If you read AADE’s December eFYI, you know about all-inclusive membership dues and Communities of Interest (COI). Starting in January 2011, AADE members will now pay one amount to join AADE and get membership to all state, regional and local groups and all COIs (formerly Specialty Practice Groups or SPGs). I was on the Task Force that worked on the transition from SPGs to COIs. Though change can be hard, I think this change will be very positive for us as AADE members and diabetes educators.
AADE queried SPG members and learned that knowledge sharing and interaction with others in the group topped the list of what members enjoyed. One problem many of us experience is that we may have had an interest in a topic, at one time or another, but don’t necessarily want to pay $15 for every SPG. For example, I am involved in the Physical Activity SPG. But, what if I am seeing a patient for education/exercise prescription that uses a pump, a CGM; wants to prepare for Diabetes Camp; or is part of an ethnic group/culture that I am not so familiar with? It would be nice to tap into the knowledge of members of another SPG/COI. Now, we can without extra dues. We can be a member of as many COIs as we want to interact with and learn from.
How will you manage membership of these groups? I will probably join several initially. Of course, this will result in many new email-type communications between members of the COI. My mailbox (probably like yours) gets pretty packed. I may realize that I don’t need to be part of some groups. I’ll un-join! Then, if I need information from someone in a group, I’ll re-join, ask my questions and get my information. Maybe there is a practice document I don’t know about. My question may start a discussion within the group so I would gain from many of the members. Once I learn what I need, I may remain part of the group, or un-join again.
Choosing the name of COI took some discussions. Specialty Practice Groups suggested that you should be practicing in that area to be a member. This resulted in some “preaching to the choir.” For example, people in the Disabilities SPG typically know many of the tools to help a person with diabetes and a disability. Sharing within the group is great. But, others without that knowledge need it. Now, people with an interest in adaptive equipment, who don’t specialize in this area, can get in the group and get information. Have you thought about joining groups that you had not previously been in?
How do you think you will utilize the new COI structure? Do you see any issues the COI leaders and members and AADE should work on to make this work well for us all?
Let’s start sharing!