INDIANAPOLIS — The 44th annual American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting has more in common with the Indianapolis 500 than attendees may realize, according to the association’s president. Much like a racing pit crew, diabetes educators work with a support team that is designed around the success of the “driver” — the patient.
“It’s a bit nostalgic to be here in Indianapolis, because this is where I first started my journey as an AADE volunteer,” Nancy D’Hondt, RPh, CDE, FAADE, president of AADE, said during opening remarks Friday morning. “Things have changed since 2004. Change is exactly what this year’s conference planning committee was thinking when they selected the theme “driving change and innovation,” which reflects this city, it’s car racing legacy, and captures our focus as an organization to drive change and embrace innovation.”
In racing, D’Hondt said, the driver is at the heart of the Indy crew. From the car to the larger support team, all efforts are designed around the success of the driver.
In diabetes education, D’Hondt said, the person affected by diabetes is also at the center of what diabetes educators do.
“At AADE, the patient is at the center, and they are recognized as drivers of their own health and care,” D’Hondt said. “As an association, it is AADE’s responsibility to support you in your professional development and keep a keen eye on the health care highway.”
Technology and new innovations are rapidly changing the diabetes landscape, D’Hondt said, and the role of the diabetes educator is evolving with it. AADE has developed a new strategic plan, and will be conducting focus groups through the 2017 meeting, to better home in on ways to improve on patient-centered care strategies, she said.
“In racing, the team is charged with providing real-time support for the driver, both on and off the track,” D’Hondt said. “Sound familiar? The diabetes educator plays an important role on our health care team, and our services are integral to improving outcomes and safe navigation of the internal and external factors that affect diabetes. We strive to find the solutions that will successfully position the person with diabetes to reach a lifetime of checkered flags. Our goal at AADE is to advocate for you and work to ensure the inclusion of the educator as a critical member of the diabetes management team.” – by Regina Schaffer
D’Hondt N. AADE Opening Ceremony. Presented at: American Association of Diabetes Educators; Aug. 4-7, 2017; Indianapolis.
Disclosures: D’Hondt is present of AADE.