DSMA Live ‘Rents Afterthoughts: John Brooks III

On February 5, 2013 by Bennet Dunlap

John Brooks III

John L. Brooks III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Joslin Diabetes Center and diabetes dad was our guest on the DSMA Live ‘Rents February 4th episode. The show is available for download at iTunes.

In his bio on Joslin’s site, John says, “I feel very passionately that Joslin has a singular ability to ultimately change the landscape of diabetes.” More than anything else, it was clear in our conversation that when used to describe John, “very passionate” is an understatement. As a D-dad I am thrilled to know that passion, from Dr. Joslin a hundred and fifteen years ago, to John now, is a hallmark of Joslin’s leadership.

Part of that passion was clear right at the start of the show when John jumped right into the news segment. He shared last week’s announcement from Joslin researchers that they were the first to create Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from adult cells of MODY patients. These are stem cells from adults not embryonic stem cells. With them, beta cells can be derived and researched which is important as ra esearcher cannot take needed stem cells from patients.

For more see: Joslin News Release

Our news was a little less lofty. Lorraine noted that Delaney I were in a local TV news piece on artificial pancreas. I felt it was fantastic to hear the news anchor introduce the story saying that even for diligent patients, diabetes care is physically and emotionally demanding. That emotional was part of the story was magic to me.

My news was that DrinkingWithDiabetes.com is a resource to help start conversations between or parents and young T1D adults about responsible behavior around alcohol. This project was produced by Kelley Dunlap and myself and made possible by the Diabetes Hands Foundation Seeds Grant Program.

We talk with John about his experience as a businessman, founding heath firms including Insulet (aka OmniPod) and bringing his passion to Joslin. In that conversation, we learned his son was diagnosed at age 3 – 19 years ago.

John makes a fascinating parallel between Dr. Joslin’s records and tracking of a century ago, and the opportunity to use electronic health records and diabetes data in the cloud.  As someone who has a passion for more usable diabetes information, listening to the goals for enabling better care through the data already created was practically poetry. This transitioned to a conversation about better tools and apps that Joslin can develop to innovate diabetes care not only for their patients but in partnership with caregivers at other centers.

We talked about Joslin programs to help the transition of patients from the pediatric clinic to the adult endo office setting. John spoke to the need of helping young adults be more successful through that transition. As part of this conversation he spoke of his enthusiasm for the College Diabetes Network (CDN). I found it telling that he was just as animated about DCN, which he noted is not a Joslin program, as he is about Joslin’s work. To me that is the passion of a parent.

Our conversation continued and covered many other topics that space here doesn’t allow us to detail. Please enjoy the show and follow these additional links:

Listen to internet radio with DiabetesSocMed on Blog Talk Radio

Newly DX pages:
(Our kudos for the Spanish and other language resources!)
New to Type 1 http://www.joslin.org/phs/new_to_type_1_diabetes.html
New to Type 2 http://www.joslin.org/phs/new_to_type_2_diabetes.html

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Next guest: Lee Ann Thill, Diabetes and Eating Issues.
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