The annual conference for the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) kick-starts today in Houston, TX.
The conference will be four full-days packed with poster presentations, education sessions and product information geared toward Certified Diabetes Educators practicing around the country, with an expected turn out of 4,500 attendees total.
“We are excited to be in Houston this year!” Lorena Drago, RD, MS, CDN, CDE, AADE19 program chair tells dLife. “Houston is one of the participants in the Cities Changing Diabetes initiative. The initiative’s grassroots effort in identifying the distinct profiles in the community helped develop successful programs and tactics to treat prediabetes and diabetes.”
There are some new features of the conference that Drago is excited about, including a new track called “Inclusive Diabetes Care.”
“[The track] highlights various sessions to empower populations that are underrepresented in typical diabetes care,” Drago explains.
Another exciting change, just announced today, is the repositioning of the title of the diabetes educator.
“In an announcement made this morning at the general session, Karen Kemmis, AADE19 president announced the repositioning of the title of a diabetes educator,” Drago says. “The new title will be rolled out in 2020 under the name “diabetes care and education specialist.”
For this years’ sessions, Drago is particularly excited about the Peer Support Communities Corner.
“It will provide diabetes educators with an opportunity to interact with peer support communities and increase awareness and utilization of this vital tool,” she says.
Whether you are attending the AADE for the first time, or not, it’s helpful to have a game plan to navigate the conference.
We spoke to Joanne Rinker MS, RD, CDE in the past for suggestions on how to get the most out of your experience, and we revisit some of her helpful tips below:
Attending AADE for the First Time?
Rinker encourages people to attend all of the evening events. In her experience, these sessions give attendees a chance to meet educators from around the country.
“We share challenges, successes and in the end, e-mail addresses,” she says. “It’s the best networking opportunity, and the friends you make at the annual conference are friends you’ll look forward to seeing again, all year round.”
Another great tip from Rinker is to pack comfortable shoes. “There’s a lot of walking, and you want to be sure you keep your feet happy,” she says.
How Can Attendees Maximize Their Experience?
Rinker urges all attendees to download the AADE Mobile Event App. The app provides everything you need to navigate the meeting using your iPhone or Android device.
The app will help you plan your day, customize your meeting itinerary and even let you interact with other attendees.
The event app is your go-to source for the latest conference information including sessions, speakers, posters, and exhibitors. You can use the “My Schedule,” feature to create a personal event itinerary with bookmarked sessions, meet-ups, and exhibitor visits.
The map feature will help you navigate your journey with an interactive session room and exhibit hall maps.
“This is a great way to be prepared and not have to worry about trying to figure out where to go next when they are on-site,” says Rinker, “time is valuable once you get to the conference, so you want to have your itinerary all planned out.”
The posters will also be set up by track, so you can head straight to your content area. “Take the time to wander around, you never know where your career will take you and you might learn something new that you want to try,” Rinker advises.
The AADE19 Online Planner Meeting Guide
Next to check out is the online planner meeting guide.
Here you can create an Online Planner account and add events to your “My Schedule.” Note that adding an event to your schedule is for planning purposes only and is not a confirmation of your registration.
You can access the online planner here.
Use the navigation links on the left to browse the program by day, session type, or track. Once you find a session that interests you, click on it for more details. You can also use the more advanced search tool to find sessions using search terms of interest.
Once you have browsed the 2019 program and are ready to create your “My Schedule” itinerary, select the “Log In” option on the left to create your AADE19 Online Planner & App account.
With your account created, you can build your “My Schedule” by tapping the calendar icon next to sessions of interest.
You can also sync your Online Planner itinerary to the AADE 2019 mobile app.
How Best to Navigate the Conference?
Rinker says thinking about which track of educational content is most important to each individual educator is key to tackling such a large conference.
For example, if there is an educator who is focusing on delaying diabetes and starting a diabetes prevention program, they would want to follow the Prevention/Delay Type 2 Diabetes Track.
The sessions are typically placed in order so that attending each session in any particular track would be sequential.
For example, if an educator is interested in diabetes prevention, you can learn everything you need to know from start to finish about planning, implementing, sustaining and getting reimbursement for a diabetes prevention program.
“All our tracks are set up this way so that the education is in a sensible progression and to meet the needs of the educator in any stage of learning,” Rinker explains.
Also be sure to check out The AADE19 Final Program, the must-have publication for AADE19, featuring information on events, education, exhibits and more.
Printed copies will also be available onsite at the conference.
Resources for Those Who Cannot Attend?
For those who cannot attend the conference, some of the most popular sessions from the conference are available in two easy-to-purchase bundles.
You can find out more about AADE19 sessions on-demand here. All sessions are available through July 31, 2020.
dLife wishes you a fun, and informative time at the AADE19!