When I was at the Annual Meeting, I heard people saying “What is a COI?” Well, it's time to spread the word! A COI (said C, O, I) is the new term to describe what was a Specialty Practice Group (SPG). The redesign task force for SPGs in 2010 to 2011 had much discussion about what the new name should be. We thought it was important to move from Specialty Practice Groups, since this suggested that members of the group should be involved in a specialty practice area to join. So, the new term, "Communities of Interest" or COI was born!
The idea of a COI is to share knowledge with everyone who is interested in the subject, whether or not they are practicing in an area. For example, if I specialize in physical activity but want to keep up on pumps, medications, camps, public health, etc., I should be able to participate in the Insulin Pump, Pharmacy, Camp Educators, and Public Health communities of interest. I may want to learn more about working with people of different cultures, so I would like to be included in the African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino American, and Native American/Indian Health Services groups. Get the idea?
As a side note...there has been a lot of discussion about how we should say COI. Should we say each letter separately, "C. O. I."? Or should we try to turn it into a word COI? But, if we say it as a word, it sounds like koi or coy. We aren’t an ornamental fish or playfully bashful! So, it takes an extra second or two, but it is worth it to say C. O. I.
When you pay your unified dues to be a member of AADE, you can join each and every COI. You can receive all discussions and announcements, ask questions, and learn about new information. You can opt in or out of any group, anytime. I am in all 20 COIs now. I receive all discussions. If the topic is something I don’t want to read about, I just delete it. It’s easy. It’s also easy to subscribe to each group; if you need help, call (800-338-3633 x 100) or pop an email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to Member Services and someone will be happy to help you.
So, don’t be coy! Take advantage of your dues, subscribe to any and all COIs you are INTERESTED in, and gain knowledge in several aspects of diabetes education. Are you already a member of a COI? How do you use them? Which ones should interested members check out?