Kovler is proud to announce the creation of its InTransit Teen Advisory Panel!
This summer a group of seven Kovler InTransit teens in grades 7-12 met at the Kovler Diabetes Center for an evening of brainstorming, chatting, and connecting with other Kovler teens, their families, friends, and Kovler professionals.
Peggy Hasenauer, Executive Director of the Kovler Diabetes Center, worked with Dr. Beth Littlejohn, Amy Hess-Fischl, and Julia Socke to coordinate a casual meeting between families interested in sharing their ideas about living with diabetes as a teenager. It is the goal of the panel to identify needs and concerns of teens living with diabetes and their families. Kovler would like to work with teens to provide the best care possible at Kovler. It is our hope that teens and their families can use this group to find fun ways to support one another and to become involved in diabetes care and at Kovler.
At the first meeting, teens and parents discussed their thoughts separately and as a group and it was great to see that connections and common experiences could be discovered among the families present. Families ended their evening with an informative and impressive tour of the Kovler research labs at the Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery. Teens and parents were excited to see where current and cutting-edge diabetes research takes place.
Member of the InTransit Teen Advisory Panel Kelly McGinnis, shares her thoughts on Kovler and on the newly formed panel:
I think that the teen advisory panel is a really great idea that has a lot of potential! Seeing all that the Kovler Diabetes Center is doing to help treat type 1 diabetes makes me very excited and hopeful. I am so glad to be a part of something that is really invested in dealing with this chronic disease. No other hospital or doctor around is doing anything like the Kovler Diabetes Center. The InTransit program is the reason I switched doctors and came to the University of Chicago when I was 15. My parents and I knew that we would need a team and a program that could deal with teenage obstacles and the challenge of moving from a child to an independent adult.
The teen group and the staff involved with the panel all seem very interested in making a difference and giving input on how to make the lives of teenagers with diabetes easier and more manageable. The small group atmosphere made it easy to share opinions and personal stories. Another great thing about the group is the range of ages involved because it allows for a wide range of concerns to be addressed, from high school activities to going away to college. I think we are all excited to see what the panel can accomplish in terms of raising awareness and helping others with diabetes like us. We are all moving to different phases of our lives and it is helpful having a group who understands the life of a person with type 1 diabetes.
The InTransit Teen Advisory Panel will meet multiple times throughout the year and continue to form relationships with each other and with Kovler. We are truly looking forward to working with the Teen Advisory Panel this year!