Kovler Center’s Experts Shine Online

Person using computer

Anyone wanting to benefit from the Kovler Diabetes Center’s expertise can do so with a few clicks. You will increasingly find its researchers, doctors, and team members discussing their work online.

The center has been expanding its online presence with a flurry of Facebook Live events and Zoom webinars. In recent months Raghu Mirmira, MD, PhD, has explained the role of the beta cell in diabetes. Clinical research nurse Rabia Ali has discussed the center’s clinical trials. Diabetes and genetics research manager Lisa Letourneau has moderated a webinar on monogenic and atypical diabetes with Louis Philipson, MD, PhD, Siri Atma Greeley, MD, PhD, and Rochelle Naylor, MD.

It’s a great format for us to share our thoughts and idea with people, and also interact with them live
“It’s a great format for us to share our thoughts and idea with people, and also interact with them live,” said Peggy Hasenauer, the center’s executive director, who moderates many of the programs.

Don’t worry if you missed the events. They are conducted and recorded via Zoom and streamed live on Facebook, and the videos are on the center’s Facebook page. And you don’t need to be a Facebook member to see them; they are public.

You will find interviews with center physicians, dietitians, and even patients. There are videos on exercise and diabetes, managing diabetes at college, diabetes and celiac disease, diabetes and COVID-19, and more.

Also online is the Town Hall hosted in December by the Kovler Diabetes Center Leadership Board, featuring Drs. Philipson, Mirmira, and Naylor, and nurse Rabia Ali. Find it at https://vimeo.com/488960179

This online cornucopia is making the center’s nationally-known experts and high-level information easily accessible to everyone, from the center’s patients to anyone in the community—any community, anywhere. Facebook Live attendees have included people living in other states, some of whom have requested telehealth visits with center physicians.

“A lot of the work we do is for the diabetes community at large — all people with diabetes,” said Hasenauer. “This gives them the opportunity to understand our work even if they’re not our patients.”

And the information isn’t flowing in just one direction. The center is also learning about people’s needs through these online interactions.

The spark for live events was COVID-19. “We have been very active on Facebook and Twitter for some time, but we never really utilized those platforms to deliver content in a meaningful or live way,” Hasenauer said. “The pandemic really pushed us to think outside the box about how we can interact with people.”

The center has highlighted services people may not know about, like the work of clinical pharmacy specialist Margaret Allison. She has appeared in videos discussing different diabetes medications, how to get them—and how UChicago Medicine patients can get significant discounts.

When people hear about research, it sounds like this lofty thing that doesn’t have anything to do with them — when it does, our goal is to make the science more understandable.
Other events have focused on research.When people hear about research, it sounds like this lofty thing that doesn’t have anything to do with them—when it does, Hasenauer said. “Our goal is to make the science more understandable.”

And while the online events and videos can reach anyone anywhere, they are particularly important as a way for the Kovler Diabetes Center to stay in close contact with patients.

“We’re always looking for new ways to interact with our patients between visits, to provide people with the continuity and relationships they need when managing diabetes,” Hasenauer said. “Our real goal is to make people feel connected and supported. The opportunity to engage folks in a live manner is another way for us to achieve our mission.”

To hear about future Facebook Live events, follow the Kovler Diabetes Center on Facebook.

Help us find the answers

To donate by mail: 
The University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center 
Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery 
Attention: Peggy Hasenauer 
900 East 57th Street 
8th Floor, Room 8144 
Chicago, IL 60637 

*Unfortunately, we are unable to accept cash gifts. Personal and Corporate Checks are accepted. 

Email peggy.hasenauer@uchospitals.edu for additional questions. 

Make a gift to support Kovler Diabetes Center