Women Leaders in Diabetes Conference – Using Creativity to Combat the Diabetes Pandemic | Keynote Presentation

If you couldn’t make the Women Leaders in Diabetes Conference (which was completely magical), we have great news. Each Wednesday, we will highlight our keynote speakers and their message. First up, is the amazing Theresa Garnero and Conference Co-Chair.

How many more people could you reach by tapping into your creativity? Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDE, founder of theSweet People Club, kicked off our Women Leaders Conference with a TED-style presentation and this question. She inspired the audience to incorporate more creativity into their diabetes education approaches. To get the creativity ball rolling, she shared strategies that she uses to provide interactive and fun approaches to diabetes education.

Theresa is a creativity expert. In addition to her numerous degrees and certifications, she is a talented artist, humorist, and cartoonist. She reaches people with prediabetes and diabetes by using creativity as a bridge to build rapport and trust.

Theresa also promotes imaginative expression through movement. As the founder of “Dance Out Diabetes,”  Theresa made a lasting impression on the hundreds of community members who walked through her door. Dance Out Diabetes was a fun dance community made up of all ages, abilities, people with and without diabetes, friends, families, volunteers, and certified diabetes educators. Regular dance programs included ongoing health screenings, a 45-minute dance lesson, and different genres of music. Participants had an opportunity to socialize with peers facing similar challenges in a relaxed and informal setting. Plus, they had improved outcomes.

In 2019 Theresa once again leveraged creativity, combined it with technology and founded theSweet People Club.  This easy-to-navigate and upbeat website invites people with prediabetes to meet weekly and enjoy a modernized CDC curriculum that includes fun, brief informational videos.

The Sweet People Club is perfect for people on the go or who can’t afford the time to come in for multiple appointments. The Sweet People Club houses over eighty videos by Theresa and a team of experts, so people with prediabetes can design an individualized program that best matches their needs and interests.

From cartoons to dancing and technology, there are so many ways to build creativity into our diabetes education programs.  Given the diabetes pandemic, incorporating creativity to keep participants engaged is more important now than ever.