ANNUAL REPORT

our first six years

Since 2016, the Institute for Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition has been working toward a vision of a healthier society, where people with chronic conditions have more options in their treatment. 

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A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO

Almost a decade ago I took a short pause from my career, feeling more than a little discouraged about the state of healthcare in Canada.  I thought deeply about the kind of change that could turn things around. Chronic medical conditions – diseases most often linked to aging and lifestyle – were already overwhelming our system and the economic burden on both individuals and society was staggering. People I knew and loved were suffering.  

Around the same time, it was the experience of a close friend that sparked my journey to explore therapeutic nutrition. It changed my whole way of thinking about chronic disease. She had been living with Type 2 diabetes for 13 years when she started a new way of eating. Under the supervision of her physician, she was quickly able to stop taking medications and have normal blood glucose levels, even before she started losing the weight she wanted to lose. I thought this was amazing, and it was clearly life-altering for her.  

Sean McKelvey

SEAN MCELVEY
Chief Executive Officer

Institute for Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition

Healthcare professionals learn about ‘minimizing consequences’ of chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, but hearing that she was about to stop taking medication because of the ways she was eating was not something, as a pharmacist, I had ever been taught. And so began my exploration of ‘food first’ ways to treat and reverse chronic conditions.   

What started as a big idea has evolved into a registered Canadian charity that is changing the conversation about chronic disease. I hope that one day, our conversations change and using terms like ‘chronic’ and ‘progressive’ will be a thing of the past. I believe that every person diagnosed with a chronic condition has the right to know about all evidence-based treatment options, including food-based approaches, and the IPTN is working hard to turn this belief into reality.  

I am especially grateful for the committed volunteers who supported our vision since the beginning, and proud of the distance we’ve come in the past six years. We have forged many important relationships with individuals and organizations who are aligned with IPTN. If health is a social movement, we are on our way! 

 

WHY THERAPEUTIC
NUTRITION
MATTERS

 

Everyone diagnosed with a chronic disease, like type 2 diabetes, should know and deserves to know all the treatment options available to them and have a choice in the path they take.

 

If therapeutic nutrition is a way for people to use personalized eating strategies to reduce or reverse specific chronic conditions or symptoms of a chronic disease – they should know about this option, too. Working with a knowledgeable health care professional and backed by mounting scientific evidence, therapeutic nutrition can reduce or eliminate the need for many medications and lessen the impact of a chronic condition - possibly even achieving remission.  

While diets and lifestyle interventions have long been associated with preventing disease and promoting general wellness, therapeutic nutrition is more like taking an antibiotic to treat an infection – an intensive, time-limited therapy to improve metabolic health, followed by a long-term lifestyle change designed specifically for the person being treated. When it comes to food-based therapy, we know that one size (one diet) does not fit all.  

The Institute for Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition (IPTN) sees a future where food is a recognized option to treat chronic medical conditions and help create a healthier society.  

46% increase
projected world diabetes rate, by 2045

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$68 billion
direct health care costs of chronic disease to Canadian healthcare system annually

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Canadian adults with a common chronic disease
 

WHAT WE DO

A chronic disease affects an individual every single day of their life, often impacting activities of daily living, cost of medications, additional healthcare needs, and overall mental health. Our hope is for people to have treatment options, like therapeutic nutrition, that dramatically lessen the burden and improve the health of individuals and  communities across the country.  

We collaborate on research to discover the safest, most effective, and cost-effective ways to deliver therapeutic nutrition and share this new knowledge with health care providers and the public.  
We teach healthcare providers how to safely use therapeutic nutrition to reverse symptoms or achieve remission in people with chronic medical conditions, through a Certificate in Therapeutic Nutrition and other training opportunities. 
We develop and share supportive tools and resources to teach members of the public about the benefits of a therapeutic nutrition approach and help them work with their healthcare provider to use therapeutic nutrition. 
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Therapeutic Nutrition: individually tailored nutrition designed to manage or reverse a patient’s specific medical condition(s) 

key terms

Chronic condition: a human health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with age, usually lasting more than three months and getting worse over time 

Healthcare professional: physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dietitians, and other medical professionals who support a patient’s health journey 

 

OUR GOALS FOR
A HEALTHIER CANADA

IPTN improves the health of people living with chronic medical conditions or who are at significant risk of developing chronic medical conditions.  

We are doing this in a few important ways.

  • Collaborating with global medical experts to advance the science of therapeutic nutrition

  • Transforming the way society thinks about chronic disease. 

  • Helping healthcare practitioners change their clinical practice faster through training, certification, scientific conferences, Community of Practice, and other educational opportunities. 

  • Empowering people living with chronic conditions to explore food-based treatment options with the trust they will be safely supported in the process by their healthcare professional. 

