Your 2015 Diabetes Conference Calendar!

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After not being able to find a single source for diabetes events and conferences that might be of interest for those who have diabetes and/or advocate for diabetes, I decided to create one in 2014 – and we’re continuing with a 2015 calendar for all diabetes conferences and events that you might be interested in attending.

Ta-da.

Please note that this is U.S.-centric, as I currently live in the United States. (Most of me. My pancreas is currently on the lam somewhere where it cannot be extradited.) However, I have added some international conferences. Most of these can be attended by the hoi polloi, but some do require a medical designation/degree (although a press pass may provide entry). These are regional or national shindigs, not local groups or walks. 

If there is one that I have missed, please notify me at theperfectd [at] gmail [dot] com so I can add it. I will be updating this calendar throughout the year so I suggest you bookmark this page now. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.) 

Click on the title of the conference/event for the website link/additional information.

January

Winter Slipstream 2015 (Connected in Motion) January 16 – 18, 2015 –  Camp Kandalore, Algonquin Highlands,  Ontario, Canada 

If you’re sporty and love The Great White North (to which the latter I can wholeheartedly attest), then go hang out with other Type 1s and do some cold weather athletic stuff. Connected In Motion is an amazing organization that will hopefully continue to do a lot of amazing work now that the U.S. based diabetes athletes organization, InsulinDependence, has closed its doors.

51st Annual Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology Conference (National Jewish Health) January 23 – 27, 2015 – Snowmass, CO

February

ADA Research Summit Maryland 2015 February 7, 2015 – Towson, MD

The American Diabetes Association, Maryland Chapter is pleased to present a day of learning and interacting with world renowned scientists and clinicians focused on finding cures and better treatments for diabetes. This is free and open to the public, but only the first 220 registered can attend.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) February 7, 2015 – Augusta, GA

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo February 7, 2015 – Denver, CO

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

EASD Diabetes Technology Meeting 2015 February 11-12, 2015 – Düsseldorf, Germany

This meeting, held not in the United States, will present “top level research” in all areas of diabetes technology. They claim that they will also present a joint statement from the ADA and EASD on insulin pumps.

8th Annual American Diabetes Association Montana Family Retreat February 20 – 22, 2015 Fairmont, MT 

Family Retreat is an event designed for all people living with type 1 diabetes. Education and activities are built specifically for families with children or teenagers with type 1 diabetes. There will be separate breakout sessions for parents, teenagers, and children.

Registration fees include all meals, activities, and hotel room for Friday evening through Sunday morning.  Families or groups of 6 or more will be charged additional fees for a second room. ($180 Adults, 18 and over, $60 Children, 4-17 years old, Children 3 years and younger are free – financial assistance is available.)

62nd Annual Advanced Postgraduate Course (ADA) February 27 – March 1, 2015 –  New York City, NY

A medical conference much like other scientific sessions, leading diabetes experts will give presentations on the latest in diabetes research and care, with small networking sessions thrown in for good measure. Targeted primarily for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, psychologists, certified diabetes educators, and other health care professionals who care for patients with diabetes and who manage the complications related to this disease.

March

15TH Annual Rachmiel Levine Diabetes & Obesity Symposium March 1 – 4, 2015 – San Diego, CA

Made possible by the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, held in association with the Endocrine Society annual meeting and T1D Exchange. This is the meeting that I wish I could attend, because it covers some amazing topics: new biomarkers and drug targets, epigenetics (A debate on virus or “not a virus”) talks about the DCCT, inflammation, live debates, beta-cell function, islet cell reprogramming, and much more. (If anyone is going, please get in contact with me at theperfectd [at] gmail.com because I want to pick your brain!)

2015 Type One Nation Research Summit March 7, 2015 – Bethesda, MD

“We are thrilled to provide this unique opportunity for education and dialogue with leading experts and researchers in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) field on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at no cost to the attendees. In addition to the main program, we offer an exhibit hall full of all the latest and greatest in T1D education, resources and technology, as well as a Youth Program and Teen Track with age-appropriate guest speakers and activities. In 2014, the TypeOneNation Research Summit attracted over 800 individuals from the Mid-Atlantic region and we are looking forward to another great year!New this year — “Taking T1D to School” session.Admission is FREE with suggested donation. Buffet lunch is provided. Registration is REQUIRED and opens here on January 7th.”

