CHANGE Program for Metabolic Syndrome
The CHANGE Program for Metabolic Syndrome is a free, year-long lifestyle intervention program designed to support individuals in making positive changes to their health. The program offers a range of beneficial features, including regular sessions with highly skilled professionals such as a dietitian and kinesiologist who provide invaluable guidance on nutrition and physical activity. Throughout the program, participants will have the opportunity to meet regularly with the dietician and kinesiologist, benefiting from their knowledge, education, and unwavering support.
To join the program, participants should have at least two of the following conditions: pre-diabetes/diabetes, high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, or low HDL cholesterol. Regardless of their current fitness levels, the program is tailored to accommodate everyone, ensuring that healthy changes to diet and exercise habits can be made at an individual's own pace.
If you're interested in participating, the CHANGE Program is conveniently available at various sites across PEI, making it accessible to individuals throughout the province.
Please contact the study team at:
Findings from the 2020–2021 CHANGE Program Intervention Study in Prince Edward Island, Canada:
Marilyn Barrett, Director
Marilyn Barrett is the Director of the Health and Wellness Centre at the University of Prince Edward Island. She formerly held the role of Director of Primary Care and Chronic Disease Prevention/Management for Health PEI in Prince Edward Island, a position she held from December 2010 to August 2018. Marilyn has held a number of management positions in Health PEI, including Manager of Implementation and Change Management for the CIS Project which implemented the Electronic Health Record in the health system in Prince Edward Island. In addition, she has held a Chief Nursing Officer position for community hospitals and continuing care, Director of Acute and Continuing Care (rural community hospital, home care, and long term care) and worked at the UPEI School of Nursing in positions of Clinical Instructor and Clinical Coordinator.
Marilyn has a diploma in Nursing from the PEI School of Nursing (1987); holds a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick (1996) and a Master’s Degree in Nursing from Athabasca University (2009).
Marilyn has been a surveyor with Accreditation Canada since 2012 and her greatest strength as a surveyor is the diversity of her experience, particularly knowledge gained in the build and implementation of the electronic health record in Prince Edward Island hospitals.
Marilyn is a past board of directors’ member of the Canadian Nurse's Protective Society (CNPS), is a past president with the Association of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island and has served as a board member of the Canadian Nurse's Association. She sits on the Granting Committee of the Community Foundation of Prince Edward Island, is the Secretary/Treasurer for the PEI Funeral Home and Professions Board, is the past chair of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Atlantic Canada and is serving as a Patient on the Community Patient Advocacy Committee at CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Therapeutics for Health). Marilyn has recently joined the Board of Directors of Canadian Blood Services representing Atlantic Canada.
Angelie Carter, Kinesiologist
Angelie Carter is the Kinesiologist working with the CHANGE program at UPEI. After graduating from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS with a BSc degree in Kinesiology, she moved back home to PEI. Over the years, Angelie has worked as a personal trainer, group fitness leader, yoga instructor, Registered Massage Therapist, Certified Exercise Physiologist and Kinesiologist. She enjoys helping individuals find ways to increase their physical activity – building strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility to recover from injuries or manage chronic conditions. Her work with the CHANGE program focuses on individuals with metabolic syndrome, providing education and exercises to increase their physical activity. Using the mantra “some is better than none”, Angelie encourages individuals to move within their ability to improve their health and well-being. Residing in Prince Edward Island with her husband and son, she enjoys exploring new trails and the coastline. She hopes to continue her work with the CHANGE program and educating others on the benefits and joys of physical activity.
Laura Reyes Castillo, Registered Dietitian
Laura Reyes Castillo works with individuals and families to achieve health goals with a behaviour change approach, creating habits that last. Understanding the barriers to balance eating that we face everyday can help with realistic goal setting. Ms Reyes Castillo graduated from the Integrated Dietetic Internship at UPEI and has continued to work in multiple clinical and public health settings. She specializes in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, IBS management, mindful and intuitive eating. Through her work with the CHANGE Program, she has helped participants across PEI achieve and maintain health goals. Ms Reyes Castillo is registered with the College of Dietitians of PEI, is a member of the Sub-Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, an active member of Dietitians of Canada and the Primary Care Dietitians Association. Outside of work she loves to hike in the beautiful PEI provincial parks and trails, cook traditional foods and play board games with her son.