By Kirsten Yehl
With the application cycle for the 2022 ADCES/CBDCE Mentored Research Fellowship now open, we sat down with our current and past fellows to ask a few questions about their work, career aspirations, and their drive to bridge research and practice to impact the lives of people with diabetes. Learn more about ADCES research at DiabetesEducator.org/Research.
Julia and Kelsey, thank you for doing this interview! Can you tell us a little about your current roles?
Julia: I am Julia Blanchette PhD, RN, BC-ADM, CDCES, and I was the 2020-2021 ADCES Fellow. I completed my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah College of Nursing under the mentorship of Nancy Allen PhD, ANP-BC and Michelle L. Litchman PhD, FNP, FAANP, FADCES, FAAN.
Kelsey: I am Kelsey Howard, PhD, and I am the 2021-2022 ADCES Fellow. I am a licensed psychologist, and I am completing my postdoctoral fellowship at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago under the mentorship of Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDCES.
What got you interested in THIS post-doc?
Kelsey: I was interested in pursuing a second year of fellowship focused on research after completing a combined clinical and research fellowship. The ADCES fellowship was a perfect opportunity for me to continue researching psychosocial factors affecting technology use for youth with Type 1 Diabetes under Dr. Weissberg-Benchell’s mentorship.
Julia: I was thrilled to finally find an opportunity to spend time specifically focused on diabetes self-management research, and I was looking for an avenue to learn from a mentor I met through ADCES.
What has your year as the ADCES/CBDCE post-doc given you the opportunity to do, beyond involving you both in the ADCES research committee and fellowship subcommittee?
Julia: I developed a financial and health insurance toolkit for emerging adults with type 1 diabetes with a community advisory board. The toolkit featured peers with Type 1 diabetes and 10 videos which were an average of 3.5 minutes each. In a small randomized controlled trial, I tested the preliminary efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of the toolkit.
I am involved in various ADCES projects and published 4 literature review manuscripts with ADCES colleagues. I was on the ADCES annual conference planning committee. I contributed on an international consensus statement for ATTD, joined an advisory board for the diabetes technology society, and presented at ADA and ADCES. I was able to study for and pass the BC-ADM exam. I attended professional development seminars and gained experience with federal grant writing. I continued to work on multidisciplinary research teams.
Kelsey: My project is a pilot RCT evaluating a multidisciplinary (diabetes education and psychology) intervention aimed at addressing barriers to CGM uptake and preventing CGM discontinuation. We are recruiting youth aged 13-18 with Type 1 Diabetes.
I am also involved in the Society for Pediatric Psychology (SPP) Diabetes Special Interest Group Board. I am preparing to present my work at upcoming meetings for SPP and ATTD and will submit a poster presentation to the upcoming ADCES annual conference. The fellowship has allowed me to pursue professional development opportunities aligned with my long-term goals, including seminars and courses on grant writing, statistics, and research ethics. I contribute to multiple projects at various stages as part of an active research team at Lurie Children’s. I also maintain a small clinical caseload to accrue hours toward pursuing certification as a CDCES.
Where is your career heading next?
Kelsey: We are recruiting participants for my fellowship study and have begun to enroll families. After fellowship, I hope to pursue additional funding to refine the multidisciplinary intervention based on participant feedback and complete a larger-scale trial. I look forward to continuing my career in diabetes care, and I am pursuing a faculty position as a pediatric psychologist in diabetes care. I will continue to work towards becoming a CDCES.
Julia: I started a position as a Nurse Scientist, Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at the Diabetes and Obesity Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and as faculty at Case Western School of Medicine. The feasibility and acceptability manuscript was just accepted for publication in The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care and I am wrapping up two more manuscripts on my post-doc project. I will be speaking about my post-doc study and findings as an invited speaker at ADA scientific sessions this June. I plan to submit a federal grant to expand the usage of the toolkit to other emerging adults with diabetes.
ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care
The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
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