November 5, 2016

AADE Sets its Sites on Going Global

World Diabetes DayHere's my final President's letter which appeared in AADE In Practice (November, 2016).  It's been an honor to serve as AADE president!

It’s November, also known as National Diabetes Month, a time in our diabetes world when we in the U.S. raise awareness about diabetes and the importance of proper care and education. At the American Association of Diabetes Educators we proclaim the first full week of November National Diabetes Educator Week. It’s November 6 – 12th in 2016. 

And on the global front, World Diabetes Day (WDD) is November 14th 2016. WDD, first celebrated in 1991, was created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) due to concerns about the health threat of diabetes. In 2006, WDD became official with United Nations Resolution 61/225.1 The 2016 WDD theme is Eyes on Diabetes. It will focus on the importance of screening for early diagnosis and treatment of type 2 with the goal of reducing the risk of serious complications.1  

We have so much progress to celebrate, but we also have extensive work ahead worldwide to raise awareness of the prediabetes and diabetes epidemics, and to communicate the imperative of early, aggressive care and self-management education. 

During this month, think locally. Take actions within your workplace and communities to draw attention to diabetes and the important work we all do.    

With my goal to during this year familiarize you with the six key strategies in AADE’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, the sixth strategy is: Explore opportunities to expand the impact of Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support through global initiatives and partnerships. 

Your AADE leadership believes that a global strategy should be part of AADE’s strategic plan. The world is increasingly connected through technologies and other resources which enable us to instantaneously connect and work with people and entities around the globe. It’s never been easier! This ease of communication allows AADE to assess the needs of diabetes educators and diabetes-focused entities and allows us to share our expertise and sizeable human and educational resources. We share similar goals with diabetes educators around the globe to deliver evidence-based Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) and assure that knowledgeable and credentialed providers deliver DSMES. Our mutual end goals are also similar – to reduce the human and financial burdens of diabetes.     

And the global burden of diabetes is significant. According to the IDF, 415 million adults now have diabetes and by 2040 642 million adults will have diabetes.2 The WHO, in their Global Report on Diabetes, notes a quadrupling of adults with diabetes since 1980, mainly type 2 diabetes.3

Over the years, AADE has engaged in several international efforts, and leaders have represented AADE and our members at the annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the IDF meeting, held bi-annually. In September I had the pleasure of presenting AADE-based research promoting the value of diabetes education, at the Federation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND) meeting held in conjunction with EASD in Munich, Germany.   

During the next year or so AADE will assess the global landscape to determine how AADE and our members can bring our experiences, expertise and resources to make the biggest impact. We’ll seek out organizations around the globe whose goals are aligned with ours. We’ll carve out our niche and partner with organizations and entities that assist AADE in making an impact. We’ll keep you posted as we strive towards our outcome to develop a global strategy and an international market approach. If you have thoughts, experiences or opportunities for AADE’s leadership and staff, please share them.  

In conclusion, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your 2016 president. It’s been an honor and privilege! I encourage all AADE members to get involved. You are critical to our mission, both home and abroad!  


1. International Diabetes Federation. World Diabetes Day 2016. (Accessed August 23, 2016)

2. International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas. (Accessed August 23, 2016)

3. World Health Organization. Global Report on Diabetes. (Accessed August 23, 2016)