Podcast Episode 093: Learn, Connect, Engage: Peer Support Communities

Jun 20, 2018

“One of the best things you can do to manage your diabetes is to surround yourself with supportive people. It can be a partner or kids or friends or a support group – in person or online. Find your tribe! There’s something about asking questions and sharing tips with people who just ‘get it’ without explanation. By doing this, I not only get help with my diabetes management, but I have a whole new set of friends!” – Shelby Kinnaird

Diabetes is a 24/7 disease and that means making important management decisions anytime, anywhere. Working with a diabetes educator or other healthcare professional is key, but the few hours many with diabetes are able to spend with them isn’t enough. Peer support communities, both online and in-person, can help fill in the gap, offering a sense of community and outlet of support for the day-to-day challenges of managing diabetes. 

Whether you have a connection to diabetes or not, we all can benefit from peer support. I have three guests on the podcast this week to talk about communities who share experiences and encouragement to try and make each other’s lives a little easier.

Hope Warshaw

Hope Warshaw is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who’s been involved in diabetes care and education for nearly 40 years. She’s the author of several books for people with diabetes published by the American Diabetes Association including Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy and Eat Out, Eat Well – The Guide to Eating Healthy in Any Restaurant. Hope was the 2016 President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). She was an early adopter and appreciator of the value of social media and has been a strong supporter of the growing presence of peer support communities.

Anna Norton

Anna Norton, MS, is the CEO of DiabetesSisters and a person with type 1 diabetes since 1993. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son, is a novice baker and a Zumba enthusiast.

Shelby Kinnaird

Shelby Kinnaird, who has successfully managed type 2 diabetes for more than 18 years, is the founder of the website Diabetic Foodie and runs two DiabetesSisters peer support groups in Richmond, VA. A passionate diabetes advocate, Shelby attended the last two Calls to Congress sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and serves on the ADA’s Virginia Advocacy Committee.

Tune in to hear what value you can gain from, or give to, peer support communities. This episode is packed with resources to get the extra support that health care professionals alone can’t provide. These three women share the inspiration they draw from others in their networks and provide insight into the challenges our peers can help alleviate.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What peer support communities are.
  • How peer support communities improved people’s lives.
  • Why peer-to-peer support still has a place in the age of digital health.
  • What extra support in-person group programs offer.
  • How peer support has evolved through the information age.
  • Why peer support groups can provide what your doctor can’t – and vice-versa.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

The American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting is in Baltimore on August 17-20. Register today!

AADE has been engaging peer support community members in programming for nearly 10 years and continues the effort this year by bringing attention to mental health and the value of peer support through these sessions.

August 17thListen and Learn: The Perspectives of a Panel of People with Diabetes

(Anna Norton and Shelby Kinnaird will participate in this panel)

August 18thEngaging Friends, Families and More: Barriers and Opportunities

August 19thThe Educator’s Role in Advocating Peer Support: Why, When and How?

August 20th – General Session: Peer Support Communities: Improving Mental Health for People with Diabetes. Let’s Talk About It!

Mary de Groot, PhD, will facilitate this panel presentation. Anna Norton, CEO with Diabetes Sisters will be a panel member along with several other healthcare providers.

August 20thCollege Transition Planning for Teens and Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes


Sound Bites is collaborating with Today’s Dietitian! Stay tuned for updates on the podcast, blog and newsletter!

Save the Date! Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium 2019 is in Scottsdale, Arizona May 19-22!

Music by Dave Birk

Enjoy The Show?




Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Welcome to my podcast where we delve into the science, psychology and strategies behind good food and nutrition.

Listen to the trailer


Sign up for my monthly newsletter and episode eblasts so you never miss an update!

Contact Melissa

podcast selfie

Backstage Pass

Contact Melissa with ideas or suggestions, to be interviewed or for media coaching