Blog Jane K Kadohiro, DrPH, APRN, CDCES, FADCES October 29, 2020
Aloha! Hard to believe that it is NOVEMBER already! November is American Diabetes Month (ADA), National Diabetes Education Week (ADCES, November 1-7), and World Diabetes Day (IDF, November 14). And most people do see November as THE “Advocacy month” of the year. As we head to the polls on our country’s designated election day, I do hope that as an American you will (or have already!) exercised your absolute right and responsibility … and PRIVILEGE … to vote!
Our elected officials are, indeed, so very important in our lives, but as diabetes care and education specialists, we are ALL such important DIABETES ADVOCATES. We advocate not just in November, but every single day and in so many ways! And how is this so you might ask?
*We advocate for that individual client when we provide information, encouragement, and empower him or her to successfully manage their diabetes. When a visit is denied coverage, we work with their insurance company. We advocate by working with family members to support and understand our client’s/their loved one’s diabetes.
*We advocate by working with our professional colleagues to help them understand our clients (and the standards of care for diabetes!).
*We advocate as we begin to notice possible trends among the individuals whom we see in our practice setting. We then converse with colleagues and others to further analyze our own observations and suspicions. We speak with our superiors, and work to improve our own practice settings. We collaborate with colleagues in other settings to begin planning larger system and population changes.
*We advocate by getting involved in diabetes organizations… at our local level, our state level, the national level, and beyond! Yes, it often does take a village to make changes!
These are just a few of the many, many ways that we are advocates – and have been often without realizing it! The late U.S. Representative John Lewis implored us all… “When you SEE that something is wrong, SAY something. And don’t stop there…. DO SOMETHING!“ And no, we don’t have to be an elected official, though building a solid relationship and communicating regularly with each of our elected officials on a regular basis is another all-important way to make this world a better place for all who are affected by diabetes.
Mahalo nui loa to each and everyone of you for all that you do to care for and advocate for all people who have diabetes, their families, and for our profession. YOU are an awesome advocate!!