AADE 2016-2018 Strategic Plan

Successful organizations have a well-defined mission with clear strategies and measurable goals. These elements guide the organization through decision-making processes and create a framework to accommodate unanticipated changes.

Listen in as AADE leaders share their thoughts on the plan and its impact


Building the Plan 

To prepare AADE’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, we completed a thorough assessment of the current environment and trends affecting people with diabetes, as well as the diabetes education professional. Broad input from a variety of stakeholders was gathered and included conversations with members, past and present leaders, fellow healthcare associations, industry partners, patient-facing groups, payers, employers, association staff and key government agencies. This provided a 360 degree view that resulted in a comprehensive three-year plan with a defined course of action. This report walks through AADE’s goals, strategies and intended outcomes. We invite you to be our partner during these next three years as we advance our shared mission of empowering diabetes educators to expand the horizon of innovative education, management and support.

Trends Impacting Diabetes Educators

This is a time of sweeping change in health care. Healthcare reform is driving changes in payment, chronic care delivery and the makeup of the diabetes care team. We also know that technology is having a dramatic impact on the delivery of healthcare services. The workforce is changing with the emergence of diabetes paraprofessionals, i.e., community health workers, health coaches, and diabetes educators are continually asked to expand their role as chronic care managers. As a result, the roles and competencies of educators are evolving as various education delivery models advance and diversify.

The growing incidence of diabetes and prediabetes captures the headline but there are additional themes that affect the field of diabetes education.

  • Diabetes-related costs are projected to reach $561 billion worldwide by the year 2030.
  • There are distinct cultural, economic and educational disparity factors that are driving the increasing incidence of diabetes such as an aging population, obesity rates, lifestyle factors and limited access to healthcare resources.
  • The new team-based care models for chronic diseases require self-management education competencies to advance population health and accountable care.
  • Technology advancements are more prevalent and readily available for use by educators. From basic electronic health records across medical facilities to new mobile apps and tools, educators have access to more resources to better connect with and support persons affected by diabetes and related chronic conditions.

Diabetes Educators Spheres of Influence
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    Spheres of Influence Graphic

Defining AADE Members’ Spheres of Influence

To plan effectively for the future, the AADE Board of Directors realized the connected nature of the profession and defined the influences and interactions at each level. The result was the development of the AADE Diabetes Educators Spheres of Influence, an adaptation of the well-known social-ecological model. It will serve as a framework for diabetes educators as they operate in each layer of the sphere.  

At the model’s core are those with, at risk for and affected by diabetes. Their needs are and will continue to be front and center. At the community level, the model recognizes that self-management education is no longer exclusively delivered by clinically trained healthcare professionals or within the traditional walls of a health system. The next sphere recognizes diabetes educators’ longstanding role within traditional healthcare systems and healthcare providers. The e-community sphere incorporates the connected health environment, electronic health records, digital health and online peer support that are expanding exponentially every day. The outermost sphere takes a global perspective, acknowledging that AADE and diabetes educators have wide ranging influence and must affect change at the global level.

When diabetes educators and the association are operating at our peak, we recognize we have the ability to influence all of these levels in order to ensure the person with diabetes benefits.

Setting the Stage for 2016-2018

The first step in developing the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan was a review of AADE’s mission and vision.

Mission and vision statements are vital for associations and serve as their navigational north star. The mission statement describes why the association exists and whom it serves. The vision articulates the association’s aspirations for the ideal future.

AADE’s updated mission statement – Empower diabetes educators to expand the horizons of innovative education, management and support – better reflects our goal of providing diabetes educators with the resources they need  and our commitment to innovation.

The new vision statement – Optimal health and quality of life for persons with, affected by or at risk for diabetes and related chronic conditions – recognizes that diabetes affects those people who have prediabetes and as well as their loved ones and caregivers.

AADE’s Board of Directors also set out to define our guiding principles, which lay out our core beliefs and serve as our driving force:

  • The person with, affected by or at risk for diabetes is at the center of the diabetes care team.
  • The diabetes educator is an essential member of the diabetes care team.
  • Evidence is the basis of our science and practice.
  • Quality diabetes prevention and diabetes self-management education and support should be accessible to all individuals.
  • Diabetes self-management education and support must evolve through innovation to reach its greatest impact.

Based on the new mission and vision statements, and the addition of guiding principles, AADE leaders identified four key priorities for the next three years: 

Diabetes Educator Excellence: Lead the development of innovative education, knowledge resources, and services for professional development and career enhancement.

Value-Based Services for Population Health Management: Champion the positive outcomes and cost benefits of diabetes self-management education and support provided by qualified diabetes educators. 

Diversity and Access: Expand and diversify the evolving diabetes educator workforce to address the increasing demand for and access to diabetes self-management education and support.

The Future: Shape, design, evaluate and drive opportunities related to technology and connected health to improve outcomes. 

 Vision and Mission 
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    AADE Strategic Plan 16-18_4

​Key Priorities
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AADE's 2016-2018 Goals and Strategies

Taking the planning process one step further, AADE leaders identified strategies to support our key priorities. We explored each area, seeking opportunities for AADE to make a lasting impact. From population health management and care models, to expanding our global reach and determining a long-term vision for AADE, these categories require strategic attention to ensure the future of the diabetes education profession.

First and foremost, AADE will continue to increase our investment in resources that address the emerging roles and practice of diabetes educators at all practice levels. This includes developing a digital body of knowledge that supports and promotes their work, and investigating the need to develop an academic track.

Second, we want to ensure that diabetes educators continue to be valued members of the diabetes care team and have a secure place within new models of care. To this end, we will be working to showcase best practices, and continue to conduct and disseminate research that promotes their value.

To more effectively serve a diverse patient population, we are dedicated to ensuring that our resources, products and membership reflect broad diversity across generations, ethnicities, disabilities and cultures. The Strategic Plan also includes a commitment to explore opportunities to expand the impact of diabetes education and support through global initiatives and partnerships.

We all know the role technology increasingly plays in our lives. The new Strategic Plan includes a commitment to expanding and leveraging technology as well as the connected health environment. This will include a commitment to exploring virtual care delivery and clinical decision support models and expanding virtual models of prevention and education in program accreditation and reimbursement.

Advocacy on behalf of diabetes educators will continue to be a strategic priority. Special effort will be made in promoting patients’ ability to self-refer for diabetes education. We will also continue to advocate for the integration of diabetes education and support into new models of affordable care.

Recognizing that planning is an enduring process, we commit to continuously exploring the trends shaping diabetes education and determining a long-term vision for the profession. 

Realizing AADE's Mission

AADE is committed to the future of diabetes education and the role of diabetes educators in the diabetes healthcare team. To keep up with the rapidly changing healthcare environment, we have created a strategic plan that provides a clear path forward while allowing flexibility to adjust to the evolving needs of members. As the profession continues to embrace innovation and change, AADE is poised to move closer to achieving the overall vision of optimal healthcare for all persons with or affected by diabetes and related chronic conditions. 

Below are the AADE 2016-2018 strategies and intended outcomes in greater detail:

Emerging Roles and Profession of
Diabetes Education and Management

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Population Health Management
and New Models of Care

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Diversity in Membership, Products
and Services

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Access to Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support
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    AADE Strategic Plan 16-18_8

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    AADE Strategic Plan 16-18_10

Digital Technology and Connected
Health Environment

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Global Initiatives and Partnerships
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Long-Term Vision for AADE
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    AADE Strategic Plan 16-18_12

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