Join the #DOC at #2014ADA

Diabetes Online Community Blazes New Trail at
American Diabetes Association 74th Scientific Sessions

Follow the discussion on Twitter at #DOCatADA


SAN FRANCISCO: June 11, 2014 – Korey Hood, PhD and a select group of patient advocates from the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) will deliver a trailblazing session on the benefits of engaging with the Diabetes Online Community for both clinicians and patients at this year’s American Diabetes Association 74th Scientific Sessions.

Entitled The Art and Science of Behavioral Medicine Principles in the Diabetes Online Community, this professional interest group session will, for the first time, bring together active members of the DOC on stage at the ADA. The discussion will center on the benefits of engaging with the DOC and social media for healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes.

“Social media and the Diabetes Online Community provide a supportive, ever-present forum for patient skill-building and support,” said Korey Hood, PhD. “Clinicians are challenged daily to meet all the needs of the diabetes patients they see. The DOC provides another source of information and care.”

Managing life with diabetes is a round-the-clock effort for patients. Because of this, patients can feel emotionally overwhelmed and experience burnout which undermines their self-care efforts. Clinicians sometimes have a very limited amount of time they can spend with each patient. Engaging with the DOC is a way to bridge this support gap and provide diabetes patients ongoing peer support and information that ultimately leads to better health outcomes.

“The Diabetes Online Community has become a very real part of my day-to-day diabetes therapy plan,” shared patient blogger Scott Johnson. “My life has improved in many ways because of my interactions online and I’d like those resources to be seen as viable therapy supplements for HCPs when appropriate.”

Some people question the reliability and effectiveness of online communities and social media as an integral part of the patient’s treatment plan.

“We’ll be peeling back the layers of the DOC, addressing misconceptions about the conversations taking place, and highlighting the power of peer-to-peer connections,” said author and patient blogger Kerri Sparling.  “Folks will leave informed about what’s going on in the DOC and how their involvement can benefits patients and HCPs alike.”


The Art and Science of Behavioral Medicine Principles in the Diabetes Online Community takes place on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 12:30pm (PDT) in N-132 (North Building), Moscone Center. The discussion will also be live-Tweeted using the hashtag #DOCatADA.


The discussion panel:

Korey K. Hood, PhD. (Moderator) is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Staff Psychologist at the Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes at UCSF. He directs NIH- and foundation-funded research projects and provides clinical care aimed at promoting health and quality of life outcomes. Much of this work focuses on building positive coping and problem-solving skills to prevent diabetes distress and depression, and increasing the uptake of diabetes technologies and social media. His latest book, Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes, was recently published. Korey is the chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Behavioral Medicine and Psychology Interest Group, which is hosting The Art and Science of Behavioral Medicine Principles in the Diabetes Online Community panel.

Scott K. Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April 1980. He has written about his struggles and successes with diabetes online since late 2004. Currently blogging at Scott’s Diabetes (, Scott is also the Communications Lead, USA for mySugr, and a regular contributor to many other diabetes-related projects both online and “in real life.” His participation at ADA is funded in part through a grant from Novo Nordisk.

Kerri Sparling was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986. Kerri created one of the first diabetes patient blogs, Six Until Me (, in 2005 in an effort to find inspiration and support from her diabetes patient peers.  She is the author of Balancing Diabetes and works full-time as a writer and diabetes advocate.

Jeff Hitchcock is the founder and president of Children with Diabetes (CWD), an Ohio-based non-profit that provides education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes. CWD hosts an annual conference in Orlando called “Friends for Life” that draws thousands of families living with diabetes from around the world. Jeff’s daughter Marissa inspired him to create CWD. Marissa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 24 months. Today she has earned her BSN/RN, is married, and is mother to Connor.

Manny Hernandez was diagnosed with diabetes in 2002. Five years later he discovered the power of peer support and community after attending an insulin pump user group meeting. There he “learned more about managing diabetes in a single evening than in all of the previous five years.” After experiencing firsthand how community can relieve the social isolation and emotional exhaustion that often comes with life with diabetes, Manny and his wife Andreina were inspired to establish two online communities for people touched by diabetes: (in English) and (in Spanish).