Diabetes educators from across the country are in Indianapolis for the annual American Association of Diabetes Educators to learn how to better reduce the widespread disease.
They come from all different backgrounds says local educator Jasmine Gonzalvo.
“We’re pharmacists, we’re physical therapists, we’re dieticians, we’re nurses,” Gonzalvo says. “Sometimes people don’t know about us, but as far as the wealth of resources we have to offer, we really should be at the forefront when you’re talking about helping a person with diabetes.”
Gonzalvo is a clinical pharmacy specialist and a professor. She says educators can make a huge impact.
“Diabetes education can be as effective as a lot of your different medications,” says Gonzalvo.
The conference’s focus this year is on technology and prevention.
“What apps should we be recommending for patients to be helping with blood sugars? What devices are available? And what’s up and coming that we should be telling our patients to look out for?” Gonzalvo says.
Gonzalvo led a session at the conference on her latest research that examined how many educators work at pharmacies.
“Where we could really use diabetes educators, especially in rural areas where perhaps the community pharmacist might be one of the only health care providers readily accessible to people,” she says.
The more than 14,000 member organization works in education and advocacy. Gonzalvo is part of a state legislative study committee this year to address diabetes in Indiana.