ENDO 2015 (Endocrine Society) March 5 – 8, 2015 – San Diego, CA

Remember that endocrinology is not just about diabetes; it’s about the entire endocrine system. While the annual conference does have diabetes sessions, it’s not the primary focus.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) March 7, 2015 – Santa Clara, CA 

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

The Diabetes UnConference March 13 – 15, 2015 – Las Vegas, NV

The first peer-to-peer idea exchange and support conference for all adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Unlike other conferences geared to patients, this conference has no keynotes or research/expert presentations; just discussions facilitated by those with diabetes about topics that may be difficult to have with people who don’t have diabetes!

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo March 14, 2015 – New York, NY 

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

Bay Area Diabetes Summit March 14th, 2015 – Palo Alto, CA

The Bay Area Diabetes Summit is a collaborative effort of medical providers, community organizations, and medical institutions throughout the Bay Area. Dr. Bruce Buckingham of Stanford University and Dr. Ed Damiano of Boston University, developer of the Bionic Pancreas, will be the keynote speakers at the Summit.

The Summit is open to all adults with T1D and their spouses, friends, and significant others, parents, caregivers, and family members of children with T1D. Children with T1D and their siblings can register for a Kids Camp offered by DYF counselors and staff.

Type One Nation Summit (Southwest Ohio) March 15, 2015 – Cincinnati, OH

Featuring several breakout sessions and two nationally-known keynote speakers, this event is expected to attract 500-700 attendees.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) March 28, 2015 – Austin, TX

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

April

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo April 18, 2015 – Chicago, IL

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

Diabetes Sisters Annual Conference  April 24 – 26, 2015 Raleigh, NC

If you are looking for a conference that focuses on being a woman with diabetes, then look no further. Both Type 1 and Type 2s are welcomed with open arms and significant others are offered opportunities to talk (privately and separately) while you attend the conference. This is an opportunity to learn from other women and bask in the camaraderie of friends made (who just happen to also have diabetes).

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) April 25, 2015 – Honolulu, HI

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

GTC Diabetes Summit 2015 April 27-29, 2015 – Boston, MA

Got $2095? Then this conference is for you.

According to the website, that $2095 will get you research, partnership opportunities and network with academia, venture capital, government, small/medium size biotech, big pharma and healthcare organizations. The summit includes the Diabetes Drug Discovery and Development Conference, dealing with the clinical side of things. The Diabetes Partnering & Deal-Making Conference dives into opportunities for partnerships, funding, licensing, and the financial bits of it all.

(Now, that all being said… If you look at the speakers, I wish I had the $2095 to attend. Some of them are the top researchers in the diabetes community.)

May

Carb DM’s 3nd Annual Mother-Daughter Weekend May 1-3, 2015 – Dublin, CA

This amazing event is for preteen/teen girls with T1D and their moms. This weekend focuses on T1D from a female perspective and addresses the female cycle from puberty to pregnancy and how it affects and is affected by T1D. Mother daughter communication, healthy body image, talking with peers and significant others about T1D, and more will be discussed.

AACE 24th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) May 13 -17, 2015 Nashville, TN

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) May 16, 2015-  Kansas City, KS

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

30th Annual Clinical Conference on Diabetes (ADA) May 21 – 24, 2015,  Orlando, FL

While not patient-centric, attendees will hear “cutting-edge research translated into clinical practice”. The 30th Annual Clinical Conference is designed specifically for primary care and diabetes specialty physicians, doctor of osteopathy, podiatrists, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists and dietitians, certified diabetes educators and other health care professionals who care for patients with diabetes, at risk for diabetes, and who manage diabetes related complications.

Students With Diabetes National Conference May 22 – 24, 2015 – Tampa, FL

A conference for young adults aged 18 – 30 from all over the country who want to learn about the latest in technology, research, and more from many amazing speakers.

