Shani V. Davis, PhD, ANP-BC, CDE
Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Care Specialist
Your Best You, P.A. | @YourBestYou502 (Twitter) | @YourBestYouClinic (Facebook)
Why did you choose to become a diabetes care and education specialist?
During my education and professional experience as a Registered Nurse in the late 90’s, almost all patient encounters involved diabetes via risk, family history, or present health state. Many patients would ask about the relationship between blood sugar control, meal choices, and the experience of complications that I was unable to answer. In addition, HCPs at the time often chastised patients for states of poor management. For these reasons, I chose a career path toward opportunities to strengthen my ability to answer such questions, and care for people in a way to reduce the likelihood of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality for those I encounter with and affected by diabetes.
You have a thriving diabetes specialty care practice in Florida. Is this primarily a stand-alone effort, or do you partner with health systems to support your practice?
Your Best You®, P.A. is a full service primary care practice that focuses on optimizing the diabetes and chronic disease management experience. Our team includes an MD and Endocrinologist and we are not affiliated with a corporate or private health system.
How has being involved with AADE helped you treat people with diabetes?
Involvement with AADE keeps me aware of cutting edge trends in diabetes care, management, monitoring, education, and advocacy. These help inform my literature searches, clinical decision making, business aims, practice design, and more. I share these things with the people that I treat and their families when relevant.
As an outcome of the Project Vision initiative, AADE will begin to refer to the specialty of diabetes education as “Diabetes Care and Education Specialist” (DCES), followed by an organizational rebranding in January. How do you think the DCES title will support the future of the specialty?
The new title is exciting and amazing in sooo many ways! Most importantly, it emphasizes the value we add to the diabetes care team and organizations we work with. As our healthcare economy becomes increasingly value based, patient satisfaction, activation and engagement cannot be underprioritized when developing strategies toward goal attainment. Diabetes educators are uniquely positioned to affect the efficacy of persons with and affected by diabetes. Thus, I feel the specialist designation is wonderful. AADE took an empirical approach to this name change consideration; gathering data to see if what we knew on the front lines - that we function as specialists - is a broad sentiment. The data showed that the name change is timely and appropriate. It all felt so empowering when it was presented at AADE19!
You serve as a representative for the research committee on the AADE20 planning committee. How do you envision research complementing the call for abstracts?
Completing the new Research Track call for abstracts was a wonderful exercise in team work. Whatever we do in the AADE20 planning committee, my cohort and I take back to the research committee for feedback. We are fortunate to have a committee rich with research publishing, execution, and critique experience; as well as a sound understanding of AADE funding and operations. Our committee and corporate support minimized this challenge. Sorting through the abstracts and answers to the call is always interesting.
You are an AADE spokesperson. What do you look forward to as you serve in this role?
As an AADE spokesperson, I look forward to aiding the organization in building awareness of our VISION(ary) approach to diabetes care and education. Also, I look forward to using this platform to build visibility of our organization broadly.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing diabetes care and education specialists today?
Cost containment is a big part of value-based care and some institutions have dissolved diabetes educator positions to reduce overhead costs. The challenge to educators is articulating our value using succinct language that emphasizes quality measure attainment and cost savings to organizational decision makers. Articulating the favorable economic impact of diabetes education is new for most educators. AADE has made great strides in arming us with the knowledge and resources to be successful.
What are some of your interests outside of the diabetes specialty?
Outside of empowering people with diabetes, I enjoy reading historical romance novels, traveling, mission trips, family time, and impacting communities through service with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to aspiring diabetes care and education specialists?
My experience in more than 18 years of advanced nursing practice has reminded me that EVERY PERSON is the expert on their life experience. This experience should be respected, and considered in all goal setting and other decisions made to impact that person’s life. This respect is the key to greater diabetes self-efficacy for the person with diabetes and greater quality measure attainment for the diabetes care team. An aspiring professional in our field will always have patients to work with. Respecting the experience of them is the key to success in what we do. That’s what I would share.