By Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, FAADE
We gather here at a time of significant change in our field. Health care in general is evolving rapidly, and this evolution is having a huge impact on the roles of diabetes educators and the delivery of diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES). AADE and all of its members are playing a critical role in this evolution.
Embracing this evolution is a key to the successful future of our profession, thus it led to the creation of our Annual Conference theme: Embrace Change, Strengthen Our Future, Celebrate!
AADE’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan identifies the strategies and intended outcomes that will support our mission to Empower diabetes educators to expand the horizons of innovative education, management and support and our vision of Optimal health and quality of life for persons with, affected by or at risk for diabetes and related chronic conditions.
Our strategies and outcomes fall into these categories:
- Emerging Roles and Profession of Diabetes Education and Management
- Population Health Management and New Models of Care
- Diversity in Membership, Products and Services
- Access to Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support
- Digital Technology and Connected Health Environment
- Global Initiatives and Partnerships
- Long-Term Vision for AADE
To bring these strategies and outcomes to life, I’ve threaded an initiative called “Change Champions” through several communication venues, including AADE In Practice and now at AADE16.
Through the year you’ve met Change Champions whose work exemplifies the new roles and responsibilities for members of our profession. You’ll meet a few more Change Champions here in San Diego. Each of them will share the work and projects they’re involved with during their submitted sessions. They’ll then share their experiences at the Change Champions panel on Sunday morning in the first concurrent sessions time slot.
Talking to our members and hearing about their efforts to broaden their roles and responsibilities in diabetes care, management, and education inspires me deeply. It’s clear to me that there’s a huge amount of innovation going on, from changing where and how we deliver DSMES, to role expansion as managers of diabetes paraprofessionals doing the direct diabetes prevention or DSMES, to serving as care coordinators. The list goes on. You are all making an impact and evolving our profession.
The staggering numbers of people affected by type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in the United States and globally is leading to increased attention to the importance of diabetes educators and DSMES in improving care and lowering the cost of healthcare.
This meeting can help you obtain additional tools you need to evolve your role and identify the responsibilities you can take on.
Our Annual Meeting Program Committee has assembled an outstanding program. We have completely revamped the tracks to align closely with our new strategic plan. For example, check out our new Psychosocial Issues and the Promotion of Lifestyle Behavior Change track.
I wanted to have this year’s daily General Sessions cover four different and critical topics that impact the work we do.
Friday’s General Session looks at transformation in the world of health care and how to adapt to new payment and care models with Baystate Health Vice President and Tufts University Professor of Medicine Evan Benjamin.
On Saturday, learn more about professional and personal change and adaptability with author and peak performance expert Dan Thurmon and energize yourself for Type 1 Diabetes Day.
To kick-off Sunday’s Prediabetes Day emphasis, internationally known obesity expert and Professor Emerita at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Donna Ryan explores the current evidence-based guidelines for overweight and obesity treatments and how to integrate today’s tools into the work you do in weight control.
I wanted to include a panel session, so Monday’s session, moderated by longtime diabetes educator Virginia Valentine, will delve into current challenges and tomorrow’s ideas. The panel features Taking Control of Your Diabetes founder Steve Edelman, James Gavin of Healing our Village, Inc., and diabetes education researcher Martha Funnell.
In addition to attending all of the enriching education sessions, make sure to take time to network with other AADE16 attendees. You can make face-to-face connections at many different events throughout the meeting, including Sunday night’s AADE Celebration and several industry-sponsored customer appreciation and networking gatherings held during the evenings.
As always, the Exhibit Hall will be a great place to discover the latest in products and services. Help us say thank you to our exhibitors by taking time to visit with them.
Many of you know that I’m social media engaged. I believe it’s a way to advocate for legislation, provide accurate diabetes self-management tips to people with diabetes, engage with the Diabetes Online Community and connect with colleagues to give and get the latest diabetes and related news. AADE has expanded our social media efforts and increased our integration with online diabetes communities and patient-facing entities. Several session presenters and moderators come from those communities.
During the meeting, use the #AADE16 hashtag on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media posts to connect with others in the diabetes community.
Finally, a big thank you to the AADE staff and volunteers who’ve worked so hard to make this year’s meeting a success. I thank you for attending and for your commitment to improve the lives of persons with, affected by or at risk for diabetes.
Have a great meeting!