June

 75th Scientific Sessions (ADA) June 5-9, 2015 – Boston, MA

The “big” medical conference. While not specifically designed for the layperson with diabetes, many advocates do attend and sit in on sessions. Many study results are presented. Last year’s presentations weren’t mind-blowing, but we have a feeling that some big study results are on the horizon.

July

MasterLab (Diabetes Advocates) July 7 -8, 2015 – Orlando, FL

For anyone who is interested in learning how easy it is to raise awareness (and your voice) for diabetes advocacy, attend this program. While held in the same space as Friends for Life’s conference, it’s a separate conference. Last year’s program was amazing, and this year’s is promised to be even better!

Friends for Life July 6 – 12, 2015 – Orlando, FL 

This is the de facto gold standard for any family with diabetes. It’s being held this year at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Room rates are $149 + tax. This rate is available from July 3, 2015 to July 13, 2015. You may reserve a room, buy park tickets, make Disney Dining reservations, and arrange for free Disney Transportation from the Orlando Airport to the hotel online at www.disneyurl.com/ChildrenWithDiabetes2015Conference.

2015 Practical Ways to Achieve Targets in Diabetes Care July 16, 2015 – 19, 2015 – Keystone, Colorado

While not a patient conference, worth taking a look at to see what’s being discussed. “This course is designed to help healthcare providers caring for patients with diabetes, including but not limited to, endocrinologists/diabetes specialists, internists, pediatricians, family physicians, physician assistants, medical residents, fellows, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians and certified diabetes educators.”

August

AADE 15 (American Association  August 5-8, 2015 – New Orleans, LA

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Registration will be open in March, 2015.

September

CWD Focus on Technology at the Disneyland Hotel September 18 – 20, 2015 – Anaheim, California 

51st EASD Annual Meeting September 14-18, 2015 (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) – Stockholm, Sweden

This is the European “big” medical conference, much like ADA’s Scientific Sessions.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) September 26, 2015 San Diego, CA

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

October

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo October 10, 2015 – Minneapolis, MN

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo October 17, 2015 – Houston, TX

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) October 17, 2015 – Omaha, NE

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

Friends for Life Canada at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls October 23 – 25, 2015 – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada 

Registration is priced on a per person basis for everyone ages 5 and older. Early registration rates will be $50/person. “Please note that we expect the conference to sell out and do not plan on having on-site registration.” You must register separately for the conference and hotel. Registering for the hotel does not register your family for the conference itself.

Friends for Life UK 2015 October 30 – November 1, 2015 Old Windsor, Berkshire, UK

Note: You must register separately for the conference and hotel. Registering for the hotel does not register your family for the conference itself. Conference Registration will open in February 2015.

November

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) November 21, 2015 –  Glendale/Phoenix, AZ

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

World Diabetes Congress November 30 – December 4, 2015  –  Vancouver, Canada

Experts in diabetes care from around the world will exchange diabetes research and best practices. Physicians, scientists, nurses, educators and other healthcare professionals, as well as government officials, policy makers and representatives from 230 IDF Member Associations will gather to learn, discover and connect.

The WDC 2015 will coincide with the expiration of the current Millennium Development Goals and the adoption of the new Post-2015 Development Framework, a major push for expanded access to diabetes prevention, treatment and a cure.

PLEASE NOTE:

We are still waiting on dates for the Diabetes Technology Society meetings.   It is also unclear is there will be another National Conference on Mental Health Issues of Diabetes.

I did not include “invite only” conferences.

As always, there are bound to be more opportunities to meet other people with diabetes, learn about the disease, and advocate. These are just a few. As I hear of more, I’ll post them here.

Bedtime Bribery With Stitches

Being an e-patient is one thing. Being an actual patient is another.

My finger is detriggered. You would think that after four of these (actually five, but one got done twice) surgeries, I would remember that the healing process takes time…and painkillers are needed to do the exercises to get my finger to fully extend. What I do remember is that it is so important to do the exercises, as much as it hurts, because otherwise… you can negate the whole purpose of the trigger release.

