Conferences Closer to Home

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After I blogged recently about the World Diabetes Congress in Montreal in October, a number of readers wrote in to say that they’d like to attend, but the cost was just too high or the meeting was too far away. But what if you could hear expert speakers or attend diabetes meetings or workshops for less money at locations closer to home? In many cases, you can.

Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) holds numerous one-day conferences and health fairs each year for people with diabetes, those at risk, and their loved ones. Attendees can hear lectures, participate in screenings, and speak one-on-one with diabetes specialists, including physicians, exercise professionals, dietitians, diabetes educators, podiatrists, pharmacists, and ophthalmologists. Lectures cover information on the latest findings of clinical research, new equipment and medicines, proper diet and exercise, legal and insurance issues, and resources available to people with diabetes and their families. Registration costs $25 per person, and upcoming conferences are scheduled in Honolulu (April 4) and Hilo (April 5), Hawaii, Raleigh, North Carolina (May 2), and Indianapolis (May 30). Go to for more information.

Children With Diabetes (CWD) holds several multi-day conferences each year aimed primarily at people with Type 1 diabetes, including children and their families, as well as adults. Health-care professionals who work with people with Type 1 diabetes are also encouraged to attend. Upcoming conferences include Focus on Technology (April 24-26, in Chicago) and Friends for Life (July 7-12, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida). Family registration rates (two adults and up to three children under 18) range from $300 to $400 depending on when you register, and registration for one person costs around $150-$200. Some family and young adult scholarships are available to defray registration costs. Go to for more information.

Women (and the men who love them) may want to check out the free, one-day diabetes education events hosted by Divabetics. Events mix entertainment with informative presentations and group activities, all with the goal of empowering and encouraging women with diabetes. Coming up soon are a March 28 event in Hollywood, Florida, and a May 9 event in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information about Divabetics and their programs, go to

African-Americans with diabetes in particular may want to log on to, the Web site of the Fearless African Americans Connected and Empowered (F.A.C.E.) Diabetes campaign. The campaign holds free informational events (click on “F.A.C.E. Diabetes events” to see what’s planned) in a variety of U.S. cities. Next on the agenda is an event in Indianapolis on April 18. If you don’t see an event scheduled in your area, send an e-mail to [email protected] to request one.

Are you an athlete with diabetes, or simply want to learn more about exercise? If so, you might want to attend the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association’s annual conference, to be held this year in Boston on June 25-28. This year’s theme is “Bridging the Gap — Bringing the Sports Medicine and Diabetes Communities Together.” The conference features both lectures and group exercise and sports activities. The registration fee is $199 per individual, and $100 for each additional family member who comes with that person. Go to to learn more.

Every year, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) holds day-long Diabetes EXPOs in about 18 U.S. cities, featuring speakers, cooking demonstrations, free health screenings, and an exhibition hall. Admission is free; click here for a schedule of events. You can also type your ZIP code into the “Local Events & Information” box on the ADA’s home page, to learn about other ADA-sponsored events.

People who live in the Ithaca, New York, area who would like to improve their eating habits may be interested in the Cornell Food and Brand Lab’s annual Consumer Camp, to be held on the Cornell University campus on April 17-19. The weekend is an opportunity for the lab to share some of what it has learned about eating behaviors with educators, nutrition professionals, and consumers. The theme of this year’s camp will be “Small Changes, Mindless Eating Solutions.” There is no registration fee, but you must register. For more information, go to For questions or a registration form, e-mail [email protected], or call (607) 254-6302 or (607) 254-4960.

For people who’d like to know more about kidney disease, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) is holding free, one-day Kidney Beginnings: Live events in various locations around the United States. The programs include presentations by health-care professionals, as well as opportunities to receive free health screenings and educational materials from exhibitors. To check for events in your area, go to

Still don’t see anything in your area?

Try contacting local diabetes treatment centers, such as hospitals with a diabetes treatment program or clinics that specialize in diabetes. Ask if they sponsor any free or low-cost educational programs, such as diabetes support or discussion groups that include guest speakers.

Has anyone already attended any of these conferences? How was it? Does anyone know of conferences not listed here? Please let us know about them in a comment.

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