Also, patient education is part of ADA’s mission.
“The meeting itself is focused on the science of diabetes and how we move diabetes forward through
science,” Schaefer said. “This is a way to bring
patient education, which is integral to our mission,
into our meeting.”
LOGIS TICS ADA has offered complimentary
diabetes education and cooking demonstrations
to its hotel partners as part of its Diabetes Day for
the Hospitality Industry program since 2012. Each
hotel in ADA’s room block can choose from a sit-down lunch-and-learn presentation and cooking
demonstration, a cooking demonstration only, or
a tabletop exhibit in the employee cafeteria. The
programs are led by local ADA members, with support from ADA’s national convention staff.
At the 2014 Scientific Sessions in San Francisco,
ADA reached more than 800 people across five
hotels; at this year’s meeting in Boston, there were
activities across five hotels over two days. On one
of those days, the Boston Marriott Copley Place
employee cafeteria provided a special menu suggested by ADA staff, and a team of registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators manned an
education table, answering questions and distributing information. More than 200 hotel employees stopped by the tabletop display, according to
the Marriott’s general manager, Terry Worden.
ADVICE Just as planners tweak educational programming, this sort of activity requires ongoing
refinement. “In 2012, we held the sessions in the
[Pennsylvania] Convention Center [in Philadel-phia],” Schaefer said. “We had a room filled with
people in suits and front-office people. It was great
to have an audience, but it was not the audience
we were trying to reach.
“In 2013, we reached out to the larger hotels
and asked if we could host activities on site. That
worked really well, but we realized most staff
doesn’t have 40 minutes for lunch. So in 2014 we
offered more tabletop activities in the cafeteria.
Our goal is to reach as many people as possible, and
so we need to react and adjust accordingly.”
YANKEE DENTAL CONGRESS
TeamSmile Dental Clinic
WHAT IT IS Free dental cleanings and care provided to low-income children on the exhibit floor
of Yankee Dental Congress, New England’s largest
dental conference and expo.
HOW I T CAME ABOUT Shannon McCarthy, director of sales for Yankee Dental Congress, saw
photos from a TeamSmile event on Facebook.
TeamSmile is a national nonprofit organization
that partners oral health professionals with professional athletic organizations to provide dental
care to underserved children. Typically, TeamSmile events take place at sports arenas. “I thought
to myself, maybe we could try it during our show,”
McCarthy said. “We’ve got everything there
already; we basically just need the kids.”
WHY AT THE ANNUAL MEETING “We have a foundation and we’ve done charity events before, but
we’ve never tied it to the local community,” McCarthy said. “I felt that this was something different
and would appeal to members looking for new ways
to get involved and participate in our organization.”
LO GIS TICS TeamSmile made its debut at the
2015 Yankee Dental Congress, held Jan. 28–Feb.
1 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
(BCEC). The organization, which offers its program to “hosts” on a flat-fee basis, supplied and
transported all the necessary equipment to the
BCEC. The convention center provided the necessary air, electrical, and water hookups at no charge.
McCarthy recruited volunteers via the meeting’s
promotional materials in the months leading up
to the show. She also reached out to dental schools
in the area. In all, she registered 250 volunteers
to work four-hour shifts each over two days. The
volunteers included general dentists, pediatric
specialists, hygienists, and dental students.
The BCEC has relationships with schools and
community centers in its South Boston neighborhood, and was able to recruit 600 children for
dental checkups and cleanings. Unfortunately, a
blizzard struck just before the meeting’s start, and
‘It’s a way to give
back to the community that makes our