It’s a few days post-surgery and The Kid has developed a fascination with my stitches. I have stooped to use them for bribery. “If you put your pajamas on, you can look at them.” Anything to speed up bedtime.

The world continues to revolve while I am recuperating, so as I gather thoughts about last week (I was up in DC and have a head full of good things to share), I’ll give you some tidbits that you should know about:

  • Kim Vlasnik made me cry. Not the Victorian-dab-your-eye-with-an-embroidered-hankerchief quiet cry, but a keening, gasping, aching cry. Her MedX talk captured the essence of what endures beyond the physical and why our community is important. I want to thrust my iPhone at strangers and shout: “Watch her. Listen to her. This. This.”

 

  • WDD Treasure Hunt webpageLike treasure hunts? The International Diabetes Federation apparently does and is giving prizes out as a run-up to World Diabetes Day (November 14th). Here’s the details.  You get pins, bracelets, t-shirts, and bragging rights.
  • Yes, it’s almost Diabetes Awareness Month. Much like every year, we will begin to see posts from well-known organizations about the disease and people getting angry that this building and that building won’t light up blue for diabetes when they lit up pink the month before for breast cancer. Here’s a tip: take that anger and put it towards what YOU can do to help raise awareness or advocate for you, your family, or strangers with diabetes in your community or your government. We can light a candle or curse the darkness. You pick. Don’t know where to start? How about here. Or here.  Or create something all your own. Every voice matters. 
  • The World Diabetes Congress (which will be in Vancouver) is calling for abstracts, beginning in February. They are providing 100 grants to attend for individuals from all over the world, which includes the registration and travel costs. What’s my beef? You must be 40 years of age or younger. I’m sorry, but that’s NOT right. I get that there are bright, young individuals who have things to say and want to learn… but there are also those who happen to be over 40 (ahem) who also have things to say and want to learn. To attach an arbitrary cut off age like this is… unacceptable. Yes, I’m going to inquire. Yes, I have something to say about it.
  • Marjorie1Heroes sometimes wear shaggy coats. A Sweet Life, one of the best diabetes community media sources, is fundraising with Marjorie. Don’t know who she is? You need to know why she’s important to every.single.one.of.us. – and then help support A Sweet Life.

Off to do my hand exercises, which makes me look like I’m trying to channel The Bangles’ lead singer.

Walk Like An Egyptian.

 

 

AADE 2014: First Impressions

header_home_mar2013_2I’m going to spend this week talking about my experience at AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) 2014 Conference, which was held in Orlando.

The numbers varied from 2,500 to 4,500 AADE attendees, depending on who counted. (Think of it as a very inaccurate blood glucose meter.) The final number didn’t matter; my first impressions were one of gratitude and introspection.

Why? People with diabetes spend a lot of time winging it alone. For those fortunate enough to have a smart and trusted support network (the DOC, face-to-face meetings, etc.), it’s still a rough haul, but for those who don’t have anyone… my head and heart hurt thinking about those individuals.

Enter the diabetes educator.

They can be the ones who help you go from “can I do this?” to “what’s my next goal?” with the knowledge and tools everyone needs. Cool, right? Except there aren’t enough of them and many are reaching a point in their careers that retirement is not a far-away dream. We need these educators to bridge the gap between physicians who may not have all the answers (and some don’t!) and the patients who need those answers.

What diabetes educators do

If you don’t know what a diabetes educator is, here’s the definition, according to the AADE:

Diabetes educators have the knowledge and skills to teach people with diabetes how to manage their diabetes to live their healthiest life. For example, diabetes educators explain how foods affect blood sugar, give specific directions for taking medication correctly and offer guidance on how to lower the risk of diabetes-related complications. It can include advice on everything from getting through the excesses of holiday dinners and parties, to coping with the challenges of managing diabetes while traveling for work or fun.

Diabetes education is not a lecture on what not to do. It’s real-life guidance, coaching and support proven to help people understand exactly how to best manage their diabetes, and to feel less alone while doing it.

