I am particularly pleased to be able to report that 2017/18 has been another strong and successful year for Diabetes SA during which we have delivered several changes and programs.
Although our Chief Executive, Angelique Pasalidis, will take you through many of these in more detail in her report, there are matters that I would like to highlight.
Our current Board has been together for two years now and has been working extremely hard as a cohesive team. The skills and attributes of our board members has underwritten the best advice and direction on all major issues we have dealt with in the past year. I personally thank each one of them. My thanks must also go to our CEO Angelique, she has been integral to the process of managing innovation and change.
I see that one of our core strengths at Diabetes SA is the capability and experience of all staff which make up the team. This is borne from a culture of empowering and developing our people to succeed at every level, and encouraging accountability, innovation and excellence. This is encouraged by the Board and the CEO and one that is embedded in our culture.
I would like to express the Board’s appreciation and indeed admiration for the outstanding contribution of all our staff during the year. Our Market Research is looking at the level of utilisation of Diabetes SA services along with perceptions of Diabetes SA services and future needs and preferred channels for accessing services. This will assist decision making on future services offered and scoping of opportunities for collaboration and or expansion of services.
The Board and I have also been particularly excited with the work undertaken in achieving our recent Research Grants. I must mention them all because of their diversity and importance to our members and the SA community in general.
- A bitter tale of artificial sweeteners for type 2 diabetes.
- Evaluation of the topical application of high density lipoproteins on wound healing inpatients with diabetic foot ulcers – a phase ½ clinical trial.
- The impact of modifiable exposures in the parent’s and child’s environment on the risk of type 1 diabetes.
- Effects of acute hyperglycaemia on the slowing of gastric emptying induced by short acting GLP-1 receptor agonistsin type 2 diabetes.
- Understanding the regulation of gut derived glucagon and its implications for type 2 diabetes treatment.
- Reconstructing the stigma and blame, a critical pedagogy for stigmatised persons living with type 2 diabetes.
I also proudly note that although the grants were offered on a national basis, all the current research funded by Diabetes SA is with South Australian institutions. We were faced with very worthy applications and funding of only $200,000, so we sought the approval of Board to increase the funding to $270,750 which they approved. It was important for the selection committee chaired by Board member Geoff Weeks to ensure that the selected research had representation across the different types of diabetes and that outcomes would be translatable in the South Australian diabetes community.
Our special thanks must be extended to the four co-opted specialist advisors – Professor Jennifer Couper, Professor Michael Horowitz, Associate Professor Stephen Stranks and Diabetes SA’s Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist Dr Anthony Roberts. Each were very giving of their time, knowledge and expertise in there view process. Thank you also to the Board Members who were part of this committee.
Once again, I express my sincere appreciation to my fellow Board members for their time, energy and dedication during the past year and for the insights and expertise they each bring to Diabetes SA. We are fortunate indeed to have such a skilled and committed staff led by Angelique and the management team who undertake the management, assessment and conduct of our varied programs.
I warmly acknowledge and thank the CEO and each staff member for their contributions to Diabetes SA because it really is an inspiring team working energetically and co-operatively to achieve for our members and the community of South Australia.