Thoughts on the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit

Some random thoughts on the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit which was held in Maryland recently:

— An impressive number of people took part.

Something like 900 people were in attendance. It made me think that these kinds of conferences need to happen more often in smaller communities. Lots of good information was shared that needs to reach more people. It’s easy to imagine that the breakout session on Type 1 students deserves to be in every school district.

And the burden doesn’t have to fall on JDRF’s shoulders. We have enough advocates, vendors and health care providers who can take up the challenge to create a first-class effort in more communities.

— No media attended.

A few months ago, I would have been the editor who would have told the JDRF organizers that I didn’t have a spare reporter to send to a Saturday event. An alternative might have been to put more responsibility on bloggers and others who can put the word out on social media. The organizers encouraged tweeting, but there could have been more. Talking points, press releases, background material, photos … all the things that a member of the working press might expect. Bloggers can pick up the slack.

— Many of the salespeople were diabetics themselves.

At least four people from four different companies described how they used the products they were hawking, whether it was a CGM, insulin pump or insulin itself. (BTW, Novo Nordisk EchoPen looks awesome. It’s an insulin pen that remembers your last dose. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to struggle to remember whether I remembered my Levemir.)

— Carb counts at lunch

The event was at the Montgomery County Convention Center, which is run by Marriott. The hotel thoughtfully supplied the carb counts for what they served. My only quibble was that the carb counts should have been at the front of the line, not the end.


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