September 12, 2014

Is There Value for Patients in the New AADE Leadership?

There will be much debate in 2015 and especially 2016 about the possible actions of the officers of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). Over at DiabetesMine on September 2, 2014 there is a discussion with the two incoming officers for the next two years.

The incoming president for January 1, 2015 is Deborah Greenwood, a longtime California educator who’s currently president-elect. I do not know much about this person, but she will face some very difficult tasks when she assumes office. Ms Greenwood does feel that providing quality education is important.

What was good to hear is the possible opening of restrictions previously held by the AADE of only accepting people who passed the examination given by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE)? Yes, they had some honorary members, but this is different.

According to information we have so far is the new group will be called Associate Diabetes Educators. This was announced at the annual meeting last month. This will be a true non-licensed health care provider category and will be a way to bring more into the profession. Peer support is now more recognized, and this is one more way to incorporate people with all skills. It’s fantastic that they’re formally recognizing this community and everyone plays a role. There’s a whole committee of people who have been working on the Associate Diabetes Educator piece, and they’re continuing to refine it.

For once, this appeals to me and shows that they are more interested in serving people with diabetes. With the expanding number of people with diabetes and even pre-diabetes, there is too few people to help now.

This flies in the face of the Academy of Certified Diabetes Educators (ACDE) that are limiting members to only those that pass the test given by the NCBDE. If this becomes reality, the AADE will gain greatly and the ACDE will become very unpopular with diabetes patients. This says their exclusive ways will hurt them. Sounds like a very productive year ahead for the AADE.

My real concern will begin in 2016 when Hope Warshaw takes over as president. She has a lot of controversy surrounding her and carries the title of Registered Dietitian (RD) and means that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) may exert some influence. No one has made notice of this.

In addition to being an RD, she created quite a stir about two years ago when she stated that we need too many carbohydrates per day – in excess of 200 grams of carbohydrates. Instead of saying that she could have misspoke and that some people could do with less, she would not back down and people really struck out at her. She has also created some other rumblings on other issues, but seems to avoid controversy after the carbohydrate fiasco.

She seems welcomed by many in the diabetes-on-line-community, but I will continue my reservations until she is no longer president of the AADE.

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