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FCN Welcomes Dr. Michelle Boakye for Integrated Diabetes Management Fellowship

Dr. Michelle Boakye

The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Foundation and the Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education have awarded Michelle Danny Stampley Boakye, PhD, MPH, RN, a one-year mentored fellowship in integrated diabetes management. Dr. Boakye will complete her fellowship at Fitzpatrick College of Nursing (FCN), a Doctoral Research Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, one of the nation’s top academic medical centers. Dr. Boakye will be mentored by Assistant Professor Christina R. Whitehouse, PhD, AGPCNP-BC, CDCES, FADCES, a nurse practitioner at Penn Medicine; Professor Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs; and Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, MDiv, APRN, The Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations and a health equity researcher with expertise in community-based research.

The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is a life-changing moment for most adults, as they become aware of a critical change in their health status. A key finding of Dr. Boakye’s dissertation research revealed that individuals rarely express their pressing concerns at the point of diagnosis due to emotional paralysis, inadequate knowledge on diabetes, short appointment time, and providers’ medically focused unilateral conversations.

Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) is recommended to ensure individuals receive accurate information and support for living with the condition. Yet, despite numerous studies on the value of DSMES, referral rates and attendance are still low with less than 7% of people newly diagnosed with diabetes utilizing this essential service. Primary care providers often miss the opportunity to engage, partner with and empower people with diabetes toward active engagement in their diabetes management.

During her fellowship year, Dr. Boakye will develop and pilot test a web-based tool, called iConcern, to facilitate discussions and aid in identifying diabetes management challenges of individuals newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The tool will facilitate discussions within the primary care setting and enable a person to identify and share with their primary care provider at least two pressing concerns about the diagnosis.

“The purpose of the iConcern tool is to give individuals, especially populations experiencing health disparities, the opportunity to voice their concerns, challenges, and needs in order to receive tailored support that will help them successfully self-manage the condition and live well with it,” said Dr. Boakye. “When ready, the tool will aid the provider in presenting tailored information and sharing insights on available community resources, such as diabetes self-management training and support, thus placing it as a potential tool to help people of all walks of life in receiving immediate diabetes support.”

The iConcern tool will be developed in two phases over Dr. Boakye’s one-year fellowship. The first phase is design and development, which will include interviews with clinicians who can provide insight into challenges and barriers those who are newly diagnosed face. This will lead to the second phase, tool development and then pilot testing in month 5 in a primary care setting.