Diabetes education can take place in a group or one-on-one setting as part of a formal or informal format.

My diabetes educators have been more than that. Some have been a sounding board, others a shoulder to cry on, and one has been able to say “Me, too,” because she lives with Type 1. I believe in the power of diabetes educators to make a difference in our lives. We need more of them.

My First Impressions

From Wednesday to Saturday, I attended some thought-provoking sessions, talked with educators who cared tremendously (and some who were just there for the continuing education credits), and danced so much one night that I had problems getting out of bed the next morning. My legs are still sore.

The educators learned from us, too.

Two interviews with diabetes educators had me thanking them both for their dedication and willingness to do what it takes. I touched new technology that will help many. I saw an amazing display of showmanship one night with a pump and an iPhone.

I came home feeling recharged, hopeful, and grateful for these individuals who want to make life with diabetes suck less.

My car didn’t feel recharged.  I also came home with a new alternator and battery.

 

 

Two Minute Diabetes Advocacy

708615_95129272If you have two minutes, you can advocate for diabetes.

I know what you’re thinking.

What can I do in two minutes?

More than you probably think possible.

There are those who make it their life’s mission to advocate for diabetes. I am so very grateful that they speak in front of the FDA panels and talk with decision makers in D.C., because I can’t right now.

You may not be able to devote a lot of time, but you still want to make a difference. Me, too.

With that in mind, I am dedicating a portion of The Perfect D blog to “Two Minute Diabetes Advocacy”. This is the first portion – an amuse-bouche (a little taste) to whet your appetite.

A stumbling block I see in advocating for diabetes is the amount of reading that needs to be done to understand the issue, whether it be a docket or a brief or a bill being introduced. There can be a lot of gobbledygook and if you’re like me, you want to cut to the chase, get to the point quickly, and then act on it.

Two Minute Diabetes Advocacy

 

Here’s the deal I present to you…

  • I’ll read the gooblyedygook,
  • summarize the key points for you (and yes, I’ll add my own comments. It’s my blog.),
  • and then give you the steps you can take in just two minutes to advocate for diabetes.

I’m association agnostic when it comes to diabetes advocacy. If more than one organization offers an easy way to express your opinion on a topic, then I’ll give it for you to decide. You just won’t have to go hunting for a way to advocate. I’ll bring the options for you.

Some may take just a little longer than two minutes, but you can skip an extra visit to Facebook occasionally, can’t you? Perhaps one less Buzzfeed quiz?

I’ve seen what the power of our community can do with just a little time from each of us. There are so many opportunities to advocate for ourselves, our loved ones, and for the future of the United States.

1 in 3 American adults will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050 if we don’t do something.

Your end of the deal is to take those two minutes and do just one of the options I give you. Of course, it’s on the honor system, but I’m hoping that we will make a difference. So little time can do so much good. Let’s start with this…

National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act

The Highlights from the Bill (House 1074/Senate 539)

“To amend the Public Health Service Act to foster more effective implementation and coordination of clinical care for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes.”

“There are 35 Federal department, agencies , and offices involved in the implementation of Federal diabetes activities.”

What The Bill Will Do

What the bill will do: Create a National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission to make recommendations regarding better coordinations and leveraging of programs that will support clinical care (between health providers and people with diabetes and pre-diabetes).

This Commission will include voting members from heads of Federal agencies/departments that impact clinical care AND a select few outside of the government: clinical endocrinologists, physicians who impact diabetes care, primary care physicians, Certified Diabetes Educators, patient advocates, national experts.

The Commission will meet up to four times per year to:

  • evaluate the existing utilization of diabetes screening benefits,
  • address issues with data collection or the benefits,
  • identify current activities and gaps to help clinicians provide integrative care for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes,
  • make recommendations about coordination, tools, and programs needed,
  • recommend how an outcomes-based registry can be created and used,
  • evaluate and expand education and awareness to physicians and other health professionals regarding clinical practices for the prevention of diabetes and the precursor conditions of diabetes,
  • review and recommend outreach and dissemination of educational resources for health professionals and the public.

