Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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The Power of the COI

Aug 14, 2016


was fortunate to arrive at the AADE Annual Conference in time to join the Communities of Interest (COI) reception on Thursday night. What a great place for networking! I was at the Pediatric and Camp Educators COI, where I met folks from other states, and discussed their present camping programs. Since I am addicted to kids diabetes camps, I then roamed the floor and talked with the many states that had tables – discussing their state’s diabetes camps; what a wide variety of camping environments. Camps were sponsored by stand-alone (private) diabetes clinics, university endocrinology departments and the American Diabetes Association. They were large and small, day and resident camps. Some belonged to the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) and some were unaware of the association.

I also learned that many of the state’s AADE affiliates donate between one to four scholarships for children to attend diabetes camp every year. What a great way to support children with diabetes! It really should be a standard for each state to include this in their yearly budget. There is no greater way for children to feel at home with their diabetes and learn educational and practice pearls that may help them for a lifetime.

We are a diverse group of practitioners with a common goal: providing the best practice in delivering education to those diagnosed with diabetes and prediabetes

The COI’s are a place to network and share best practices. Hopefully more and more AADE members will join them and share ideas across the nation! In addition, COI’s are looking for input on innovative ways to connect members with similar interests and would love to hear your input. Would it be helpful to have monthly updates on newly published research in the area of the specific COI? Would biographies of individuals who are leaders in the COI help you feel more comfortable connecting with someone of like interest? Are list serves enough?

We are a diverse group of practitioners with a common goal: providing the best practice in delivering education to those diagnosed with diabetes and prediabetes. Join a COI in your areas of interest; share and gather information to enhance your daily practice with those who share your passion!

Carla CoxAbout the Author:

Carla Cox is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 25 years, and served as an assistant adjunct professor for 14 years, teaching in areas of sports nutrition and exercise physiology. Currently she works in Missoula, Montana as a diabetes educator in both in- and outpatient settings.
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  1. Aug 24, 2016


    Thank you for the excellent blog about the recent AADE16 COI and CB reception in San Diego.  I especially appreciated the point you made about COI members with a common interest talking about best practices and camping opportunities in other states.  You took it to the next level when you went around and talked to CB leaders from other states about your interests in their camping programs.  I didn't recognize at first the benefit that COI members and CB members could realize by talking to each other at this event about their respective activities, but you provided a neat example of exactly how to do that.  I would second your comment that membership and engagement with both the COI communities and the state CB organizations can open new doors to diabetes educators across the country (and the world).  The AADE provides us with a powerful opportunity to network with colleagues in other locations and learn from their experiences.  Attending the annual meeting and having the opportunity to chat face-to-face with these folks, especially in the one-on-one settings provided at poster sessions and receptions, is priceless.  I can't wait for AADE17 in Indianapolis.

    Dennis Pillion, Birmingham, AL

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