The 32nd Annual Meeting in 2005 was the first national AADE meeting I attended. I was still very new to this field but was lucky enough that my department director and mentor realized how important our national meetings are. It really is the only national meeting directed to those providing diabetes self-management education and support. In thinking about this article, nostalgia moved me to find my old certificate.
I was so excited to attend this event. I am the kind of person that always sits in the front of the classroom! So, my very first general session, there I was sitting in the front of this massive hall — unaware I was about to experience one of my most motivational moments. While waiting for it all to begin, I turned around and was completely overcome with the quantity of people in the room. How many people were facing the same challenges I was facing? How many were finding solutions to those challenges? We were all there to learn more and to better serve those living with diabetes. What an incredibly moving moment it was for me. One I still hold dear today.
Fast forward to August 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve been blessed to be able to attend many more meetings and have always left feeling refreshed and inspired to continue this work. But due to work obligations, I won’t be able to join you this year; instead, I’ll anxiously await the report of my co-workers who will be there.
I leave you asking “How are you encouraging members to attend?” Does your coordinating body offer scholarships or other financial assistance? In Pennsylvania we were so lucky this year to be able to award two scholarships to attending members. Please share any of your ideas and answers in the Leaders Discussion Forum on My AADE Network.