The current state of the world due to the coronavirus is like none other during my lifetime. My heart goes out to all who are serving on the front lines and anyone who has personally suffered or has lost a loved one. As diabetes care and education specialists, we serve a population of people who are high risk for complications from acute illnesses such as COVID-19. As a result, we are all in a position to positively impact the health and well-being of those we serve. The way in which we serve people with diabetes may be different from what we are used to, but their needs may have also changed. We need to ask people how they are really doing and respond to their needs accordingly. Do they have everything they need to stay safe and healthy? Have they lost their job or a loved one? What new challenges are they facing?
I have been amazed by the response from my organization as we moved to remote teaching of pharmacy students and remote visits for patients in a matter of a few days! Our IT team offered countless webinars and remote training on various technologies to help with the transition. Clinicians, faculty, and students have gone above and beyond to help each other adjust. Students and patients alike have been understanding and appreciative of our attempt to keep them safe yet connected.
I am hopeful that we will not only get through this pandemic together but that it will strengthen our communities. Out of it will come new ways to engage and serve our members and people with diabetes. I urge you to take part by identifying challenges and working with those around you to find solutions, whether new or old, and recognizing successes along the way. Let’s focus on the positives and what we can take forward with us into the future of diabetes care and education.
Rachel Franks, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES
ADCES Member Affiliates Council