Center for Diabetes and American Diabetes Association Present Type 2 Diabetes Conference - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Center for Diabetes and American Diabetes Association Present Type 2 Diabetes Conference

Magnet Demonstration: This event demonstrates how the teaching role of nurses is promoted and community educational activities are supported. 

The Center for Diabetes at Springfield Hospital and the American Diabetes Association recently teamed up to present “What You Need to Know: Type 2 Diabetes Conference” at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. This educational event was attended by more than 80 people and featured presentations given by Crozer diabetes professionals (summarized below). The majority of attendees were nurses, educators and health council representatives.

Opening remarks were delivered by Crozer endocrinologist Ruth Ann Fitzpatrick, M.D., who was presented with a plaque at the event in recognition of her 25 years as the medical adviser to the system’s Center for Diabetes. 

Presentations included:

“Diabetes 101”

Mary Jane McDevitt, RN, BSN, CDE, director, Center for Diabetes

McDevitt opened the conference with this educational overview about diabetes (both type 1 and 2) that provided attendees with a broad understanding for the prevalence of diabetes in the U.S., its “profile,” as well as complications and treatments. She also discussed the conditions that put an individual at risk of developing diabetes and strategies that can be taken to prevent the development or progression of the disease including diet and lifestyle changes.      

“Diabetes and Your Body”

Mary Weldon, R.N., CDE, diabetes educator, Center for Diabetes

Through this presentation Weldon provided conference attendees with an in-depth understanding of the ways in which type 2 diabetes affects the body’s cardiovascular and nervous systems, organs (kidneys, skin, eyes and mouth) and feet, and covered such vital subjects as infection, gangrene, gingivitis, nerve damage, neuropathy and limb amputation. She also provided strategies that individuals with type 2 diabetes can use to preserve the function of each of these vital body parts. Other subjects covered during Weldon’s presentation included the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and how this correlates with the rise in obesity rates, as well as the use of insulin to manage the disease.   

“Diabetes Medications: Type 2 DM, Overview and What’s New”

Robert Rossi, R.Ph., CDE, manager, Pharmacy, Springfield Hospital

Within the past decade, many new medications have been developed to help individuals with type 2 diabetes maintain ideal blood-glucose levels as explained by Rossi during this presentation. These medications fall into three main categories – oral, insulin and non-insulin injectable – and allow for the development of individualized treatment plans for patients with type 2 diabetes. Dr. Rossi delved into each category of medication, providing a list of those available and the pros and cons associated with each. He also discussed therapies that are currently in development including DPP-4 inhibitors, PPAR agonists, selective sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, insulin formulations and a vaccine for type 1 diabetes.   

“What’s on the Menu?”

Lynn Diven, RD, LD, CDE, diabetes educator, Center for Diabetes

Diven demonstrated through this presentation that when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes, there’s little room for “cheating.” During her session, Diven took attendees on a step-by-step gastronomic tour of the ideal diet for an individual with type 2 diabetes covering starches, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, alcohol and the four main food groups.

Attendees were provided with an explanation of how each of these affects a diabetic’s blood glucose levels and daily parameters for consumption. She also discussed the value of a food and blood glucose diary in achieving and maintaining ideal blood glucose levels.

“The Effect of Exercise on Type 2 Diabetes”

Tonya Merrill, MS, CPT-ACSM, CES-NASM, Wellness director, Healthplex Sports Club

Merrill’s presentation discussed the components of a balanced exercise plan – including flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning and muscle toning – and the benefits of exercise in general. She also talked about how exercise, as part of a diabetes management program, can help type 2 diabetics lower their blood sugar, increase the number of insulin receptor sites and their body’s sensitivity to insulin, and decrease their dependence on medications. Her program stressed the difference between physical activity and exercise as well as the contraindications of exercise both with and without diabetes. 

“Intensive Insulin Management”

Kathleen Plecenik, RN, BSN, CDE, diabetes educator, Center for Diabetes

For type 2 diabetics, the decision to use insulin (long- or short-acting) or an insulin pump to control their blood glucose levels is one that requires self-discipline and education. Plecenik’s presentation focused on Intensive Insulin Management or the process by which individuals reap a successful outcome from insulin use. During her session, Plecenik identified the ideal candidates for insulin use and the myriad of benefits it offers them. She also discussed the implementation process as well as the barriers to success and potential complications. 

“Insulin Pump Therapy and Continuous Glucose Monitors”

Mary Weldon, R.N., CDE, diabetes educator, Center for Diabetes
Kathleen Plecenik, RN, BSN, CDE, diabetes educator, Center for Diabetes
Mary Jane McDevitt, RN, BSN, CDE, director, Center for Diabetes

Presenters capped off the day with a review of the evidence supporting the use of sensor augmented insulin pump therapy versus multiple daily injections. During this session, prevalent research findings were shared and the pros and cons of each approach were discussed. Through this presentation attendees also learned the mechanics of an insulin pump.