The Clinical and Research Advisory Committee is an active working group of multi-disciplinary service providers in the diabetes community who have a passion and interest for supporting the young adult population with type 1 diabetes. These providers are committed to working with CDN to identify innovative approaches to ease the management of diabetes among young adults. We will be interviewing members of this Committee to introduce you to them, their work in the diabetes sector, their research interests, and why they are passionate about CDN!
Sarah Lyons is a pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and cares for children, adolescents, and college-aged young adults with diabetes. She really enjoys working with patients as they transition from childhood to adulthood.
When working with young adults, Lyons emphasizes the importance of keeping in mind that there are many changes going on in these patients’ lives. The most challenging part for many patients can be fitting diabetes into the mix of everything else happening. Her passion for working in diabetes, specifically the transition phases for young adults, comes from instances of unsuccessful transfers from pediatric to adult care. Patients who are lost to follow up during these transitions have a higher risk of developing acute problems with diabetes, and Lyons hopes to mitigate this by focusing on the problem of transition of care. One common issue is if a patient will be seeing an endocrinologist near home or closer to school. When coming up with a plan for her transitioning patients, Lyons makes sure the patient has thought about where they will see providers, to ensure the best outcomes.
Lyons has recently collaborated on a research study which investigated the impact on diabetes management with the use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in adolescents and young adults. The use of CGMs has shaped the scope of diabetes management for many individuals. With a combination of her patients’ testimonials and results from the study, she has found there is a huge need for insurance coverage advocacy for this type of technology.
Lyons indicates that another area needed for advocacy among college-aged students is around filing for accommodations on college campuses. When Lyons has patients who are going to college, she directs her patients to the CDN website and resources for information about how to register for accommodations. Technology in the classroom for diabetes management is something that is becoming more and more common across campuses. Ensuring that all protocols are put in place for the student is key to positive academic and health outcomes. Editor’s note: Check out CDN REACH for information on how CDN is working directly with campuses on these topics!
"Diabetes care and management at the young adult age is a team effort."
Lyons lastly emphasizes the fact that diabetes care and management at the young adult age is a team effort. Not only seeing other medical professionals such as certified diabetes educators, dietitians, and psychologists; but also acknowledging that peer support is just as important as medical support. CDN can provide peer support for young adults which helps provide the all-encompassing approach to diabetes care. Finding the right resources within, and outside of, the patient’s diabetes health care team will prove to be the most successful approach.