2019 Health Care & Education Presidential Address: It’s All About Access!
This article is adapted from a speech Ms. Youssef delivered as President, Health Care & Education, of the American Diabetes Association at its 79th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, CA, on 8 June 2019.Diabetes care management and prevention are national priorities with significant health and economic consequences at the patient, provider, and system levels. Gretchen Youssef, MS, RD, CDCES, program director of the MedStar Health Diabetes Institute, is a registered dietitian and diabetes care and education specialist who serves diabetes clinical, education, research, and quality improvement initiatives across the 10-hospital MedStar Health System in Washington, DC, and Maryland.Ms. Youssef began her research career with the MedStar Health Research Institute and the National Institutes of Health Diabetes Prevention Program. She then joined the MedStar Health Diabetes Institute, where she continues her interests in diabetes prevention, diabetes self-care management, delivery of community-based diabetes self-management education, examination of physical activity and food choices in urban older women, and development and validation of the “KNOW Diabetes” Survival Skills Knowledge test, which can be used to identify self-care knowledge deficits in adults with type 2 diabetes. Over the past decade, she has focused on health services research addressing real-world delivery of evidence-based type 2 diabetes care management and the changing role of the diabetes care and education specialist in diabetes care. Ms. Youssef is committed to improving lives of people with diabetes, especially those who are challenged by low health literacy and socioeconomic and mental health barriers, which often prevent them from accessing and receiving optimal care. Throughout her career she has been an active member of the American Diabetes Association.