 
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2016

  • Incorporation and first strategic planning event with executive team, advisors and board of directors

  • Inaugural website launched

  • Funding secured for 200 participant proof-of-concept clinical trial as a collaboration between IPTN, Mitacs, University of British Columbia (UBC) and Pharmasave

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Image by Ekaterina Tishkina

ON THE RIGHT PATH:
JOURNEY TO ACHIEVING CHARITABLE STATUS

Achieving charitable status in 2021 has allowed IPTN to strategically expand to advance their mission, giving patients renewed hope for the future. With this important designation, IPTN is positioned to study the therapeutic nutrition field alongside diverse partners and translate this knowledge to best serve the public.

 

SINCE 2016

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335

pharmacists or physicians

trained in therapeutic nutrition
 

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43

webinars hosted

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5

articles

published

by an IPTN

staff member

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7+

university affiliations

8

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collaborative

research projects

since launch

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2,100+

Community of Practice members

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CREATING HOPE THAT
TYPE 2 DIABETES REMISSION IS POSSIBLE

Led with support from IPTN and facilitated by community pharmacists, a 12-week clinical trial assessing the effects of a low calorie, low carbohydrate diet suggests this approach could contribute to the remission of type 2 diabetes in adult patients.

 

MAKING TIME
FOR GIVING BACK

IPTN prides itself on building respectful, functional relationships with other networks and decision-makers to transform the way society thinks about chronic disease. Through collaboration and connection, our community is working together to improve the quality of life for millions of Canadians.

 

From the beginning, the work of IPTN has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, including our many expert advisors, who are volunteers from across Canada and around the world.  

IPTN volunteers help our organization raise awareness about therapeutic nutrition and get information to interested parties to form critical partnerships. Volunteers are also providing invaluable feedback that is helping IPTN grow and reach new heights.

180+

volunteers engaged

We are so grateful to our volunteers for offering their time and insight for this cause. From dietitians, physicians,  pharmacists, nurses, and more, our volunteers have diverse perspectives and we have created a solid community of practice that is helping us achieve our goals.

 

Barb Reece, COO 

 
Image by Amani Nation

REMISSION HOPE TRAVELS TO KENYA AS IPTN SUPPORTS A
THERAPEUTIC NUTRITION HUB

52 million 

adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in Africa (International Diabetes Federation)

IPTN and the University of Nairobi’s Faculty of Nutrition are working together to create a Therapeutic Nutrition Hub and Type 2 Diabetes Remission Centre of Excellence in Kenya, broadening the reach of the knowledge and research conducted to help global health and wellness.  

 

BRINGING A COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO BETTER SUPPORT CANADIANS' HEALTH

Building community is at the heart of IPTN and its work - bringing diverse partners together to research, learn and share information about therapeutic nutrition more broadly. Since it launched, IPTN has convened thousands of healthcare professionals through a unique Community of Practice, conferences, and webinars, building a network that will support Canadians and their health needs.

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2,100+

Community of Practices members

5

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international scientific conferences hosted

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660+

conference attendees

 
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TRAINING HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS TO NAVIGATE THERAPEUTIC NUTRITION

335

pharmacists or physicians

trained in therapeutic nutrition
 

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1,500+

real-time

webinar attendance

10,134

recorded

webinar views

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IPTN is training healthcare professionals around the world to support their patients in a journey to better manage, or reverse, chronic conditions and associated symptoms. Hundreds of physicians or pharmacists have already been trained, with many more to come. 

 

GETTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE TABLE

An organization that grew out of volunteerism, IPTN saw a shift in 2020 when it became a registered charity. With the addition of funding, the organization was in a position for the first-time to bring on subject matter experts in programs and training, development and fundraising, communications and engagement, and administration, to move forward with what IPTN has set out to accomplish.

2022 is the first year that IPTN will have permanent staff leading portfolios within the organization. This formal support helps solidify the strategic direction of IPTN and provides dedicated resources in achieving the mission and vision. 

Working in an emerging field is not for the faint of heart. We sat at Sean’s dining room table and had a strategic planning session about operations. We took a hard look at what we wanted to accomplish and the characteristics of the team we needed to build. 

 

Barb Reece, COO

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

IPTN benefits from the expert advice of the Board of Directors, a group of passionate and experienced volunteers who share an interest in transforming healthcare. The Board is composed of people who have a passion for IPTN’s focus and are aligned to the purpose ahead for the institute.   

Jim Johnson | Diane Kenyon | Brendan Byrne | Bill Dow | Sia Moussavi

 
A randomized controlled trial of pharmacist-led therapeutic carbohydrate and energy restriction in type 2 diabetes
Led with support from IPTN and facilitated by community pharmacists, a 12-week clinical trial assessing the effects of a low calorie, low carbohydrate diet suggests this approach could contribute to the remission of type 2 diabetes in adult patients.
Read a summary here
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IN 8 YEARS

2030

By 2030, the Institute for Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition wants every person diagnosed with a chronic condition to be told about effective, food-based treatment options, and then safely supported to pursue this path by at least one healthcare provider, if they choose it.