Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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The Role of the Diabetes Educator in Advocacy

May 26, 2015
What’s the definition of advocacy? Advocacy means to speak on behalf of individuals who might be at a disadvantage because of knowledge, physical, or mental limitations. Advocacy also means to support policy or legislation that affects individuals or a group of individuals including organizations. Advocacy can start at the local level by concerned individuals about a specific cause. This type of advocacy is referred to grassroots advocacy.  Many times, organizations take their advocacy activities to the state and national level.
 
Diabetes educators are responsible for being an advocate for other diabetes educators, persons with diabetes, and those who care for people with diabetes. Without a doubt, I know that every diabetes educator had advocated for persons with diabetes. Advocacy happens every time a diabetes educator calls an insurance carrier to get medications or testing supplies covered or when we call a patient’s health care provider to recommend changes in treatment. 
 
I’m planning to be in DC next month to participate in advocacy activities. I am currently collecting blue paper dolls. I am having individuals write their name, where they are from, and how diabetes affects their daily lives on the dolls; and will be delivered to their senators and representative.
 
Each diabetes educator needs to become knowledgeable about their role in the health care system and should become familiar with the many activities AADE is currently conducting.
  
Here is a list of the activities AADE is currently advocating on behalf of diabetes educators:
  1. The Diabetes Self-Management Training Act of 2011: would allow credentialed diabetes educators to become Medicare providers of DSMT. Learn more.
  2. State Licensure Initiative: provides professional recognition for the qualified diabetes educator, sets minimum guidelines for the practice and enhances consumer protection. Learn more.
I encourage you to visit the AADE policy and advocacy page and learn some speaking points to articulate the role of the diabetes educator. 
 
What advocacy activities do you participate in? In what other activities do you think AADE should participate?
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