At Kaiser Permanente, we strive to inspire everyone to thrive. Helping our members live healthier lives means engaging with them inside and outside of our medical offices. Our Whole Health and Wellness events series is a major effort to engage and support our members. As part of this series, on September 9, we held the second annual Diabetes Wellness Day at the Bethesda North Conference Center. With hundreds of participants, it was a resounding success for our organization and our members.
During the day, participants heard from KP’s diabetes experts, learned strategies for managing their care, and expanding their support network. The event included a wide-array of speakers and diabetes educational sessions plus workshops on protecting your kidneys; taking care of your feet; carbohydrates counting 101; nutrition and meal planning; and many others. Additionally, a Health Expo ran all day and included opportunities for members to get flu shots; foot screenings; diabetic retinal screenings; Qi Gong; and massage.
Janet Noel, MD Chief of Endocrinology from our Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group who attended and gave the day’s opening remarks touched on its importance by saying, “This event arms our diabetic patients with information and inspiration to control their diabetes. Seeing the number of patients banding together, their excitement to learn and their appreciation for the event was absolutely incredible.”
During the day volunteers provided directions to or answered questions about the sessions. Jane Edwards, director of Brand Engagement and Corporate Events was amazed at the level of participation this year.
“This is our second year planning an event dedicated to bringing awareness to diabetes. I was very pleased with the number of volunteers and provide my sincere gratitude for making the day a great experience for the hundreds of attendees,” said Edwards.
In addition to Dr. Noel, there were fifteen physicians, nurses, or other health care experts who led presentations, including:
- Daniella Hines, MD – Opening Remarks
- Linda Wadud, BSN, RN, CDE – Thriving with Diabetes Education Session
- Maria Matas-Chamberlain, MSN, RN, CDE – Thriving with Diabetes Education Session
- Vanita Rahman, MD – Plan Based Diets and Diabetes Education Session
- Farhan Malik, MD – Maintaining Vision Health Education Session
- Adam Isaac, DPM – Taking Care of Your Feet Education Session
- Angela Paul, MA RDN, LD – Diet Culture and Diabetes: Examining Global Foods Education Session
- Gene Gincherman, MD – Share Your Story Breakout Session
- Ishita Singh, MD – Type 1 Diabetes Pump/Sensor Therapy Education Session
- Paul Millea, MD – Nutrition and Meal Planning Education Session
- Ejaz Shamim, MD – Diabetes and Nerve Health Education Session
- Mary Lynn Farivari, RD – Carbohydrate Counting 101: How Technology Can Help Education Session
- Kwame Akoto, MD – Controlling Your Diabetes: How Video Visits Can Help Education Session
- Ameya Kulkarni, MD – Diabetes and the Heart: How to Keep Your Heart Healthy Education Session
- Angela Gilbert, PSYD – Diabetes and Pain Management Education Session