On Saturday, Aug 28 at 10:00 AM, the St. Louis Diabetes Coalition hosted the Diabetes Leadership Institute at the Renaissance Airport Hotel in North St. Louis County. The event was attended by 51 inspiring and energized people from across the St. Louis area. One woman from Florida was there, actually (she just happened to be in town … in case you were thinking we were pulling people all the way from the Sunshine State). All participants enjoyed a interactive learning program about taking control of diabetes… and helping others do the same too.
Garry Tobin, MD (WashU), Joan McGinnis, MSN, CDE (Diabetes Coalition), Denise Strehlow, RD, MPH, MSW (Visiting Nurses Association), and Eric S Armbrecht, PhD (SLU) delivered presentations and led group discussions. Lore Gross (SSM St. Mary’s) greeted participants and worked with some individually to address some specific concerns. The program was a huge success with the help of Coco Bopp (WashU) and Mindy Underwood (Renaissance Hotel) who assured all the details were in order, including a delightful healthy lunch buffet.
Special thanks go out to Eli Lilly and Roche Accu-check for their support with funding and materials.
Joan McGinnis orchestrated a group blood glucose testing session with the Accu-chek meter which gave each participant the hands-on experience of testing and seeing others do it too. Blood glucose testing is the cornerstone of successful self-management of diabetes. Comments, questions and interactions among participants clearly showed how valuable programs like the Diabetes Leadership Institute are in the community. The questions dealt with communicating honestly with health care providers, foot care tips, fear of insulin, medication options, and so much more. The program ran about 30 minutes longer than planned… and based on the questions and great ideas that kept coming from the participants, we probably could have gone on all afternoon. All good things must come to an end… and so the program closed with applause and smiles at 1:30 PM ish.