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Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education

The Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education (CIDE) at Joslin was established in 2003 to develop cutting-edge educational programs, materials and methods for successful, long-term diabetes management and self-care. The CIDE also focuses on research and evaluation of new educational approaches, as well as providing these programs to educators and other Joslin staff.

Education is a cornerstone of diabetes treatment, helping those with diabetes live better while controlling their disease. The CIDE team works closely with Joslin Clinic as well as the Behavioral and Mental Health Research Section to improve diabetes education. These programs and educational strategies involve innovative ways to deliver information and reinforce self-care behaviors and behavior changes. They are based on principles of adult learning, education, behavioral medicine and psychology. The programs allow individuals with diabetes and their families to work together with physicians and educators to achieve diabetes goals.

Expansion of the Diabetes Today Curriculum


The CarbChallenge is an interactive game, where participants can test their knowledge of carbohydrate containing foods.  Participants are shown 10 food items in succession, and must decide if a particular food is low in carb/no carb, or has more carbs. If participants are not sure what the food is, or if they need help making a decision, a hint is provided.  At the end of the activity, they receive a summary of their results, in addition to teaching tips listed next to each of the 10 foods, providing them with more information about that particular food item and its carbohydrate content.


The FatChallenge is an interactive game, similar to the CarbChallenge. Participants can test their knowledge of the fat content in a variety of foods, deciding if a particular food contains healthy fats, unhealthy fats, or has no or low fat.

Professional Education/Programs

The Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education is an accredited provider of continuing education units through the American Dietetic Association and is able to provide one unit for every contact hour of professional education programming. 

CIDE Forum

The Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education holds a monthly forum durng the academic year, in which educators, physicians, psychologists and other staff present seminars on new research and approaches for successful diabetes management.  Discussion allows educators to understand how to incorporate  innovative concepts into their clinical practice.

Upcoming topics:

May 201

Pediatric Nurse Educators

Educator Use of Masked Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) in a Clinic Population of Youth with Type 1 Diabetes

Previous topics:


March 2011 Joslin Nutrition Staff  2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines- Progress Not Perfection
 April 2011  Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD  Update on Eating Disorders and Type 1 Diabetes
 May 2011  Ellen Golden, RN, CDE and Gail Musen, PhD  How Have the DCCT/EDIC Participants Been Thinking?: Effecs of Hypoglycemia on Cognition
 December 7, 2011  Jacqueline Shahar, MEd, CDE  Resistance Training
 January 18, 2012  Aaron Cypess, MD  Brown Fat and Leptin
 February 15, 2012  Bridget Stewart  Business of Treating Diabetes
 March 21, 2012  Hilary Keenan, PhD  Medalist Study 
 April 18, 2012  Christopher Gibbons, MD  Neurological Issues with Diabetes

The Annual Harriet MacKay Lecture

This annual event is named in honor of Harriet MacKay, a member of the well-known class of 1922 at the Deaconess School of Nursing.  Ms. MacKay witness the arrival of insulin as a novel treatment for diabetes.  At that time, Deaconess School of Nursing students were already receiving rigorous training in the care of many aspects of diabetes.  Nurses handled a wide spectrum of duties from managing surgical cases for patients with diabetes to devising meal plans.  Upon the advent of insulin treatment, Dr. Elliot Joslin expanded the role of the nurse to include caring for patients with diabetes and their families in the home, and he chose Ms. MacKay to be the first diabetic teaching nurse. For this prestigious lecture, internationally known leaders in diabetes education and diabetes management are invited to the Joslin Diabetes Center to discuss cutting-edge innovations in patient education and diabetes care with clinicians and researchers. 

Previous speakers and topics include:

2007: Carole' Mensing, MA, RN, CDE, FAADE; Manager, Clinical and Education Programs, Joslin Diabetes Center, Strategic Initiatives; Diabetes Education: Inside, Outside, Upside Down

2008: Linda Siminerio, PhD, RN, CDE; Executive Director, University of Pittsburg Diabetes Institute, Assosicate Professor, University of Pittsburg School of Medicine and School of Nursing; Diabetes Self-Management Education: Evolution/Revolution

2009: Ann Albright, PhD, RD; Directore, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Improvements in Diabetes Control and Prevention: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

2010: Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, FAAN; Dean and Annie Goodrich Professor, Yale School of Nursing; Reaching Teens with Type 1 Diabetes

 2011: Barbara Anderson, PhD; Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Head, Psychology Section, Baylor College of Medicine; Harnessing the Power of the Family to Optimize Diabetes Management


As part of the Behavioral Research Unit, several studies are being conducted that invesitage the impacts of diabetes education and other behavioral intervetions on diabetes outcomes.  This research is paramount in influencing the creation of education programs that help patients successfuly manage their diabetes, such as those developed by the Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education.

The Effect of  Structured Behavioral Intervention on Poorly Controlled Diabetes. Archives of Internal Medicine; Published online October 10, 2011

Katie Weinger, EdD; Elizabeth A. Beverly PhD; Yishan Lee, MPS; Lilya Sitnokov, BA; Om P. Ganda, MD; A. Enrique Caballero, MD

222 adults with diabetes mellitus were randomly allocated to either five sessions of an educatior-led, highly structured, behavioral and educational group intervention over 6 weeks (structured behavioral arm), or to one of two control interventions: five sessions of a curriculum-based, standard group education program over 5 weeks (group control) or unlimited one-to-one education with certified diabetes educators (CDE) for 5 months (individual control).  Participants allocated to group control were matched to the structured behavioral group with respect to exposure to health professionals and diabetes education content.

Patients receiving the structure behavioral intervention showed the greatest improvements in glycemia over 1 year.  Nevertheless, glycemic control improved in all three arms, which indicates that diabetes education in general is an important adjunct to medical therapy.  Furthermore, Dr. Weinger and co-investigators demonstrated that modified psychological and behavioral strategies designed to support diabetes self-care can successfully be incorporated into clinical practice. *Funded by the National Institutes of Health-NIDDK

RED Study (Reinforcing Education in Diabetes)

This study will investigate whether the Conversation Maps program (a set of innovative, interactive diabetes education tools) can help reinforce healthy self-care and lifestyle behaviors and thus help with achieving and/or maintaining glycemic targets.  Patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized to the Conversation Maps program or to an attention control education program addressing hypertension and dyslipidemia.

Using a sample of type 2 daibetes patients who have not met ADA glycemic targets of A1c < 7%, the study will 1) systematically assess psychosocial status with validated instruments, 2) evaluate the efficacy of the Conversation Maps education program for reinforcing diabetes education and help patients struggling with glycemia improve self-care behaviors and glycemic control, and 3) identify characteristics of those pateints who respond favorably to this interactive group education intervention to provide clinicians with informatin on appropriate referral.*Funded by the American Diabetes Association

Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education Staff:

Katie Weinger, EdD, RN, Director
Nicholas Hebert, BA, Project Manager and Assistant Curriculum Developer
Jo-Anne Rizzotto, MEd, RD, CDE, Director of Educational Services
Educators of the Joslin Clinic

For more information, please contact Nicholas Hebert at 617-309-4131.

Page last updated: October 28, 2016