Somava Stout, MD, MS, believes diabetes can serve as a lens for understanding and improving population health and diabetes educators can serve as agents of system change.
Dr. Stout will share more about the role diabetes educators can take in the global movement to a healthier population in Saturday’s keynote “Pathways to Population Health: the role of diabetes professionals as change agents” at 7:30 am in Exhibit Hall A.
“A lot of what we realize needs to happen if we’re really going to move forward in the journey to population health is to bring people together to come up with a common understanding of what population health means, and more importantly, how they can play a role in advancing population health,” said Dr. Stout, a vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and executive Lead of 100 Million Healthier Lives, which brings together 1000+ partners in 28 countries to achieve transformation in health, wellbeing and equity.
Dr. Stout’s keynote will invite diabetes educators to step back and see their work in the wider context of what produces population health and chronic disease over the life course and the intersection of social drivers and chronic disease. She will introduce the Pathways to Population Health framework for health care change agents to help attendees envision to accelerate and deepen their impact to improve health, well being and equity with people and communities.
“Diabetes educators really see the full spectrum of what it means for someone to live with diabetes,” said Dr. Stout. “They represent an enormous resource to help understand and build the systems that could help us truly improve population health from a whole person lens. What I’d love is for diabetes educators to see themselves as catalysts and change agents in improving the system so that it truly improved the health and wellbeing of people and populations.
Not only do diabetes educators have the opportunity to affect change in their own practice, but also by participating in those areas where people are redefining how health care should be delivered, she said.
“I think there’s an opportunity to really bring in the experience of what it means to support people to live and thrive with diabetes is an invaluable insight that diabetes educators could bring,” said Dr. Stout, adding that diabetes educators can also create and build bridges with community-based organizations or places where health happens.