It’s been a busy, but fulfilling summer for me. In addition to meeting with and coaching my patients every week, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend some key conferences for diabetes educators such as myself. Last June, I went to the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in San Diego, which was rich in valuable research and clinical information.
And just last week, I went to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Las Vegas. This conference is best known for its incredible networking opportunities that it presents the attendees, expertly mixing social opportunities with educational content. Organizers make it a point to have social events every evening, of which my favorite is the Coffee Social for returning AADE attendees. It’s a time when fellow Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE) can mingle with colleagues from around the country.
From left to right: Jean Roemer, me and Nicole Johnson
But this year’s AADE Meeting was much more than a coffee social for me! I was honored to present on a topic that’s near and dear to what I do every day…helping teens and adolescents make a successful transition to self-managed diabetes care. The group of professionals for whom I presented are those who work with young adults and were looking for some tips on how to make this chapter of their lives more manageable. I focused on the teen transition program here at the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center, InTransit, and gave advice on how CDEs can successfully counsel teens, even if they don’t have access to a formal transition center.
I spoke with two other panel members. Jean Roemer, a nurse practitioner from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, talked about teens’ physical development. Nicole Johnson, former Miss America , spoke about a social networking program she has founded in conjunction with USF Health (the University of South Florida) and has been implementing throughout the country at other college campuses.
The attendees of our panel discussion had specific questions and were very interested in our topics, especially regarding Kovler’s InTransit program. I left feeling energized and hopeful about the exciting accomplishments of Diabetes Educators across the country, and I’m excited to bring those sentiments back to our center and to our patients.
Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Program Coordinator of InTransit Program
The University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center