It’s Time to Take the A1C Challenge!
Diabetes Awareness Month (aka American Diabetes Month) has arrived and we’re kicking it off with information about our new A1C Challenge initiative! Shannon Faught, who has worked for Sanofi US Diabetes for 10 years, is part of the team that’s heading up the Challenge and she was eager to share the details with us.
Q: What is the A1C Challenge and why was it created?
A: The A1C Challenge is an initiative that encourages people living with type 2 diabetes to work with their healthcare provider to set an A1C goal that’s right for them. Once the goal is set, they are encouraged to follow-up with their healthcare provider throughout the year in an effort to reach their A1C goal.
We learned that it can often be tough for people living with type 2 diabetes and their healthcare providers to engage in a conversation about blood sugar control. That’s where the A1C Challenge comes into play. It is designed to help facilitate that discussion.
Q: Why is it important for people with diabetes to reach or maintain an A1C goal and how are individual A1C goals determined?
An A1C goal is an individual goal set by a healthcare provider based on recommended guidelines. The healthcare provider may set the individual’s goal higher or lower than the guidelines based on personal characteristics including, but not limited to, duration of diagnosis and life expectancy. Additionally, the healthcare provider may set several small goals to help patients get where they need to be. For example, if someone has been newly diagnosed and has an A1C of 10, his/her healthcare provider may set a more gradual goal that may be more realistic and achievable to help motivate the patient to ultimately get to where he/she needs to be.
Q: How long will the A1C Challenge run?
A: Today marks the kick-off and it is our hope that those who choose to participate will set a goal and work to achieve and maintain that goal throughout the coming year. We thought Diabetes Awareness Month was a great time to start the initiative because there is so much buzz around diabetes and we hope that will help jumpstart the conversation around A1C. Additionally, we’re heading into a new year so it’s a good time for people to sit down with their healthcare providers, set a goal and develop a plan for how to pursue it. Wouldn’t it be incredible if all who choose to participate are at their goal in time for next year’s Diabetes Awareness Month?
Q: How can someone participate?
A: Anyone who is interested in participating should print the A1C Challenge Chart and take it to their next doctor’s appointment. During that visit, the healthcare team should use the chart to initiate a dialogue around setting a goal for where his/her A1C should be by this time next year. After the initial appointment, participants should use the tools and resources available to help them meet their goals and follow-up with their healthcare provider throughout the year.
Q: What resources are available to help participants meet their A1C goal?
A: We have lots of tools and resources available, including, but not limited to:
- A1C Champions – Online diabetes education workshops led by people living with diabetes
- Diabetes HELP Team – Online education sessions led by Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs)
- Sanofi US Diabetes Online Resources – There are a number of ways to engage with us online through our social media channels and online programs.
What a great way to kick-off Diabetes Awareness Month. We’d love for you to share your thoughts on the A1C Challenge on our Facebook page or in the comments section below. Thanks to Shannon for taking the time to share information about the A1C Challenge.
All the best,