The Canadian Celiac Association, Belleville/Quinte Chapter presented its president, Karen Brooks, with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
The award was presented to Karen Y. Brooks, RN, BScN, CRE by Cheryl McKenzie and Bob Beddie, representing the chapter executive. Also present were Doctors Tromp, Beach and Seybold, of the Prince Edward Family Health Team, where Brooks is the family practice nurse/chronic disease patient educator and certified respiratory educator.
Brooks has been a member of the Canadian Celiac Association for more than two and a half decades, and an integral part of the local Belleville/Quinte Chapter since its inception in 1991. She has held the position of chapter president since 2004, and volunteers numerous hours to increase awareness of Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance for members and health professionals alike. She has co-written several learning tools that have been implemented throughout Canada, and she is currently working on online learning modules for the association.
Locally, she provides peer counselling for new members, plans support meetings, publishes newsletters, and is the local delegate at CCA conferences across Canada. In addition, she has worked with local store and restaurant owners to provide gluten free food for those living in, and travelling to, the Belleville/Quinte area.
For the past five years, she has also participated in the Cycling for Celiacs annual event, held in Kingston, helping to raise more than $23,000 celiac research.
She is passionate that people have an early diagnosis and enjoy a healthy, successful gluten free life. After being presented with the medal, she said “Truly this award is really about all the great people I have had working with me ….”
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