Farewell Ramona!

Mona - Collage

After 42 years of  Nursing and a long dedicated career with Markham Family Physicians and Markham Family Health Team, our Lead Nurse Ramona has decided it is time to retire.

Her family is putting together a Book of Memories highlighting her career over the years and we thought that since she has cared for so many generations of our patients, some families might like to write her a little message that would be included in this book.

If you would like to let her know how much you value the care she has provided to both you and your family over the years, please go to our website www.markhamfht.com, go to Blog and choose Farewell Ramona. Please enter your name and email address (required fields) and then enter your comment and Post Comment. It is as simple as that. We promise to pass along your kind words to her family.

We ask that you help us keep this a secret until it is ready to present to her.

Mona has always been such a vital part of the day to day operations of this practice. It is hard to imagine not seeing her every day but one thing we all agree on…..she has most certainly earned some rest and relaxation.

Assess your Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Risk

This post is for those who have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes–so you may be pre-diabetic, or have been told that your sugars are a little high.  Maybe your sugar levels are fine, but you want to check in with your health and see whether you are at risk of developing diabetes.  Maybe you are concerned about a friend or a family member and their risk for developing diabetes (especially if there is a family history).  Whatever the case, there is a handy website to visit that will help you to assess your risk of developing pre-diabetes and/or diabetes in your lifetime.

Go to this website and complete the CANRISK test (see the green box):

Don’t Be Risky

Completing the survey can help you to know if you are at risk for developing diabetes.  This knowledge can help you consider making lifestyle changes that can make you happier and healthier for longer–for example, eating more vegetables, reducing your portion sizes, quitting smoking or moving your body more.  Did you know that a 5% reduction in your weight can reduce the risk of progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes by 60% (1)–that’s huge!  Keep in mind, that for someone who weighs 200 lbs, a 5% weight loss means losing 10lbs.  This does not need to be done in the next month as even a gradual reduction over a year will pay off with big health benefits!  To help make this happen, you could skip the can of regular pop in the day, reduce the amount of cream and sugar used in your coffee, skip an evening snack if you’re not actually hungry!

The more we know about our health, our bodies and healthy behaviours, the more power we have to change our lives.  Take the test!  Send it to your loved ones!  If you have any questions about the test or the results, or if you want help with making lifestyle changes, talk to your healthcare provider or your diabetes team–support can make all the difference!




1. Ransom T, Goldenberg R, Mikalachki A et al.  Reducing the Risk of Developing Diabetes.  Can J Diabetes:2013; 37 (suppl 1): S16-S19.

Nov 5th – Diabetes Educator Day!

November 5th is Diabetes Educator Day!


Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)®  is a health professional, committed to excellence in diabetes education and who has a sound knowledge base in diabetes care/management and education processes, as well as good communication skills and who has passed the Canadian Diabetes Educator’s Certification Board (CDECB) exam.

At the Markham Family Health Team you are lucky to have two CDE’s working at the practice, myself, Sheetal (Clinical Pharmacist) and Andrea (Registered Dietitian). We each have our own areas of expertise but overall have a good command of diabetes care and management.  We often like to see patients together so that we can provide the most comprehensive approach to diabetes care and with the help of our diabetes team which includes doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, chiropodist, and social workers you can pretty much get all your diabetes needs met here at the practice. Keep in mind however that diabetes care can extend even beyond our walls. As a patient you may be referred to a Diabetes Education Centre (DEC), LMC clinic, endocrinologist and/or nephrologist. You may also get diabetes care through your community pharmacist. It can get confusing with all the different players that may be involved but keep in mind the most important is you!

Here are a few tips that I recommend to patients to get the most out of their diabetes care; (and a few documents to get you on your way!)

1. Be prepared for your visits.


2. Know your targets, goals and results. 


3. Know your diabetes team.


4. Write things down!