In my job, I work for a publicly funded not-for-profit organization that exists to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of ideas and best practices to achieve a transformation in patient safety. We advocate for patient safety within the Canadian healthcare system. We do some tremendous work and I know we really make a difference in improving patient safety.
I like to think that the work Amanda and I do on this blog, is advocating for patients as well. Well, I am confident in saying that we are advocating. In some cases we are advocating to the health system in raising awareness about the diagnosis. But really and truly, we are a different type of patient advocate, because our work is not as much with the healthcare system, but the food, beverage and hospitality industry. Weird eh?
I am not saying we don't speak about the healthcare system and how you should be speaking to your doctor on a regular basis about your diagnosis, but we talk a lot about the food and beverage industry. And why? Because Celiac Disease is not treated with a pill (not yet at least), but it is treated through a gluten free diet. It is the food and beverage industry that controls Amanda's ability to eat out, and shop at certain grocery stores.
So that is why we are always speaking with grocery stores, and restaurants to raise awareness, and ensure that gluten free foods are available. We want to ensure that proper processes are in place to try and reduce any harm to you, the gluten free consumer. We do our best to advocate, but we also want you to be your own advocate. One of my employers mantra's is ASK.LISTEN.TALK, good healthcare starts with a question. So be sure to ask questions, this is your health. Ask questions of your servers about handling the food the serve you. Ask questions of the food manufacturers about their food manufacturing plants and control systems they have in place. Ask questions of your doctor about your diagnosis to make sure you understand all the facts, and they do too.
Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta