AAOHN Launches Free Educational Series in Conjunction with National Diabetes Month: Managing Diabetes in the Workplace - A Year of Education and Resources

Pensacola, Fla. (October 23, 2015) - The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) has introduced Managing Diabetes in the Workplace – A Year of Education and Resources to support occupational and environmental health nurses with the latest evidencebased education for day-to-day prevention and management of diabetes in the workplace.

Available through the AAOHN website, Managing Diabetes in the Workplace includes a dedicated web page with links to trusted resources, including Diabetes at Work, developed by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

AAOHN’s program also includes leading-edge continuing education opportunities with nationally recognized faculty. A series of six webinars on diabetes management topics will begin Nov. 17, 2015, and continue periodically throughout 2016. The AAOHN National Conference, April 11-14, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla., will include diabetes-related programming, as well.

“Armed with the latest diabetes information and continuing nursing education, occupational and environmental health nurses will have the opportunity to improve the health of the worker populations they serve while significantly decreasing employer health care costs,” said AAOHN President Jeannie Tomlinson, MSN, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN.

According to CDC, diabetes and its related complications account for $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages. A breakdown of these costs published in the American Diabetes Association’s Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012 indicates an estimated $176 billion of this total is direct medical costs. Indirect costs include absenteeism ($5 billion), reduced productivity from presenteeism ($20.8 billion), and disease-related disability ($21.6 billion).

“Initiatives like AAOHN’s are important to ensure that occupational and environmental health nurses base their programming and employee coaching on the latest evidence-based information,” said Pamela Allweiss, MD, MSPH, a CDC medical officer and subject-matter expert for Managing Diabetes in the Workplace. “It’s also important that they take advantage of the latest technology and support appropriate employee job placement.”

All six webinars of the Managing Diabetes in the Workplace program will be offered free of charge, Tomlinson noted. The courses announced to date are: Diabetes:

  • Helping Workers With Diabetes Remain Productive at Work with Pamela Allweiss, MD, MSPH (available now on demand)
  • How the OHN Can Help Employees with Diabetes Overcome the Challenges of Eating Healthy with Abigail Buettner, RDN, CD
  • Diabetes at Work: What's Depression Got to Do With It? with Michelle Owens-Gary, Ph.D

Each webinar will be recorded and available for viewing on demand within a few days of its live recording. Dates and additional details are available at aaohn.org.

Karen Rae Kelly, MSN, APRN-C, COHN-S, has participated in the development of Managing Diabetes in the Workplace. “From firsthand experience, I can see the impact the occupational health nurse can have to help workers prevent diabetes or manage their condition,” Kelly said. “By keeping abreast of the newest available medications, monitoring equipment and virtual applications, and with coaching and education initiatives for both employees and managers, the occupational health nurse can easily document a reduction of both direct and indirect health care costs for the employer, individual employees and their families.”

Occupational health nurses may find these resources timely as National Diabetes Month is observed every November to raise awareness of diabetes and its effects on millions of Americans.

The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) is a 4,500 member professional association dedicated to advancing the health, safety, and productivity of domestic and global workforces by providing education, research, public policy, and practice resources for occupational and environmental health nurses throughout the United States and the world. These professionals are the largest group of health care providers serving the worksite. AAOHN is comprised of chapter organizations that are incorporated agencies under their state regulations. For more information, visit www.aaohn.org.

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