetes. This form of
diabetes develops during pregnancy when a woman's body is not able to produce enough insulin. While it can be managed and often goes away after birth, women who have experienced this complication are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

To help prevent type 2 diabetes in women following childbirth, Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) is proud to announce a $750,000 commitment to Sinai Health System to launch the Sun Life Financial Program to Prevent Diabetes in Women. This specialized program will help Sinai Health's diabetes experts improve women's health by developing risk assessment tools to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in the future.

"The Sun Life Financial Program to Prevent Diabetes in Women has the ability to alter the course of type 2 diabetes for women whose risk has increased because of their diagnosis during pregnancy," said Linda Dougherty, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Strategy & Global Marketing, Sun Life Financial. "We are thrilled to be at the forefront of post-natal diabetes care through our global commitment to diabetes and to be working with Sinai Health System to ensure a healthy future for women."

The Sun Life Financial Program to Prevent Diabetes in Women will aim to transform treatment for women by:

  • Developing a risk calculator and risk assessment tools that will screen, monitor for, and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes post-pregnancy for a pilot group of women affected by gestational diabetes.
  • Hiring a nurse practitioner as a key resource to support the program.

"It's critical for women who've had gestational diabetes to get checked regularly after pregnancy, but unfortunately, only 20 to 40 percent of women come back for follow up," said Dr. Denice Feig, Head of the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, part of Sinai Health System. "Gestational diabetes rates are also on the rise in Ontario, with one in 10 pregnant women over 30 now affected."

"These funds will help us develop better screening and monitoring tools and provide more opportunities to intervene post-pregnancy," said Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, Endocrinologist at The Leadership Centre for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital. "Diabetes is a progressive disease and these tools will help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in women."

"Corporate partnerships allow our world-class diabetes experts to remain at the forefront of battling this challenging disease and we are very grateful to Sun Life Financial for this generous gift," said Louis de Melo, CEO, Sinai Health Foundation. "Sinai Health is a leader in managing all forms of diabetes during pregnancy and this new program will translate into better outcomes for women at risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy."

Sun Life Financial is focused on helping people achieve lifetime financial security and live healthier lives, taking a holistic approach to supporting the well-being of our Clients, Employees and communities with the end goal of helping to achieve physical, mental and financial resiliency both now and in the future. Sun Life Financial has proudly committed more than $22 million in support of diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives since announcing support of the cause.

Sun Life Financial in the community At Sun Life Financial, we are committed to building sustainable, healthier communities for life and we're proud to hold the Caring Company designation from Imagine Canada. Community wellness is an important part of our sustainability commitment and we believe that by actively supporting the communities in which we live and work, we can help build a positive environment for our Clients, Employees, advisors and shareholders. Our philanthropic support focuses on two key areas: health, with an emphasis on diabetes awareness, prevention, care and research initiatives through our Team Up Against DiabetesTM platform; and arts and culture, through our award-winning Making the Arts More AccessibleTM  program. We also partner with sports properties in key markets to further our commitment to healthy and active living. Our Employees and advisors take great pride in volunteering over 29,000 hours each year and contribute to making life brighter for individuals and families across Canada. Read more about Sun Life Financial in the community.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About Sinai Health SystemSinai Health System is comprised of Mount Sinai Hospital, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and Circle of Care. As an integrated health system, it delivers exceptional care from healthy beginnings to healthy aging, especially for people with specialized and complex health needs, in hospital, community, and home. Sinai Health System discovers and translates scientific breakthroughs, develops practical health solutions, educates future clinical and scientific leaders, and leads efforts to eliminate health inequities. Its Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute ranks in the top ten biomedical research institutes in the world. Sinai Health System is a full affiliate of the University of Toronto.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars except as otherwise noted.

Media Relations Contact: Hannah StewartSenior Communications Specialist, Sun LifeFinancialT: 647-256-2136C:

Janessa BishopManager, Communications & Marketing, SinaiHealth FoundationT: 416-586-4800 x 8454C:

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

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