After meeting for the first time, the Commission will have 90 days to come up with a plan for carrying out the activities of the commission, including a budget, resources needed, and who needs to be involved to make it happen. In three years, if not sooner, the Commission will submit a report to Congress and the Secretary of HHS of the findings and recommendations.

Why You Should Care

1) We do not have a Commission for diabetes. One in three Medicare dollars goes to treating diabetes and its complications. Duh. We need one.

2) 35 Federal agencies. Have you tried to get 35 people to communicate on something, never mind 35 agencies? This Commission will ensure that no one is reinventing the wheel or wasting tax dollars duplicating work.

3) Educational materials. How many times do you cringe when a clinical medical professional makes a comment about diabetes that is just not correct. The Commission will help heighten diabetes awareness on a grand scale.

4) Patient advocate on the Commission. A voting advocate. I’ve met some existing FDA advocates and they are super intelligent. We need a patient at every table. This Commission will have one.

 How You Can Advocate for Diabetes In Two Minutes Or Less Right Now

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists have done all the work for you. One click. 

Go here and click the Take Action button to send an email to your representative and two senators for your state. The email body is from an endo’s viewpoint, but you can quickly change it to tell them why your elected representatives should co-sponsor or vote yes for this bill.

You can copy and paste this if YOU have diabetes:

I have diabetes. We need a coordinated action committee for the epidemic that is taking one of every three Medicare dollars for treatment. We need better education for clinical professional and the general public to prevent complications and help those who live with this disease. Please vote yes on this bill.

You can copy  and paste this if SOMEONE YOU LOVE has diabetes:

Someone I love has diabetes. We need a coordinated action committee for the epidemic that is taking one of every three Medicare dollars for treatment. We need better education for clinical professional and the general public to prevent complications and help those who live with this disease. Please vote yes on this bill.

(The AMA, AADE, JDRF, ADA and others all support this bill. I couldn’t find an organization who doesn’t support it!)

That’s all you have to do today.

One click and done.

But every click makes a difference.

Every one.

If you’re interested in doing a little more than one click, I urge you to complete the quick survey over at Diabetes Advocates and help change the world of diabetes one advocate at a time.

And when I say advocate, I mean you.

 

The KISS of Diabetes Advocacy

Find your excuse.

  • I don’t have enough time to commit to something that big.
  • I have no idea where to even begin.
  • I won’t make a difference.
  • I’m too shy to speak up.
  • I’m afraid I’d say something stupid.
  • Someone else will do it. 

Do any of these reasons not to advocate for diabetes hit home with you?

Once upon a time, I believed them all. (Well, except for the shy excuse. I’m a little bit of an extrovert. Just a tiny smidge.) Advocacy was this nebulous concept that was done by people who knew what they were doing and that was perfectly fine with me. Let the experts advocate for diabetes. Good for them! They would get something done and I would reap the benefits.

The truth is so very different. Those excuses listed above are balloons… and I am going to help you pop every one of them and show you The KISS of Diabetes Advocacy.

(No, this is not The KISS of Diabetes Advocacy.)

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Let’s get The KISS out of the way first.

The KISS of Diabetes Advocacy is this:

Keep

It

Simple

Sweetheart (or Stupid, but you’re not, so it’s sweetheart, so there.)

Keep that in mind while we pop the balloon excuses…

I don’t have time to commit to something that big.

You can be a diabetes advocate in less than a few minutes a day. We showed you that it can be done in about two minutes (or even less.) At the MasterLab held at CWD’s Friends for Life, a three step plan was laid out for you on one webpage. Click, click, click and you’re set with the Diabetes Action Hub. Three quick things to start.

(Take a survey, send a quick email to your representative about two bills that will help all people with diabetes, and sign up to get notified about advocacy actions that you can take in the future.)

You do what you can. No one is asking you to chuck your job and go on the road, stumping daily for diabetes awareness or reimbursement. No one is asking you to spend your days in a monkey suit, waiting in corridors to spend a few minutes with an aide for your Congressperson. Pick what is important to you, but don’t do nothing. You can make a difference in a few minutes per day.

