By: Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.
Lead Physician, Endocrinology, Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center
Chairman, DHS Endocrinology Work Group
The 9th Annual DHS Diabetes Day was held on December 5, 2022. About 150 people attended some or all of the day by Zoom, and about 90 people attended some or all of the day in-person at The California Endowment. The attendance was 83% female, 16% male, and 1% others. The distribution of sites was 34% at Community Partners, 34% at DHS clinics, 16% at DHS hospitals, and 5% at other sites. The breakdown of the attendees was 25% nurse practitioners, 17% nurses, 17% MDs or DOs, 7% physician assistants, and 11% diabetes educators. In terms of the number of Diabetes Days attended previously, for 45% of them, this was their first Diabetes Day. For 40%, they had attended 1 to 3 Diabetes Days. For 15%, they attended 4 or more Diabetes Days.
The day started with an introduction by Dr. Theodore Friedman who talked about what has been accomplished in the past year by the Diabetes and Endocrinology Workgroup. He also summarized the types of resources available to treat patients with diabetes. Dr. Friedman was followed by the keynote speaker, Juan Frias, MD, who is the Medical Director and Principal Investigator at the Velocity Clinical Research Center. His talk was entitled “How weight loss fits in with diabetes control.” He discussed the new trend in diabetes treatment to focus on weight loss and use medications that are both effective for diabetes and lead to weight loss. He highlighted the new GLP-1 receptor agonists and talked about why they are outstanding drugs to be used in patients with diabetes.
His talk was followed by a DHS welcome from Evan Raff, MD, MHA, who welcomed attendees from DHS Specialty Care. He was followed by E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, who gave a warm UCLA welcome to our attendees. This was followed by a short exercise break, with stretching and yoga.
Dr. Friedman gave a talk entitled “Ancient wisdom from Maimonides: A 900-year-old guide to wellness and health,” where he discussed a Medieval rabbi named Maimonides, who lived in Spain, North Africa and the Middle East, and who gave many ideas about wellness and health that are still relevant today. This talk put the idea of wellness on the map for the attendees. Dr. Friedman’s speech was followed by a very interesting and important talk by Anne Peters, who talked about the “ADA guidelines for the management of hyperglycemia: A more holistic approach to diabetes.” She gave several case scenarios and discussed how diabetes will be treated in the future.
There was also a debate between Tannaz Moin, MD, from UCLA and Mayer Davidson, MD, from Charles R. Drew University, who gave evidence-based talks about whether prediabetes should or should not be treated. Dr. Moin gave reasons for treating it, and Dr. Davidson gave reasons for not treating it. This was a very enlightening and balanced presentation. The final speech of the morning was by the distinguished speaker David Ludwig, MD, who talked about a new way to think about obesity and talked about how it is not just calories in and calories out that determines obesity. Before the breakout sessions, Dr. Christina Ghaly gave a very warm, welcoming speech and an overview of diabetes in the DHS system.
There were four afternoon breakout sessions. Track A was nutrition, diet and diabetes. Track B was diabetes treatment. Track C was expected practices and case-based learning. Track D was diabetes care and knowledge. All of these gave people new ideas on how to treat and take care of patients with diabetes. The nutrition, diet, and diabetes track was the most heavily attended, and people were inspired to educate their patients on how to treat their diabetes with improved lifestyle, such as diet and exercise. Dr. Ramirez gave a presentation on how he has educated several patients with diabetes on nutrition and exercise to reverse their diabetes.
The case-based learning track educated people on how to manage difficult cases of diabetes. By the end of the day, those people who attended that session could call themselves diabetologists. In the diabetes care and knowledge track, people learned practical advice on reaching out to hard-to-reach patients and making their diabetes clinic even better. Andy Lee, DO, concluded that session with DHS virtual healthcare solutions. There was also an important talk on the update of lipid treatment by Hussein Yassine, MD.
The evaluations of Diabetes Day were extremely positive. Many people learned things that they are going to bring back to their medical center and share with other providers as well as use to treat patients.
The 9th Annual DHS Diabetes Day was generously sponsored by Good Hope Medical Foundation, UCLA Clinical, Translational Science Institute (UL1TR00188) Catalyst Award, and 6 pharmaceutical companies that provided educational grants and did not influence programming. Volunteer help was provided by CDU UHI award (S21 MD000103).