AADE’s 2013 Annual Conference report

interaction with audience

I returned Saturday night from the annual conference of Diabetes Educators, this year in Philadelphia. While there were fewer educators there than in year’s past, around 2,900 rather than 3 or 4,000, probably due to budget cuts, it was a pleasure for me to see so many people I know.

There were many from the DOC (Diabetes online community) including Cherise Shockley, Scott Johnson, Manny Hernandez, David Edelman, Amy Tenderich, Lee Ann Thill, Kelly Kunik, Kerri Sparling, Bennet Dunlap, Haidee Merrit, Hope Warshaw and more, where do I stop? 

Cherise and Scott led a DSMA twitter feed evening where everyone was answering patient call in questions. And all these guys I’ve just mentioned have diabetes blogs – just google them.

There were people from industry I always like to see including Rob Muller from Roche, Andreas Stuhr and Laura Kolodjeski from Sanofi, reps from my own A1C Champion group, Anna Floreen and Bill Woods from Glu.org…and on and on.

There were 1,000 exhibitors in the exhibition hall. And there were educators. An impassioned group of professionals. Gary Scheiner, educator extraordinaire was awarded the 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year award and my friend Claire Blum won AADE’s technology award.

While there was a smaller turnout, I felt some winds shifting in the diabetes landscape. Now when presenters used the words, “adherence” and “non-compliance” they did so making fun of those terms, realizing this is no way to categorize patients.

The loud saw of being “patient-centric” and using “motivational interviewing” seems to be subsiding. And actually my own presentation, “Dancing Together: The Power of a Relationship-Centered Approach,” introduced the paradigm of working together, HCPs and patients, talking, exploring, in a compassionate partnership to ultimately design treatment plans – together. That there is a time to teach and a time to listen. A time to be and a time to build. That motivation is nice, but skills are necessary and often overlooked.

Roche generously sponsored giving a copy of my book, “Diabetes Do’s & How-To’s” to the 141 educators who attended the presentation, and I thank them.

For highlights of what was on view in the exhibition hall, take a look at Amy Tenderich’s review.

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