Embrace innovation at AADE15 in New Orleans


Deborah Greenwood, PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE

By Deborah Greenwood, PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE, 2015 AADE president

It is with great excitement that I welcome you to New Orleans and AADE15. This month marks 10 years since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I am taken by how the people of this aptly named Crescent City embody a resilient spirit, one that those with diabetes must also emulate. And just as the residents of New Orleans have seen that spirit help them heal, so have individuals with diabetes looked to diabetes educators to support them in their journeys to thrive with diabetes.

Embracing innovation is vital for diabetes educators to engage those affected by diabetes, and that is why this year’s theme, in the birthplace of jazz, is “Jazz it up with Innovation and Engagement.” We’re in the midst of a rapidly changing healthcare environment, and our association must remain relevant for individuals affected by and at risk for diabetes and for our members.

In my own practice, I have endeavored to embrace technology. My research interests focus on the use of health information technology to improve the quality of diabetes prevention, care, education, and support. I speak and write about technology-enabled models of care, the emerging concept of the e-patient, and the use of patient-generated data. I am especially interested in the use of social media and the diabetes online community as an opportunity for self-management support. You will see these themes portrayed throughout AADE15 educational sessions.


The American Association of Diabetes Educators hosts AADE15 in New Orleans, where balconies adorned with intricate ironwork and lush gardens showcase the French Quarter’s European roots.

It is indeed a time of change, and so Charlotte Hayes, MMSc, MS, RD, LD, CDE, our Annual Meeting Planning Committee chair, the committee, the AADE staff, and I are committed to helping you further your understanding of new models of practice to engage with people affected by or at risk for diabetes.

Our four keynote speakers exemplify that spirit of innovation.

We are fortunate to have Susannah Fox, well-known e-patient advocate and self-proclaimed “Internet geologist.” She was recently named chief technology officer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and she will present this morning on “The ‘E’ is for Engagement.” Her talk will explore the empowered e-patient and use of patient-generated data.
Thursday brings Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, who is senior director of Connected Health Innovation at Partners Healthcare. His talk will focus on “Engaging Patients in Their Care Using Connected Health.” He will share research outcomes and practice improvements in an interactive presentation.

On Friday, Ann Albright, PhD, RD, will highlight her work as director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during “Diabetes Prevention and All that Jazz.” Dr. Albright has a history of inspiring presentations, and don’t be surprised if you hear a little New Orleans jazz to start the day!

Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Jeff Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare, a health and wellness engagement platform. He will enlighten attendees about “The Power of Positive Computing: Improving Health and Happiness by Unlocking the Science of Voice.” We are thrilled with our general session lineup and know you will be too.

New this year is our Saturday closing session with Manny Hernandez, co-founder and president emeritus of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and now senior vice president of member experience for Livongo Health, and AADE CEO Chuck Macfarlane. They will share their insights on patient and diabetes educator advocacy during “Ready, Aim: Advocate for Diabetes!” The session is unopposed, so there is no reason to miss their inspiring presentation that will encourage you to take action as advocates before you leave AADE15. (Hint: Come prepared and create a Twitter account if you don’t have one!)

We strive to maximize your learning and engagement throughout each day by offering a mix of sessions. With five education tracks and three levels of learning, you can select learning opportunities that best fit within your area of interest and expertise. We also have responded to attendee feedback by providing additional opportunities for earning more continuing education credits and inviting more respected speakers who will provide higher levels of education. I encourage you to download the AADE15 mobile app and search for session titles, speakers, presentation slides, and more info; you can even take notes in the app and share with colleagues when you return home.

The AADE Exhibit Hall as well is the place to learn about the newest innovations. Take advantage of the opportunity to speak with representatives about their products and services. In this venue, you can get hands-on experience and compare products, and also visit the more formal Product Theaters. Our corporate sponsors also provide educational dinner programs in Corporate Symposia Friday evening before the AADE Foundation Celebration of Giving.

The Foundation event will feature a DJ, dancing, dessert, and libations. Tickets, which are $20 each, can be purchased at the Registration Desk. No AADE Annual Meeting is complete without taking part in the customer appreciation events. This evening’s symposium, sponsored by American Medical Systems, will cover “Talking About Erectile Dysfunction: The Diabetes Educator and Patient Perspective.” Afterward, stay for “Dancing Among the Stars,” sponsored by Tandem, where presenters will demonstrate ways to incorporate an insulin pump into dance-based exercise. On Thursday evening, experience a little New Orleans flavor by taking part in “A Stroll Through New Orleans,” sponsored by Lilly Diabetes and BD.

Finally, I am hopeful that you will spend some time exploring the culture, history, music, and flavors (the city offers a plethora of dining experiences) of the Big Easy. Welcome to New Orleans and AADE15.

Dr. Greenwood is the diabetes program coordinator and a clinical nurse specialist for Sutter Health Integrated Diabetes Education Network in Sacramento, California.

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