2019 Kentucky Statewide Diabetes Symposium – A Sweet Success

People attending the Kentucky Statewide Diabetes Symposium reported that they felt energized, empowered and excited about the role they play in helping people prevent and/or manage diabetes. Held at the Marriott East in Louisville on November 15, Julie Shapero, NKY Health’s Diabetes Educator, chaired the event for the eighth time. She was assisted this year by Paula Bergen, a diabetes program contractor for NKY Health.  The goal of the annual symposium is to provide updated information about diabetes and diabetes management to health professionals through speaker presentations and exhibitor tables.

Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger, Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, welcomed over 300 participants, along with 25 exhibitors and six Industry Allies Council sponsors. Professionals attending included diabetes educators, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, health educators and chiropractors, traveling from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Illinois. Held in recognition of World Diabetes Day, the symposium is put on by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Kentucky Coordinating Body, local networking groups representing all of Kentucky, the Kentucky Diabetes Network and the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (KDPCP).

Speakers included Mary Ann Hodorowicz, a national consultant, speaker and spokesperson who specializes in diabetes care, education, nutrition and health promotion. She educated the audience on Tools for Successful Behavior Change, Diabetes Management Tips for Working with Older Adults and Motivation. Father/Daughter speakers Thomas Imhoff, a retired clinical pharmacist specializing in Diabetes, and Katherine Imhoff-Witt, an ambulatory care clinical pharmacy specialist with the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, are second and third generation pharmacists. They presented, “Navigating and Accessing the Diabetes Medication Maze.” Other sessions included, “Coping Strategies for Depression,” “Motivational Interviewing” and “Adult Learning Principles and Hot Topics in Diabetes Nutrition.”

Julie Shapero’s influence and work with the diabetes community goes well beyond the annual symposium. The American Association of Diabetes Educators November 2019 magazine included an article written by Julie. Titled “Collaboration Improves Diabetes Support Groups,” it outlines her experience with diabetes support groups over the nine years she has been employed by NKY Health. By collaborating with partners such as the Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service, more resources are available to improve participants’ health outcomes. Julie sums it up by writing, “As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.”

Bringing resources to both people with diabetes and the professionals who work with them is partnering at its best. Living with a chronic disease such as diabetes can be overwhelming.  By providing health professionals with the latest information on diabetes prevention and management, NKY Health leads the way in making a positive difference in the lives of people living with diabetes, as well as those hoping to prevent the disease.

By: Linda Poynter, Oral Health Program Manager