Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) Wrap-Up: NextGen Leaders Share Their Experiences

Short Description
ADCES NextGen leaders share what they learned at the 2020 Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists virtual conference.
Contributor
Meredith Murphy, Maddie Walding, Ora Friedman, Sarah Seeger, Natalie Wagner, Melissa Antonowicz, & Emily Swanson
Components
Image
Meredith Murphy headshot
Title
Meredith Murphy
Description

Attending the ADCES conference helped affirm my career path. Coming into the conference, I knew that I wanted to work as a nurse and DCES and focus on the intersection of diabetes and mental health. Not only did the conference confirm the importance of treating a patient’s mental health alongside their diabetes, the conference and my mentor also provided me with different paths I could take that align with my interests. Furthermore, I really enjoyed interacting with my fellow NextGen Leaders via Zoom. It was fascinating to hear their career goals and how the conference was helping them to shape their futures. Learning of their experiences talking with speakers and representatives from companies has encouraged me to reach out and network- something I am usually quite apprehensive about. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the ADCES conference as a NextGen Leader. I will carry the information I gained from the ADCES conference with me throughout my career.

Image
Maddie Walding headshot
Title
Maddie Walding
Description

The ACDCES conference was such an interesting experience! I loved getting to learn more about a variety of topics. A few things I was able to hear about were COVID-19 CGM use in the hospital, low carb diets and diabetes, and low-calorie sweeteners and diabetes. I feel that I have really been able to expand my view of the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist career as a whole. I love the fact that these people are the ones spending time with the patient to give initial education, dosing suggestions, and help with technology.

The technology side of diabetes education is something that intrigues me the most. I really enjoyed learning more about how CGM technology may be used in hospitals and how a CDCES may help a patient with the decision to use a DIY-closed-loop system. These topics are on the cutting edge of diabetes innovation, and I am always looking to hear more about the latest advances in that area. This conference helped me to realize that this career pathway is such a unique opportunity to get to know patients with diabetes at a deeper level and really recommend things specific to those personalities.

 

Image
Ora Friedman headshot
Title
Ora Friedman
Description

Attending the Association for Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Conference was truly eye-opening for me and reinforced my passion for working in the diabetes sector within public health. I am truly grateful to the College Diabetes Network NextGen Leadership Program for assigning me a mentor. As a result of speaking to my mentor, I am more confident in my decision to aspire to become a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator. My mentor, the speakers, and others who I networked with at the conference truly serve as an inspiration to me about how much of an impact I can make for the diabetes community. One of the sessions that I attended at the conference that stood out to me was the session on “Strategies to Increase Enrollment in Hispanic and Latino Participants in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).” This session inspired me to conduct further research on how I can get involved in the DPP through networking with someone from CDC at the Exhibit Hall. This conference made it possible for me to take my passion of public health diabetes education to the next level and to aspire to become a leader in this field.

Image
Sarah Seeger headshot
Title
Sarah Seeger
Description

Attending the ADCES Conference as a NextGen Leader for CDN opened me up to various mentorship experiences, learning about advances in the field of diabetes care, and allowed me to gain access to companies working to improve diabetes technology. Through discussions with the mentor picked for me by CDN, Carol, I was connected with others working in the field of diabetes technology, an area I am interested in going into following graduate school. During various sessions at the conference, I heard about the integration of behavioral health into diabetes care, the use of do-it-yourself closed loop systems, and (the familiar) issues of skin reactivity to the many wearable devices diabetes use. These sessions both reassured me that progress in the field of diabetes care and education is being made, and opened my eyes to the progress that is still yet to come, with my peers and me as allies.

As the only one in my family with T1D, I did not know these resources existed growing up. It filled me with hope to be introduced to a community of like-minded diabetes educators wanting to help those like my younger self.

Image
Natalie Wagner headshot
Title
Natalie Wagner
Description

I really enjoyed my experience at the ADCES conference. I loved being able to meet my mentor and talk to them about their career path and bond over our passion for diabetes education. After attending the sessions and talking to my mentor and other attendees, I now feel confident in my career path and am even more excited to become a diabetes educator. I loved being able to learn more about different diabetes related things that you don’t hear about everyday. The safe needle disposal session was very informative and I learned a lot about sharps disposal and where to get and dispose of sharps containers which I didn’t know much about before the conference. I also really enjoyed talking to the other CDN attendees because I think building connections with people who face some of the same challenges as me is very important. I think that the conference did a very good job of moving to an online format and I am pleased with how the weekend went. I also really enjoy that the sessions/conference will be available for a little while because I had an unfortunate circumstance happen and was not able to attend all of the sessions I had wanted to during the weekend, so I am looking forward to being able to go back and watch the sessions I was unable to attend!

Image
Melissa Antonowicz headshot
Title
Melissa Antonowicz
Description

Although we are still in an unprecedented situation, all those involved in planning and facilitating the ADCES conference did an outstanding job conveying valuable information at all the sessions. Although the first few days of the ADCES conference got off to a rocky start, that should only serve to remind us that we should all be patient with technology as we are still learning how to accomplish navigating all the new technology developments. I truly enjoyed the ability to ask questions and network with various diabetes care experts as that has encouraged me to further my education, ask questions, and sometimes take a leap of faith when we need to get our career or an idea off the ground. Perhaps the one point that will resonate with me is the fact that managing diabetes is both a physical and emotional journey. Managing and having “good” control of diabetes goes far beyond A1C, but also in making sure those living with T1D or T2D feel confident and secure in what they are doing. Through all the sessions I attended, it became increasingly clear that although physical health is important, so is discussing mental health and the supports those living with diabetes have.

 

Image
Emily Swanson headshot
Title
Emily Swanson
Description

I am so blessed to have experienced this virtual conference! It was amazing to see all the emerging technologies and learn about new research. From new CGMs, COVID-19 and diabetes, or different types of neuropathy, I learned so much in just a few short days. I thought it was valuable to talk to real diabetes educators and those who serve on boards of major diabetes corporations. I loved hearing about other people's call to work in diabetes and their experiences helped reinforce my feelings of being called to this profession. I am excited to one day join them in their goal of helping diabetics across the country!

Blurb Description

Thank you to CBDCE for their generous support of the NextGen Leadership Program.