College Diabetes Network CEO Christina Roth Networks with Diabetes Innovation

christina rothCollege Diabetes Network (CDN) founder and CEO Christina Roth has diabetes. When she was a college student she found that she didn’t have an adequate support system, so she built one for herself, and created the infrastructure for students on other college campuses to do the same.

Fast forward to the present, and she is at the helm of a growing not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the tools necessary to empower persons with diabetes who happen to be college students — going through what is often a challenging time for anyone, not just someone living with a chronic condition requiring monitoring and self-care — to share experiences, share tips (medical advice is moderated by medical professionals) and more, using the existing infrastructure of public social media sites, as well as the CDN website and blog. The organization now offers resources for parents of college-age children with diabetes as well.

In building this ecosystem of support, Christina has focused in part on providing curated advice from medical professionals in a manner that can be accessed easily by college students, but the secret sauce is the peer support network that CDN is building out on line and in the real world (chapters established on over thirty campuses across the US and Canada in just four years, starting when Christina was an undergrad).

Have a listen to our conversation, which clocks in at about fifteen minutes.  Come hear Christina talk about CDN at Diabetes Innovation 2013.

Read the transcript after the jump.

Christina Roth Diabetes Innovation Interview 08 2013

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Diabetes Innovation Gets to “Ask Manny” Hernandez a Few Questions

Manny HernandezI spoke with Manny Hernandez (@askmanny) about the diabetes online communities he founded at TuDiabetes (Engligh) and EsTuDiabetes (Spanish) — which include tens of thousands of people with diabetes and their family members — as well as his experience attending Diabetes Innovation last year, and his thoughts on communications regarding diabetes.

Manny was a keynote speaker at last year’s conference and will take part in a social media panel discussion this year.

I asked him whether social media can play a role in effecting clinical improvements in diabetes management, and he pointed to the Big Blue Test, an initiative of his Diabetes Hands Foundation. He’s presented data from this project at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting: Folks who participate by posting their blood glucose readings before and after 15-20 minutes of exercise, and engaging in online conversation, see long-term benefits in terms of better management of their conditions. (The before-and-after glucose readings showed a 20% drop on average.) Over 40,000 PWD have participated to date. Look for a social media campaign this fall to promote participation in the Big Blue Test in the month leading up to World Diabetes Day.

(Listen to our conversation, and read a transcript, after the jump.) [Read more...]

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