Clockwise, from top left: Matthew Bouchonville, MD, CDE, from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine; keynote speaker, Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE, from the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute; attendees join in the Zumba exercise break with patients from the Roybal Lifestyle Program led by Ms. Nikki Guillery.
The 6th Annual Diabetes Day held on December 2, 2019 at the California Endowment and organized by Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chair of the Endocrinology-Primary Care Workgroup and Lead Physician at MLK Outpatient Center, was a resounding success.
The event drew 221 providers who take care of patients with diabetes—the largest turnout in the history of the event. Attendees came from a diverse array of clinics including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and community partners within Los Angeles.
Keynote speaker, Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, gave an inspiring keynote speech on taking diabetes education to the next level through. Siminerio also led two breakout sessions in the afternoon on overcoming barriers in diabetes self-management as well as an important session on how to improve medication adherence in patients with diabetes.
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) director, Christina Ghaly, MD, inspired attendees with her talk about taking care of patients with diabetes. She stressed how DHS aims to provide a more patient-centered approach to patients with diabetes as well as patients in general. This includes finding additional mental health services and addressing social determinants of health as well as encouraging non-face-to-face visits, including phone management, which can be very effective for patients with diabetes.
Another highlight of the day was a discussion of ECHO West, which is a monthly webinar series that the Diabetes Endocrinology Work Group hosts to educate providers on taking care of patients with diabetes. The session was led by Matthew Bouchonville of University of New Mexico, who runs the original project ECHO at the university and provides assistance for doctors in rural parts of New Mexico who take care of patients with diabetes. Shan-Pin Fanchiang, OT, PhD, who spearheads the DHS effort for ECHO West, explained how the webinar series has been modeled after the ECHO program from New Mexico and how the monthly webinar will be expanded this year to include more audience participation.
Participants also heard a very interesting lecture from Michael Goran, PhD, from USC, on how detrimental sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages are for children and has definitively led to the obesity, diabetes, and fatty liver disease epidemic. Goran also pointed out that beverages with artificial sweeteners are also detrimental for health of young people and adults.
Anne Peters, MD, also gave an inspiring talk on personalized precision medicine and personalized medical approaches for patients with diabetes. Peters also discussed how the future includes doing genetic tests to determine different subtypes of diabetes and tailoring the diabetes regimen to match each patient.
Breaktime included a very well received Zumba exercise break with patients from the Roybal Lifestyle Program led by Ms. Nikki Guillery.
Following the break were four tracks of breakout sessions in the afternoon. The Project Dulce track was led by Chris Walker of the Salk Institute that inspired people on how to engage with patients with diabetes including tips on motivational interviews. An engaging track on diabetes complications talked about some of the less commonly appreciated complications of diabetes which include hearing loss, dementia, and strokes. There was also an important session on bariatric surgery for patients with obesity and diabetes—which often cures diabetes and decreases diabetes complications. The bariatric surgery program at DHS is growing and is an important resource for patients. In the morning session, one of Dr. Friedman's patients, Dwayne Wyatt, a bariatric surgery patient who had his surgery in May 2019 at USC, also attested to how helpful the surgery was and the professionalism of the surgeons. Wyatt also showed the audience his old pants and his new pants to illustrate his significant weight loss. There was also a breakout session going over a new insulin protocol and case management on diabetes and a session on improving diabetes education for all populations with diabetes. Karen Kim, MD, gave an outstanding talk on how social determinants of health need to be addressed when giving diabetes education.
Post-event evaluations were very positive, and multiple attendees were charged up to take care of DHS and Community Partner patients with diabetes. Participants indicated they enjoyed hearing experts in the field and learning about ways to take care of patients with diabetes. Friedman introduced the Poll Everywhere software to engage attendees at Diabetes Day and allow them to respond to questions. This was a rousing success and allowed the participants to take more charge of their diabetes knowledge. For next steps, plans have already begun for the seventh annual Diabetes Day which will be held November 23, 2020.
Slides and talks are available at the DHS sharepoint and in Dropbox (for outside DHS). Friedman encourages all event attendees to join the monthly EchoWest webinars on the third Tuesday of each month from 12:15pm to 1:15pm.
Drs. Friedman and Ghaly continue to give thanks to all the hard-working providers at DHS and community partners who take care of patients with diabetes.The event was co-sponsored by a UCLA CTSI Catalyst award and the Academy of Persian American Physicians-provided CME.