Day 1 Wrap Up Of The American Diabetes Association’s 71st Scientific Sessions
Hooray! We made it to sunny San Diego. The energy in the Convention Center is contagious. Everyone is happily registering and attending the first batch of sessions.
For my colleagues and me, a great way to start the meeting was attending the Diabetes Educators Preventing Diabetes session as we recognize the importance of the diabetes educator in improving patient care. The session provided an opportunity to learn more about the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP). What really struck us is the need for an all hands on deck approach to achieve national reach for diabetes prevention through programs like the NDPP. It really is so critical for collaboration among federal agencies, community-based organizations, health payers, health care professionals, academia, and others to reduce new cases of type 2 diabetes.
In order for this national program to be successful, the NDPP set up a set of core principles that are worth calling out:
- Standards need to be set that will assure program quality and consistency
- A work force needs to be trained so that they can implement programs cost effectively
- Health marketing needs to be done to raise awareness of the programs
To date, there are 122 intervention sites up and ready to implement. Inaugural partners are the Y (also known as YMCA of the USA) and United HealthGroup (UHG). We look forward to hearing more about the specific program results.
Also in this session, one of the presenters, M. Kaye Kramer, DrPH, MPH, BSN, CCRC, emphasized how a one size approach to diabetes education doesn’t fit all and that we all need to come together to find creative ways to reach as many people as possible. We wholeheartedly agree. She talked about some interesting community based programs with the YMCA and an educational DVD that features actors role playing participation in support groups. The DVD can get delivered to your home (a la Netflix). Pretty cool.
By the end of the session, we wanted to shout out, “Let’s prevent diabetes!”
Next, we attended the session entitled, “Is Weight Loss the Best Target to Assess the Response to Exercise Training in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes”. Well, we learned that the answer is a resounding no. Most successful programs for long-term weight control involve combined diet, exercise and behavior change. The session provided a strong reminder to work with your doctor to come up with an exercise plan. While experts have come a long way in developing specific exercise recommendations for people with diabetes, more research is still needed. We are staying tuned.
Now, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes tomorrow, because you will be doing a lot of walking. This place is huge! Looking forward to day 2 tomorrow.