I have no idea where to begin.

The American Diabetes Association does an outstanding job with explaining how easy it is to advocate for diabetes. It’s a great primer if you have no idea where to begin. It’s a great starting place. If you don’t even know why you should advocate. you can look at the list of federal priorities that the ADA has set out to accomplish this year (all very ambitious, and all need help from people like us).

I won’t make a difference.

Think so? You do. Every letter that is written, every call that is made, every tweet, every visit raises awareness of what diabetes is, how it impacts us, and what we need to be healthy. We saw the difference over 300 of us made when we voiced our comments on the accuracy of blood glucose meters to the FDA. Can you imagine what 3,000 comments could do? 30,000?

In the 80s, I threw my insulin, syringes, meter, and strips in my backpack and tra-la-laed my way down the halls of my school. Needed to check? I pulled out my meter. Needed to take an injection? Pulled out a syringe and did it myself.  To do that today would have the administration of any school screaming, some more loudly than others. Imagine not being able to have anyone besides a nurse administer insulin or glucagon to your child or someone you love in a school. It was happening in California. Advocacy changed that. It took eight years, but now trained personnel can help in schools without a nurse present.

Every time you share the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, or explain what insulin does, or why you can eat that donut, you are advocating for diabetes awareness. Want to rattle off some statistics? Easy. Here is the full list, but you can memorize this one from the CDC:

If current trends continue, 1 of 3 U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050.

If that doesn’t freak you out, I’ve got others. Let me know and I’ll send them to you.

Talk about diabetes. The one smart thing I said at MasterLab was this: “Advocacy begins with you.” And by you, I mean you.

I’m too shy to speak up.

Then don’t speak. Write your congressman. Write an article in your community newspaper. Tweet important information and disseminate advocacy actions to others. Do art that can be used in presentations at hearings and meetings that make an impact.

Diabetes Art Day images surrounded Manny Hernandez and me at the Diabetes Technology Society meeting last September. It made an impact.
Diabetes Art Day images surrounded Manny Hernandez and me at the Diabetes Technology Society meeting last September. It made an impact.

People who advocate “behind the scenes” do important things. Put a walk team together. Help raise funds for research or technology that will help improve the lives of people with diabetes. You don’t have to shout with a megaphone to get your voice heard.

I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid.

Know what’s stupid?

Not saying anything and accepting the status quo. 

Was that blunt? As blunt as my lancet is right now because I haven’t changed it in a while.

If you get the facts, understand the players, and find out what your passion is, you won’t be stupid and nothing out of your mouth will be stupid.

What bothers you most about diabetes? Good. That’s your passion.

Then google information about your passion and get information about the facts surrounding it and the key players. (And by players, I mean your fellow advocates or advocacy groups and the people you will need to influence to change the status quo.)

Once you’ve got that, work with your fellow advocates to change the status quo.

Someone else will do it.

That was my biggest balloon excuse. It was so big that it carried me up into the stratosphere for years and years. And then something happened.

I got angry.

And then…

I got angrier.

And then…

I recognized that even people who should know the difference didn’t.

There was no moment in which I decided to advocate. When I realized that I needed to speak up for myself and then for those who couldn’t speak for themselves, it was a no brainer. There is so much to do in the world of diabetes advocacy, so much status quo that needs to be shaken, that I now wish I could do it all.

Which brings me back to The KISS of Diabetes Advocacy. (You thought I had forgotten, right?)

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.

Start small. Sign up for advocacy alerts. Pick something that that you want to see change. Send an email or a tweet. Ally yourself with others who share that want for change.

If that all feels good, then flex your wings and step outside your comfort zone. I quaked in my heels as I stood in front of a panel of people in Bethesda last year, asking the FDA representative what it would take for them to pull an inaccurate meter or strips off the market. My heart pounded in my throat (where it shouldn’t ever be) and I was sweating, but I wanted to let them know I wasn’t accepting the status quo.

We can all be advocates. Come join us. We need your help.