At AADE 2018, ‘passion into action’ theme puts spotlight on diabetes educators

Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox

Turning “passion into action” is the theme for this year’s American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting, and organizers are incorporating the mantra into 4 days of sessions designed to drive better outcomes for people with diabetes.

“The theme encompasses us as diabetes educators and why we do what we do,” Marilyn Cox, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, chair of the 2018 planning committee and a clinical pharmacy specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Catonsville, Maryland, told Endocrine Today. “We love what we do. We love patients, and we love helping people. We want to put the passion of what we know, what we’re learning, and turn it into better outcomes.”

The annual meeting, taking place Friday to Monday, will bring together more than 3,000 nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, nurse practitioners and diabetes educators to the Baltimore Convention Center. Attendees can choose from 110 continuing education sessions covering nine learning tracks, including nutrition and obesity, insulin dosing, foot care, oral health, reimbursement strategies and diabetes social media advocacy, or DSMA. The meeting will also include more than 200 poster presentations and approximately 200 exhibitors.

Cox said the 4-day meeting offers attendees a chance to connect with colleagues and get the latest updates in the diabetes space.

“There is so much out there right now, so much change in current health care and reimbursement and the health care models,” Cox, also the president of the Maryland coordinating body of AADE, said in an interview. “We have a lot of speakers coming in to bring us up to date and see what the changes are coming in the future and how we can put all these applications into place.”

AADE is also focusing on peer support resources, Cox said, and the meeting will include a live DSMA Twitter conversation on-site.

“We have a whole session talking about social media, how to best use it and really trying to connect everyone into the social media arena, to help those that are not familiar with it and for those that are, to better use it and take it even further,” Cox said.

After a day of preconference courses on Thursday (including sessions on pharmacology and reimbursement boot camp), each day of the meeting, except Sunday, is set up around a theme, Cox said, beginning with prevention and delay of type 2 diabetes. Themed days include the following:

Delay Type 2 Diabetes Day – Friday

Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP, chief medical officer and senior vice president at Joslin Diabetes Center, will speak on the roles of diabetes educators and the opportunities that exist in new models of care, such as diabetes population health.

Type 1 Diabetes Day – Saturday

Soma Stout, MD, MS, vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, will speak about the institute’s national quality initiative with a twist for diabetes, “100 Million Healthier Diabetes Lives,” as well as the impact of diabetes educators on the national, local and personal outcomes of people with the disease.

Diabetes and Mental Health Day – Monday

Mary de Groot, PhD, associate professor at the Diabetes Translational Research Center at Indiana University School of Medicine, will present “The Role of Peer Support in Mental Health” with a panel of diabetes advocates and experts to explore and discuss the importance of the inclusion and intersection of mental health and peer support.


The 2018 meeting will also serve as the official launch of the Diabetes Advanced Network Access, or DANA, described by the organization as “the smartest online destination for all-things-diabetes technology.” The website is designed as a clearinghouse of diabetes devices, where members can compare available technologies, as well as gain access to a collection of curated diabetes apps.

“DANA is already up and running, but the big launch is at this meeting,” Cox said. “It is the online destination for all things diabetes and technology. It’s been long and coming. Technology has been exploding and advancing and some can barely keep up. It is important diabetes educators understand all the technical advances for patients, so they can effectively manage their diabetes. With new wearable devices and mobile apps, people have more tools for success with managing their diabetes.”

Information on DANA is available at and is open to AADE members only.

“What we have today is not what we’re going to have tomorrow,” Cox said. “I’m excited to see where we are taking what we have today and where we will be 5 years from now. Right now, not everyone has access to all the devices and technology that is available.”

Cox said this year’s meeting offers something new for every attendee, regardless of level of experience.

“We want to be able to give people those nuggets of information with every single talk, so you can take away something from every presentation, and then take all of it back into your practice and walk away with a newfound passion that you can put all of this into action,” Cox said.

The Endocrine Today and staff will provide coverage from AADE 2018, including reports on the sessions, on-site video interviews and much more. For more information on the AADE agenda and registration, visit – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: Cox reports she is the AADE 2018 planning committee chair.

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