Diabetes care delivery and management continue to be challenging when it comes to young adults. According to the most recent T1D Exchange data, the mean A1C among young adults is above goal and, despite many innovations in care recently, it has not improved.

Much work has been done with young adults in the Pediatric care setting, but not as much in the Adult care setting. It is that gap and need to further establish best practices and guidelines that prompted Joslin Diabetes Center to organize the Caring for Young Adults with Diabetes in the Adult Clinic Setting Roundtable Conference.

Joslin hosted more than 50 interdisciplinary thought leaders from the United States and Canada to focus on delivering optimal care for young adult patients with diabetes. The two days of workshops and discussions resulted in transform

ative insight from attendees which included pediatric and adult endocrinologists, nurses, behavioral health specialists, researchers, and advocacy organizations including, JDRF, American Diabetes Association, Helmsley Charitable Trust, National Institutes of Health (NIH), College Diabetes Network (CDN), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the Endocrine Society

One of the highlights of the roundtable conference was the patient panel. It included five young adult patients, all of whom receive care at Joslin--half in the Adult Diabetes Section and half in the Section on Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Diabetes. The panel also included the parent of a young adult patient and was moderated by the founder and CEO of College Diabetes Network (CDN).The panelists shared poignant and unforgettable stories of their experiences and emotions, and gave suggestions on how to improve care in this age bracket. Their insights greatly impacted the conference sessions regarding assessment, engagement, and intervention strategies aimed at promoting physical health, optimizing mental health, and preserving patients’ quality of life.

Many of the attendees said it was the best and most productive meeting they had experienced in their careers in diabetes. Based on the contributions of this impressive group of attendees, gaps have been identified, best practices vetted and a path towards better care and outcomes is underway. A peer-reviewed research paper, additional training for healthcare providers, further consensus meetings and clinical guidelines are among the many initiatives now in progress. We are so thankful to those who attended for coming together to help improve the lives of young adults with diabetes. You can view a full list of attendees and the conference agenda.

For questions on Joslin’s Young Adult Program, please email YoungAdult [at] joslin.harvard.

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