One of my favorite parts of AADE has always been the poster session, and this year was no different! Posters are presented to share research or innovative diabetes ideas. This year covered a variety of topics, from peer education in schools to dietary intake studies in China. I was able to talk to a number of the authors who were enthusiastic about their presentations and interested in talking with anyone that might have had similar findings or experiences.
One poster highlighted the experiences of a diabetes educator in Minnesota that discovered an East African cultural group near her home. She learned about their culture, and was able to adapt and create diabetes educational materials to meet their needs. How innovative! Utilizing diabetes resources nurses in the inpatient setting was another poster topic. Outcome measurements suggested reduced hypoglycemia during hospital stays with key nurses in place on the floors.
In addition to “recharging” the innovative side of my brain, poster sessions are an excellent time to network. When I was viewing a poster on children with diabetes in the schools, others were gathered around sharing their experiences. And to top it off, hors d'oeuvres and wine were available to snack on during the poster sessions, adding to the festive environment.
Another one of my favorite parts of the meeting is the annual 5K Walk/Jog-a-thon sponsored by Novo. The start time is super early, but it was worth it! Over 750 participants showed up, and buses were running from the hotel to the park starting at 5 a.m. The event is sponsored by Novo Nordisk, and provides all of us with the opportunity to "walk the talk" of encouraging exercise for everyone! I was delighted to see the president of AADE there as well, participating in the event and supporting all of us at that early hour.
I also enjoyed using it as an opportunity to ask where participants were from, and what type of setting they worked in. I chatted with people from New Jersey, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah, Washington and New York. Diabetes educators who worked for large corporations and small family practice clinics. One individual was an independent media consultant with a background in diabetes education. Some worked almost exclusively with Latinos with type 2 diabetes, others with children with type 1 diabetes. I talked with a woman who had personally lost 60 pounds through using the same healthy eating and exercise she recommends for her patients. There were FAST runners, joggers and casual walkers--so it was a great mix of participants.
It was a wonderful morning walk/jog in the Mojave dessert and a great way to interact with a few of the many dedicated diabetes educators doing great work all over the United States. Wish you could have been here to join us too! Maybe next year!