Thirty-seven diabetes bloggers and online advocates convened here in Florida Tuesday, hosted by Roche Diabetes, for the second annual Social Media Summit — a rare in-person gathering where we can exchange ideas over advocacy efforts and discuss how we'd like to "change the world," or at least diabetes care in the United States.
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This year, representatives from both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) were invited to have a frank talk with our outspoken group. We tossed both criticisms and ideas at them. It was a blast, and it definitely felt like we were changing the world just by opening the channels of communication this way.
I have to give a lot of credit to the ADA for sending a full team of six people to talk with us, including their new Chief Scientific & Medical Officer David Kendall (!) They listened to our concerns, without being defensive, and agreed that much needs to change in that organization. "For too many years, we were not a constituent-focused organization when it comes to serving the patients we represent," Kendall's colleague said. Wow.
I have a lot more detail to share on how the repercussions of this Summit could really begin to "move the needle" on diabetes patient empowerment.
But it's 1am as I'm writing this, and I have a talk to deliver tomorrow morning.
So please enjoy this 'goofy' group photo of us advocates. Recognize any of your favorite bloggers? (list of names TBA)