Daily Post: Advocating

Are you like many folks in your belief that advocacy is someone else’s job to do? Well, I used to believe this myth as well.  Advocacy is critical and vital for each person.  As a diabetes educator and pharmacist, much of my advocacy efforts are focused on persons with diabetes and access to care for their diabetes.  Earlier today, I met with Brad Williamson, Field Representative with U. S. Senator Johnny Isakson regarding S. 3366 bill which expands access to diabetes self management training for Medicare beneficiaries.  So what exactly did I do in preparation for this meeting?

  1. As a member of AADE, I received notification about this vital bill (as well as the U.S. House companion bill).  I gathered the 6 – 7 bullets (aka talking points) (AADE provided this which made it easy) on the bill.
  2. I contacted the field office in Georgia for U.S. Senator Isakson and requested an in person meeting with one of the senator’s staff locally.
  3. I prepared my talking points – bill number, name of bill, current sponsors, 6 -7 bullet points of how this bill helps Medicare beneficiaries and my asks (to be a bill co-sponsor and support the bill).
  4. During the meeting, I provided Brad with the key information on the bill, asked for Senator Isakson to be a bill co-sponsor and support the bill.
  5. As follow up, I sent a thank you email to Brad, and will follow with Brad in a couple of weeks.

In all honesty, my advocacy efforts for S. 3366 did not take much time at all because I utilized resources from AADE.  Step out of your comfort zone and beginning advocating today.

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#AADE #Advocacy #diabetes

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Daily Piece: New Term, Glucose Management Indicator

Do you find yourself a bit like me always learning about new terms and innovations in healthcare daily? I learned a new term today when reading a game changing article in Diabetes Care.  This term, glucose management indicator, describes taking all of the rich data from continuous glucose monitor to determine the estimated A1c (or the newly termed glucose management indicator). How exciting! Below is the link to article in Diabetes Care. Happy reading!

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2018/09/17/dc18-1581

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#diabetes #cgm #eA1c #glucose #management #indicator

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Daily Piece: Who is Leader of Healthcare Team

Today, I had a great afternoon teaching first year students from several health profession programs about interprofessional education and practice.  In addition to team based care, the truth of the patient being the leader of the healthcare team was emphasized.  The patient (aka the person with the chronic or acute health condition) is the team leader. Listening to the patient is a must!

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#interprofessional #healthcare #team #leader #patient #listen

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Daily Piece: Early Morning Unexpected Encounter

I arrived a little early for my 7 am ultrasound appointment earlier this week.  Being a friendly person, I engaged in conversation with the very pleasant intake clerk.  Of course, I shared that I was a pharmacist and certified diabetes educator who thoroughly enjoys working with persons with diabetes.  She perked up and shared that she was glad that she did not need to see a diabetes educator as she stated, “my diabetes is not bad.” She then shared that she struggled to consistently take her evening dose of insulin.

My heart sunk as I thought she does not understand working with a diabetes educator is an avenue for ongoing support, education and clinical management.  Then I jump right in to share with her that working with a diabetes educators is not a punishment or any indication that a person with diabetes is doing bad. Rather it is a great source for support, education and clinical management as well as a  person to walk the journey with her in the day to day management of diabetes.

Please click below to see more details for the four key times to work with a diabetes educator.

https://www.diabeteseducator.org/news/aade-blog/aade-blog-details/press-releases/2016/11/15/four-critical-times-to-see-your-diabetes-educator

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#diabetes #education #support

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Hurricane Preparedness for Persons with Diabetes

Written by: Freddi Mehlhorn, 2019 Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Georgia Campus School of Pharmacy; Mandy Reece, PharmD, CDE

As we dive into what is already shaping up to be another interesting hurricane season, it is important for persons with diabetes (especially those who live in coastal areas) to be prepared in case the need to evacuate arises. It is also important to be prepared in case you are not able to evacuate but are without access to stores or even power. Below you will find a list of helpful tips and ideas to ensure that you stay medically safe and healthy in the event of a natural disaster.

REFILLS, REFILLS, REFILLS!! This point cannot be stressed enough! Whether you are staying home or are planning to evacuate, it is very important to start working on making sure you have enough medications as soon as possible. A safe recommendation would be to make sure you have at least 2 weeks work of medications before the storm is scheduled to make landfall. (This same tip applies to testing and insulin supplies as well!)
• Stock up on snacks/drinks/glucose tablets for cases of hypoglycemia. Try to aim for things that are non-perishable (juice boxes, small cans of regular soda, hard candies, etc.)
• Regular non-perishable food and snacks are important to have as well. Try to find a good mixture of carbohydrates and protein (nuts are a great option for non-perishable protein). Maintaining as close to a regular eating schedule during this time will be important for stabilizing your blood sugar.
• A small cooler and ice packs are great to have for storing any unopened insulin pens or vials that you may already have or will plan to get from the pharmacy before the storm hits. This will help avoid wasting insulin
• While this is very important during all times of the year, it is especially important during times of uncertainty to always have an active medication list with you
Establish contact with any family members/friends/loved ones that are outside of the path of the storm well before the storm makes landfall

Additional resources:
https://www.facebook.com/DiabetesDisasterResponse/

https://www.healthcareready.org/rxopen

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#hurricane #preparedness #diabetes #medications

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Daily Piece: Support for College Students

Do you know a college student who has diabetes? Did you know that there is an organization devoted to college students who have diabetes? This great organization is College Diabetes Network.  Please share with friends and family who know or have kids in college who have diabetes.  College is a time of great vulnerability and potential.  Learn more about College Diabetes Network https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/

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#diabetes #college #students #support

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Daily Piece: Staying Current

Amid all of my responsibilities as a diabetes educator, coach and supporter for those living with diabetes, I at times struggle to slow down enough to test my knowledge gained a few years back with current science and practice guidelines.  A couple of ways that I filter through my knowledge is to test it against the annual ADA standards of medical care in diabetes (other current practice guidelines) as well as discussing with colleagues from non-pharmacy professions to get their perspective and insight.  Recently while waiting to teach in a diabetes course for healthcare professionals preparing for CDE exam, I listened on a great discussion on dietary cholesterol and eating eggs.  I walked away with food for thought and a few cobwebs cleaned out of some outdated knowledge that I held. Bottom line reading current guidelines, having discussions with colleagues and always seeking to learn from others are vital keys to staying current.

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#diabetes #knowledge #staying #current

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Daily Piece: A Challenge

I challenge my fellow healthcare professionals and students studying to become a healthcare professional to live as a person with diabetes for three days.  During these three days, check your blood sugar twice daily, inject five units of normal saline each evening, complete 30 minutes of physical activity each day and keep a food journal.  I actually have pharmacy students in my diabetes elective course at PCOM – Georgia Campus School of Pharmacy complete these activities for three days.  They find it eye opening and can better empathize with persons living with diabetes at the end of three days. How will you feel at the end of three days?

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#diabetes #challenge

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Daily Piece: Do Not Leave Home Without….

Do not leave home without your medication list.  It is vital to always carry a list of your medications (including prescription, nonprescription and nutritional supplements) with you at all times. Your list can be electronic (in your phone) or hand written list.  Be prepared!

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#diabetes #med #list #safety

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Daily Piece

Where does time go! It is already September which means it is time to get your annual flu (influenza) vaccination.  It is one of five recommended vaccines for persons with diabetes. The additional recommended vaccines are Tdap, zoster, pneumococcal and hepatitis B.   Check out the link below to the CDC vaccines page for more details.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult-conditions.html

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#diabetes #vaccines #September

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