Today is my final day working at the American Diabetes Association. Working here for the past 4+ years has been some of the most rewarding of my professional career. It has been an honor to work beside so many passionate advocates and inspiring people knowing we are making a better life for me, my fiancée, and the millions living with and impacted by type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
This was the opening to my Farewell. note to my peers at the Home Office and throughout the field this morning informing them that my time at the Association has come to an end.
For all the emails I’ve sent, that was one of the most difficult to complete. But as that chapter comes to a close, now I get to look ahead to starting a new chapter. The mixture of opportunity, potential, and uncertainty is quite potent. But I’ve got a good feeling about this next phase of my life.
As far as administration is concerned, I’m not going to change any of my disclaimers – I’m still not a doctor, and this is still a personal blog. But I will update my employment disclosures, because, you know, ethics and whatnot.
In an instance of irony that is not lost upon me, the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions will be in San Francisco this year – I drove across the country only to have them follow me here. Starting Wednesday afternoon, I’ll be working the floor as a “red shirt”, helping attendees find their way from room to room and assisting in the poster hall. This will be my fourth adventure at the largest diabetes conference in the world (San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, and now home).
I’ll be sharing my experiences on Twitter and Instagram when I can, so if you want to see what the conference is like from my perspective, you know where to find me. The hashtag du semaine is #2014ada if you want to follow the broader conversation – hopefully there will actually be a conversation instead of people spamming the hashtag or retweeting press releases.
Also, I’ll be moderating the Twitter chat during Johnson & Johnson’s Meet and Tweet. The chat will be covering diabetes stigmas, and I’ll be coordinating everything from the @DiabetesSocMed account that Sunday. Things seem to be appropriately timed for all time zones (in that it’ll be before Game of Thrones). If you’ll be around, I invite you to join the conversation. Here are the details. Continue reading →
Lindsey Wahowiak, Associate Editor for Diabetes Forecast, is my guest on the podcast this week. We cover Lindsey’s entry into journalism, the growth within the journalism industry, and why (for now) she’s comfortable writing instead of managing people. Lindsey also shares her reasons for writing about more sensitive topics for xojane.com, her work on Diabetes Forecast, and how she managed to get Lil’ Jon to open up during an interview. Yes, I said Lil’ Jon. Enjoy.
You might remember my interview on Sanofi’s DX Diabetes Dish that was published a couple of weeks ago. This was a rare opportunity for me, a guy with a silly (sometimes about) diabetes blog to genuinely step into the spotlight. Things like this don’t happen often for me, so I did my best to make the most of the situation. Because I was approached as Chris, the diabetes blogger, I didn’t mention this to my bosses until it went live. At the time I didn’t think anything of my comment about preparing for Scientific Sessions. It was a harmless answer and I wasn’t making a big deal of where I work. Looking back I realize I should have cleared this response with someone.
I’m not a public-facing representative for the American Diabetes Association. Yes, I work at the home office. Yes, I have a diabetes blog. Yes, I’m too active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, wherever else. And yes, for what it’s worth, there are disclaimers that are meant to distance myself and my words from my place of employment. To that last one I’m still skeptical that those formalities actually mean anything, but better safe than sorry right?
After that first interview was posted I received a follow-up email from the author of that post asking if it was okay that my contact information be passed on to an associate who managed one of Sanofi’s other blogs. I didn’t think anything of it and agreed, but once I saw the questions for this second interview I knew serious caution had to be exercised.