The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators recently served up a reason for Katrina J. Larsen to celebrate.
A registered dietitian at the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at Good Shepherd Health Care System, Larsen achieved Certified Diabetes Educator status by successfully completing the certification examination. Nick Bejarano, Good Shepherd’s marketing and communications director, said candidates must meet rigorous eligibility requirements to be afforded the opportunity to take the exam.
Achieving certification, Bejarano said, demonstrates that the health care professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge. The result, he said, promotes increased quality of care for people with diabetes.
Currently, there are nearly 20,000 diabetes educators across the country who hold the special certification. Bejarano said many rural hospitals might have one, but Good Shepherd is proud to now have three — Larsen, along with Nancy Gummer and Cassandra Zabel — providing services at the Diabetes and Nutrition Center.
“To have three is really a benefit to our community and the surrounding area because it gives more access to diabetes care and management,” he said.
Larsen has been a registered dietitian for nearly 10 years. She joined the team at Good Shepherd’s Diabetes and Nutrition Center more than four years ago. Larsen has been involved in educating community members about diabetes self-management through individual appointments and group sessions. In addition, she has specialized experience in the treatment of eating disorders and emotional eating.
Also, Bejarano said Larsen has worked collaboratively with staff at the Diabetes and Nutrition Center to develop the ACT (Achieve, Conquer, Thrive) program for all adults. A healthy lifestyle education and support program, ACT focuses on nutrition and fitness. Participants can gain information about weight management, making healthy choices, improving blood pressure and/or cholesterol, managing chronic conditions and achieving other health goals.
ACT features nine group classes and two-three months of private sessions with registered dietitian nutritionists. New sessions recently began and additional classes will start Sept. 10.
The diabetes education program at Good Shepherd is recognized by the American Diabetes Association. It provides comprehensive education and support to individuals with all types of diabetes. For more information about the center and services offered, call 541-667-3517 or visit www.gshealth.org/diabetes-nutrition.