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Report from AADE 2003 from Stephanie Schwartz, RN, MPH, CDE

AADE was founded in 1973 when a group of 18 diabetes educators gathered in Chicago to discuss the delivery of quality patient education and the professional needs of diabetes educators. Thirty years later, AADE has grown to become a professional association comprised mainly of nurses, dietitians, social workers, psychologists, and physicians with a current membership of more than 10,000 members from every state in the US and 26 different countries. The 30th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the American Association of Diabetes Educators was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 6-9, 2003. This year's program features 99 concurrent sessions, six general sessions, four research sessions and more than 45 poster sessions.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Michael Bliss, Ph.D., professor at the University of Toronto. In his presentation, the "Miracle of Insulin," Dr Bliss described how some 80 years ago the discovery of insulin gave new life to starved, dying victims of juvenile diabetes.

Ivy K. Radcliffe. MSN, BSN, APN, RN, BC-ADM 's presentation, The Basal Revolution in Pediatric Diabetes Management discussed how the use of basal/bolus insulin regimens have revolutionized diabetes management in children. Virtually all those followed in her practice are using intensified regimens (basal/bolus regimens with Lantus (insulin glargine) as basal rate and Humalog or NovoLog for pre-meal and correction bolus insulin or insulin pump therapy. Her data show that these types of regimens are well accepted by families with toddlers to young adults, and that these therapies have resulted in decreased nocturnal hypoglycemia, improved hemoglobin A1cs, increased self-management skills, and decreased need in telephone consultation for blood sugar problems. Families of children of all ages now have multiple treatment options to choose form which can be based on individual needs and lifestyle.

Several sessions throughout the three-day conference dealt with the role of diabetes educators in fighting discrimination issues in the workplace and school settings. They stressed the importance of community interventions along with individual efforts at combating these equality problems. Several AADE chapters have been active and effective in educating school systems on the rights and needs of children with diabetes in the school setting. One local American Diabetes Association affiliate has gone so far as to have a recognition program (complete with a pin and certificate) for outstanding service by school personnel to children with diabetes. [Note: Given the efforts and commitment of the diabetes educators in combating school discrimination, I would urge all parents to enlist the aid of their diabetes team (or contact their local AADE chapter if there is none) for assistance in drafting and implementing 504 plans. I would also contact your local ADA affiliate and ask that they implement a recognition program in your area.]

National initiatives from the Institute of Medicine have prompted and challenged diabetes management teams to pursue perfection in health care. Taking this quite seriously, the team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital evaluated its current practice and developed structures and procedures to positively impact clinical, educational, and satisfaction outcomes for patients and families. The "TEEPES" might prove useful in evaluating your diabetes team:

In pursuit of perfection of care for your children, parents should seek out a diabetes team that believes the priorities and choices of patients and families (NOTE: not the professionals) drive the selection of treatment options and delivery of health care. Each patient/family should have goals identified specific to their needs, not the average patient. Information should provided so that patients can better determine their treatment plan. This shared decision-making offers the best hope for improving patient care and diabetes control.

Presentations focusing on the telemedicine and web-based education were of particular interest. Growing access and decreased cost challenge web information sites to provide timely, accurate, and effective information. In addition, while the ability to present web-based education and support exists, there are obstacles to overcome and the need to evaluate effectiveness of the interventions. During a session entitled Internet-Based Diabetes Self-Management: Lessons Learned and Future Directions, Dr. Garth McKay of the Oregon Research Institute commended Children with Diabetes for being among the best web sites for diabetes when asked for recommendations.

More than 250 vendors graced the exhibit hall floor. Products ranging from foods to smarter, more user-friendly insulin pumps were in abundance and review of many can be found elsewhere on this site.

All in all, it was a hectic, information-filled, three days, leaving all of us very tired, but filled with new ideas for the web site and future CWD conferences.

Stephanie Schwartz, RN, MPH, CDE
Associate Editor
August 9, 2003

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Last Updated: Sunday August 10, 2003 12:24:52
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