New Mentorship Program to Increase Number of Certified Diabetes Educators; Improve Access to Diabetes Self-Management Education

November, 2010 – A coalition of organizations dedicated to helping patients manage diabetes is announcing the launch of a program to increase the number of Certified Diabetes Educators by establishing mentoring relationships within the healthcare community.

The organizations -- The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE), the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have created the Diabetes Educator Mentorship Program to promote careers that will lead to a Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) designation and improve access to much needed diabetes self-management education.

The program, set to begin in January 2011, will partner experienced CDE-credentialed diabetes educators with healthcare professionals who are interested in gaining experience in providing diabetes self-management education. The goal is to assist these professionals with meeting the current hours of experience practice requirement for CDE certification.

CDEs are licensed healthcare professionals who have a defined role as a diabetes educator. To earn the credential, these professionals must fulfill specific discipline, practice, and continuing education requirements to qualify for taking the certification examination. More than 17,000 health care professionals, in the U.S. are Certified Diabetes Educators.

“There are more than 23 million people in the United States who have diabetes. The national price tag for diabetes is at an astounding $174 billion per year and that cost is estimated to almost triple in the next 25 years. Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes brings the total cost of diabetes to $218 billion.” said David Randal, PsyD, LP, CDE, NCBDE Board of Directors Chair. “By 2025, it is estimated that more than 40 million will have the disease. To help people with diabetes maintain and improve the quality of their lives, it is critical that we dramatically increase the number of qualified healthcare professionals who provide diabetes self-management education.”

“We are pleased to be part of this mentorship program because it seeks to promote careers in diabetes education,” said Deborah Fillman, MS, RD, LD, CDE, AADE President. “Diabetes education is the key to helping patients successfully manage their diabetes, prevent and manage complications, and maintain optimum health.”

“Diabetes is a growing epidemic and is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. With recently released research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating one in three Americans will have diabetes by the year 2050, we must continue to ensure that there will be enough, qualified health care professionals to successfully help patients manage their diabetes,” said Christine T. Tobin, RN, CDE, President Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association. “This new mentorship program will work to increase the number of Certified Diabetes Educators available to people with diabetes and ensure they have access to life-saving diabetes self-management education.”

As an initial step in launching the program, NCBDE will begin identifying CDEs in accredited ADA and AADE diabetes education programs, or programs specifically approved by NCBDE, who wish to volunteer their time as mentors.

For the current details on the program, click here.