Embrace Change!

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Carolé Mensing, RN, MA, CDE, FAADE

By Carolé Mensing, RN, MA, CDE, FAADE

I am reveling in a year that is championing change for diabetes education and educators! Why now? And really… who am I to think that I can recognize any change?

First, I’ll define what change means to me. It is not the action of just “doing something different” for the sake of changing it up, nor is it being oppositional. Rather, it is change for the purpose of creating opportunities that trying something new can bring to fruition. (For those who know me, I am somewhat of a risk taker, a mediator, a third alternative kind of educator and often have a plan in mind, as well as an alternate “plan B”, “plan C” and maybe even a “plan D.”)

Why should we embrace change in 2016? In diabetes, it is the change I see in how we as educators deliver our care and plan our educational events. This is evident in our roles and how they have evolved over the years and continue to evolve into positions that include more than just “educating people with diabetes.” Change continues to broaden our responsibilities in care coordination for the person to include family, partnerships and the community. We have expanded our areas of expertise beyond base knowledge about diabetes and education to include program coordination, business acumen and organizational leadership. We have continued to broaden our competencies, welcoming innovation and “out of the box” educational delivery options such as the use of varied technology. We are taking on these roles while researching and publishing outcomes and forming universally recognized standards.

Next, we have begun to more formally recognize AADE educators as “Change Champions”. These are educators who are fulfilling the void in educational practices and expanding horizons of innovation in diabetes education, research, technology, legislation, demonstrated models of care, access and provider alternatives. It’s about time to more formally recognize this change, I say.

As a point of interest, these changes for AADE are guided by our newly revised mission, vision and 2016-2018 strategic plan, set into play by our board of directors, staff and committees. You’ll be reminded of the new strategic plan at the AADE16 annual conference and be encouraged to embrace change as you attend sessions, learn and network. AADE16 sets the stage for publically modeling our organizations’ change platform.

And finally, just who am I to recognize change? I am the invited moderator of a representative panel of several diabetes educators who were identified and recognized as Change Champions. The session is titled: DO3 – Change Champions: Meet Members Engaged in Evolving Our Profession, and will showcase their work. It is scheduled in the morning of Sunday, August 14. Panel members include Patricia Pugh, Ardis Reed, Kathy Schwab and Mary Ellen Wolf. In addition, panel members will also be presenting examples of their work throughout the convention. For example:

  • F24: Can Diabetes Educators Be Care Coordinators?-Mary Ellen Wolf
  • F29: A Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Project in a Multi-site Community- Based Primary Care Setting- Patricia Pugh
  • D30: Explore and Embrace the AADE Practice Competencies- Ardis Reed (in additional to other presenters)
  • D17: Can Mobile Technology Increase the Value and Effectiveness of Diabetes Education?-Kathy Schwab

See you in San Diego. Expect to experience some change!

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