This past weekend, DiabetesSisters hosted its 5th Annual Leadership Institute. Focused on the growth and development of our PODS Meetup Leaders, the weekend hosted nearly 30 leaders from all corners of the country, including Nevada, Washington, New Jersey, Florida and Ohio.
I have had the opportunity to witness each of our Institutes, watching them grow in size and scope. The best part, however, is watching the development of our peer support leaders - women thriving with diabetes – over the years.
This year’s focus included leadership training, led by fellow d-mister Shawn Shepheard. Shawn heads up The Leadership Advantage, a service that helps develop people to become their best selves. Conversations with Shawn included goal setting, creating techniques to become better organized, and ways to put thoughts into action. Shawn also helped facilitate sessions on PODS Leader best practices, as well as a dedicated session on hypoglycemia. Our PODS Leaders served as panelists, sharing their experiences and outcomes.
With over 578 combined years of diabetes experience, our attendees took time out of their personal lives to travel to Chicago (despite countless airport delays due to weather woes) and engaged with Shawn, our staff, and eachother. Newer PODS Leaders spent time with experienced ones, learning different ways of leading groups.
As both a woman living with diabetes, and a diabetes professional, this is one of my favorite weekends of the year. To see women like me come together for the common purpose of helping other women with diabetes inspires and motivates daily. I cannot find enough words to express my gratitude to our leaders, Board of Directors and DiabetesSisters’ staff.
We are also grateful to the financial support of Boehringer Ingelheim, Lilly, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Regeneron and Xeris. Without their support, we would not be able to offer this support to our members. And to our partners, The Leadership Advantage and Hip Hop Fit with Gene Hicks, many thanks for sharing your talent and time to improve our mental and physical health. Finally, we offer gratitude to Livliga, Myabetic, Frio Insulin Coolers, Sugar Medical, and SPI for providing prize items to our lucky attendees.
Stay tuned next month as we post our photo gallery!