Our Diabetes Team Approach

Diabetes team with patientBetween treating medical needs, addressing dietary habits and handling emotions, managing diabetes impacts your entire family. At the Diabetes Center for Children at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, we use a coordinated team approach to help your family manage day-to-day life with diabetes.

Our team is comprised of specialists who are here to help you navigate every different challenge your family may face. Your team may include:

Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

An expert diabetes coach who will teach you to manage the daily challenges that come with having diabetes. Our CDE will help your family:

Improve your diabetes control by:

  • Setting small steps with a goal to get a better Hba1c

  • Implementing new strategies to prevent and manage high and low blood sugars

  • Helping you to manage ketones

  • Reviewing blood sugar records with you to help you recognize patterns and make insulin dose adjustments

Utilize diabetes technology to the fullest potential by:

  • Teaching you to use insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring, and other technologies most effectively

Tailor diabetes management to your lifestyle by:

  • Making a plan to manage school schedules and sports activities for best blood sugars

  • Planning alongside you for travel and vacations

  • Setting goals with you and your child for diabetes care

Help your child take care of diabetes by:

  • Teaching your child skills to be independent with diabetes (e.g. how to give shots or insert infusion sets)

  • Preparing for high school and college

  • Working with your teen to transition to adult independence

Registered Dietitian

A nutritional expert who will help your family to improve health through food and exercise, including:

  • Selecting the right foods to improve sports performance

  • Helping to improve your athletic performance through nutrition

  • Managing weight

  • Responding to picky eating, trying new foods

  • Making the best food choices for good blood sugars

  • Exploring alternative diets (vegetarian, vegan etc.)

  • Adding supplements and vitamins

  • Working with school lunch programs

  • Gaining flexibility with meal and snack schedules

  • Identifying disordered eating

  • Setting carb goals for good growth and development

Endocrinologist

A physician trained in diabetes management who will work with the team to:

  • Develop an overall treatment plan for diabetes management

  • Evaluate, treat and make appropriate referrals for diabetes comorbidities (thyroid disease, celiac disease, microalbuminuria, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, retinopathy, etc.)

  • Evaluate, treat and address referral medical problems that are identified during routine diabetes care (growth problems, hypertension, etc.)

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

An advanced practice nurse with expertise in caring for patients with diabetes who will serve as the primary contact for your family and:

  • Work with your family to tailor diabetes management around your lifestyle

  • Advise you when your child is sick

  • Partner with you to identify areas for improvement in diabetes control

  • Order and review test results and monitor for diabetes complications

  • Coordinate care with other team members

  • Collaborate with outside agencies and providers

  • Complete forms, letters and prescriptions

  • Help parents with appropriate developmental expectations for their children with diabetes

Social Worker

An expert in behavioral health and navigating the health system who will help your family adapt to living with diabetes and access resources, including:

Adjusting emotionally to living with diabetes

  • Identifying best parenting strategies for a child with diabetes

  • Negotiating peaceful solutions around family struggles with diabetes

  • Getting family members on the same page with diabetes

  • Identifying healthy coping strategies

  • Evaluating anxiety and depression in the family which complicates diabetes management

Connecting with resources

  • Navigating complicated insurance situations

  • Working with schools to access resources and accommodations (504 Plan)

  • Transitioning to adult endocrinology

  • Evaluating and connecting with community resources (insurance options, family diabetes support, FMLA, etc.)

  • Accessing and coordinating outside mental health care when needed

Psychologist

A professional who provides comprehensive mental health services for patients and their families can help your family through:

  • Ongoing work with your family around coping with diabetes and mental health problems (anxiety, depression, etc.)

  • Instruction on relaxation and stress reduction techniques

  • Assistance with discussing sensitive and complex issues

  • Encouragement for family members to discuss thoughts and feelings via effective communication

girl testing blood sugar

Tools to Manage Diabetes

These resources will help your child and family manage blood sugar testing, highs and lows, insulin, nutrition, and more.

young boy smiling

Life With Diabetes

Review our information about support and coping, school, teen topics, and general well-being.