On Friday, health care providers from around eastern Iowa and western Illinois attended a day-long series of presentations and workshops focused on issues surrounding diabetes and obesity. Sponsored by Continuing Medical Education (CME) and the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the revival of this conference found an audience of nearly 90 primary care providers, nurse practitioners, certified diabetes educators, and others who were eager to hear about the latest in diabetes research, new technologies, and current guidelines and practices in weight and disease management.
Each presentation approached this pressing area from a different direction. Conference Course Director and Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism Dr. Robert Spanheimer began the day with a summary of facts and trends related to obesity in the United States today including effects of certain interventions. Dr. Greg Doelle, Clinical Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, presented new concepts in treatment. ARNP and Diabetes Education Course Director Rhonda Fruhling provided detailed examinations of technological advancements such as real-time glucose meters that transmit feedback to an individual and his or her provider, offering them both a wealth of data for making pharmacological and nutritional decisions. Division Director and Department of Internal Medicine Chair Dr. Dale Abel presented a review of the impressive scope of cutting-edge research and discoveries being made within the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa.
The midday break for lunch split the attendees into five guided workshop groups in which they discussed issues ranging from bariatric surgery to patient compliance. Afterward, the groups reconvened to briefly share what they covered and learned. The rest of the afternoon went quickly. Dr. William Sivitz, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, addressed management of medication for diabetes mellitus patients. Dr. Vanessa Curtis, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, presented startling statistics but also practical advice on childhood obesity. And Dr. Peter Nau, Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, closed out the day with an in-depth look at the varying types of bariatric surgeries available, as well as their benefits, drawbacks, and requirements.
Attendees at this “inaugural” conference were pleased by the range of topics, as well as the wealth of information and practical approaches to better help their own patients. They particularly appreciated the midday breakout sessions and the chance to interact with their fellow practitioners. Many were already discussing topics they would like to see addressed next year. Congratulations to Dr. Spanheimer and all of the Division and CME staff for organizing such a successful event.