The 10th Annual LA Health Services Diabetes Day for healthcare professionals was held on December 4, 2023 and was an extremely successful event. There were approximately 175 participants via both Zoom and in person. The audience was comprised of primary care and specialty care practitioners, community health workers, case managers, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and social workers and clinicians interested in diabetes care provision within LA Health Services clinics and university settings.
The day began with Dr. Theodore Friedman providing an overview of the Diabetes/Endocrinology Workgroup’s accomplishments including getting continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for patients and discussing new expected practices. His talk was followed by the keynote speaker, Sapana Shah, MD, MPH, who talked about “Lifestyle Medicine to Treat and Reverse Diabetes: Lessons from New York City Health + Hospitals.” Dr. Shah gave a very inspirational talk about how lifestyle is important to control and prevent diabetes and how they set up clinics at five health centers that are practicing lifestyle medicine in New York City. This provided a great overview of how LA Health Services can incorporate lifestyle medicine into our programs. Dr. Shah’s talk was followed with a warm welcome by Dr. Christina Ghaly, the Director of LA Health Services who emphasized the importance of lifestyle medicine for controlling chronic conditions. Dr. Evan Raff from LA Health Services Specialty Care discussed the importance of the collaboration between primary and specialty care.
There were four afternoon break-out sessions. The first one was the most widely attended and was called “Lifestyle Medicine for Diabetes and Weight Loss”. Our second afternoon break-out session track was entitled, “Preventing and Treating Diabetes Complications”. The third break-out session was on case-based learning. This session was led by Dr. Gyanesh Agrawal and Dr. Vahid Mahabadi and provided a deep-dive into the new diabetes expected practices with case-based learning. The fourth afternoon session was on diabetes care and knowledge that gave providers in-depth information on how to care for patients with diabetes.
The day ended on a surprising and inspiring note. An exercise session had been planned for the morning, but due to technical problems, had to be delayed until the end of the day. Evelin Martinez, PA, led an exercise regimen to the tune of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” The audience joined in the exercise and got into a team spirit about treating patients with diabetes.
We thank our sponsors, the Good Hope Medical Foundation, the UCLA Catalyst Award for generous financial support and the UHI Grant for technical assistance. Overall, participants rated the program highly and indicated they definitely want to return next year. They noted they learned a lot about how to take care of patients with diabetes, and expressed interest in setting up new collaborations. Next year’s Diabetes Day will be held on December 9, 2024. We also plan to have a diabetes fair for LA Health Services patients with Diabetes on World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2024.