Fresh Views

Relatable Individualized Solution-focused Education: A Sneak Peek from the @AFreshPOVforYou Retreat

Relax. Refresh. Renew. Play. Sing. Laugh. Enjoy. Forgive. Dance. Love. Hug. Share. Kiss. Create. Explore. Hope. Listen. Dare. Trust. Dream. Learn. TODAY! ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience


A view of the gardens at the West Baden Springs Resort in French Lick, Indiana

Last week’s blog focused on traveling with diabetes. In that spirit, this week’s blog comes to you from French Lick Indiana, home of Larry Bird of Celtics fame, and also the French Lick and West Baden Springs resorts. Working together, but on opposite ends of the country, (Tami in Kentucky and Deb in California) means we have to be creative finding opportunities for in-person meetings. Luckily, things came together……. a spouse work meeting in Ohio, and a visit with a son the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University, created the opportunity for our first formal @AFreshPOVforYou board meeting.

Over the past several months we have been exploring ideas around creating innovative diabetes education programs and services that are co-designed by people living with diabetes or prediabetes. Basically that means, we are attempting to actively involve people with or at risk for diabetes in the design process to ensure the end result meets their needs.

If you’ve been reading our blog, then you know that we love “fresh views” and spending time together enjoying beautiful scenery and experiences.  We feel energized and are more creative thinkers when we take a break, are relaxed, seeing things from a new perspective, laughing together, and often with a nice glass of wine!


Enjoying a horse and carriage ride through the Indiana countryside

Over the past year we’ve been planning, thinking, strategizing, writing and sharing our ideas with others in the diabetes community to make sure we are on the right track. Incorporating our practice of using solutions focused coaching, we’ve been asking ourselves, “What’s working well for us and what do we want to do more of?”  On a personal note, a few of those replies include the following:

  • Do hard work in the morning when our minds are most creative
  • Take activity breaks
  • Embrace humor
  • Incorporate things that make us happy and that we find joy in
  • Express gratitude for what we see and experience
  • Plan for future retreats to keep us on track and advancing our vision

We’ve taken a set of possibilities and turned them into opportunities and are excited to see our vision for the future starting to become a reality!

Our March 20, 2019 blog shared learnings from a Twitter chat that we co-hosted with the diabetes online community focused around what would bring joy when engaging in diabetes education services. We had some insightful and amazing feedback. We decided that we really needed to dig deeper, and find more opportunities for people living with or at risk for diabetes to guide us as we design programs and services. So following the Twitter chat we released a survey (which is open until Sunday 4/21/19 at midnight if you would like to participate). There’s been a fantastic response. We have learned that many are not happy with the diabetes education services they have received in the past and there’s great opportunity to innovate and evolve. We had similar responses from both the Twitter chat and the survey.  People are interested in community and learning from others living with diabetes; they want individualized education and not a “canned program”; and they want to be an equal team member whose experience and knowledge is valued and appreciated.

To give you  a sneak peek at our next step…..we’ve employed MDR Consulting, a national business research firm to conduct focus groups for us so we can learn more and identify how we might design programs and services that will provide relatable, individualized, solution-focused education (and actually bring people joy)! Our goal is that the voice of the person living with diabetes will be clear and lead the way. For individuals who choose to participate in our online focus group, we are offering a complimentary, 30-minute, solutions-focused coaching session as a thank you for your time. (If you are interested in participating you can complete the survey here).

We are excited for the future and our next steps. If you’re attending the AADE19 annual meeting in Houston August 9-12, 2019, we’ll be presenting about applying solution-focused coaching tools to diabetes education practice. We’ll share more about our upcoming presentation soon. We are also in the planning stages to conduct a research study incorporating solution-focused coaching.

Thanks for being on this journey with us. We look forward to sharing our goals and dreams with you and are eager for your feedback.

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