Diabetes Care & Education

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Executive Committee

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Chair Liz Quintana
Liz Quintana, EdD, RD, LD, CDE

Formerly on the faculty of West Virginia University School of Medicine and dietitian for the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Liz is currently Program Director of Diabetes Services at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Her position supports the development, coordination and delivery of diabetes self-care within a worksite disease management/ program  environment. Her responsibilities include direct patient care, behavioral health interventions, preventive health screenings, assessments, counseling and seminars.

Liz received her undergraduate and master's degrees in nutrition from the NY State University College at Plattsburgh and Texas Tech University. She completed her dietetic internship from the Bronx VA Hospital. Her doctoral degree is from WVU in Technology Education with emphasis on adult health care. Certified as a Diabetes Educator and in Adult Weight Management, Liz completed the Graduate Certificate Program in Gerontology at WVU. She enjoys gardening, yoga, and back-packing.



Chair Elect Alyce Thomas
Alyce Thomas, RDN

Alyce Thomas is Nutrition Consultant at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ. Her interest in the effect of nutrition on the outcome of pregnancies complicated by diabetes has resulted in the several publications and presentations in this area. She has been involved with in the Academy on various committees including the Honors Committee, Past Chair of the Evidence-based Practice Committee, Professional Issues Delegate of the House of Delegates, former Chair and Treasurer of the Women’s Health DPG, and a Professional Development Chair and Editor/Assistant Editor of On the Cutting Edge with DCE. Alyce is also active in other organizations and was appointedto the Governor’s Council on the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities and the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel on Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Alyce completed her dietetic internship at the Montreal Diet Dispensary in Montreal, Quebec, where she was trained in the famed “Higgins Method” of nutrition counseling. In her spare time, she is active in her church and loves to travel.


Past Chair Susan Yake
Susan Yake, RDN, CD, CDE, CLT
Past Chair / Industry Relations

Susan Yake, RDN, CD, CDE, CLT, was a Clinical Dietitian for the U.S. Navy for 28 years in the Pacific Northwest. She is now a member of the Freedom Hero USA Healing Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to healing veterans, first-responders, and their families. Susan won the DCE Legislation Activity Award and the Grassroots Excellence Award for her political activities. She served on the ADA PAC Board and spoke at the Academy's Public Policy Workshop in Washington, D.C. several times. She held positions in DCE as Public Policy Liaison, Awards Chair, and Theme Editor for On the Cutting Edge. She is a Certified LEAP Therapist with Oxford Biomedical Technologies. Susan lives with her husband and talking bird Ferdy in Bremerton, Washington. Her hobbies are photography, scrapbooking, weightlifting, snowshoeing, and genealogy.



Secretary Susan Rizzo
Susan Rizzo, RD, LDN, CDE

Susan is a dietitian and diabetes educator for AMITA Heath Systems located in the Chicago metro area. Fluent in Spanish,she provides nutrition counseling and diabetes education for diverse population groups with a focus on type 2 and gestational diabetes. She has extensive experience with bariatric surgery counseling. Over the past 30 years, Susan has held consulting positions with various organizations including the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services and numerous drug/alcohol rehab and long term care facilities. Susan is passionate about promoting lifestyle interventions for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. She is past Professional Development Chair and Awards Chair for the Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Susan stays busy with new ventures and always enjoys family time.


Treasurer Paula Kellogg Leibowitz
Paula Kellogg Leibovitz, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE

Paula Kellogg Leibovitz is the owner of PKL Consulting, focusing on grant management and the development & delivery of community education programs. She serves as a Technical Consultant for the Connecticut State Department on Aging and Department of Public Health. She has extensive experience in curriculum development, and has managed grants from the Maternal Child and Health Bureau, Office on Woman's Health, and the Robert Wood Foundation. Paula directed the Dietetic Technician Program at Lincoln College of New England (formerly Briarwood College) and now serves on its Program Advisory Board.

Paula has served in numerous leadership positions in the Academy, including Commissioner for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and as Dietetic Technician Program Representative on the ACEND Board of Directors. She is immediate past chair of the Examination Panel and Entry-Level Dietetics Practice Audit Committee for CDR. In addition to serving as DCE treasurer, she will be the CDR Representative for the Council on Future Practice.

Paula loves gardening and is a Master Gardener. She also loves to cook and travel, and especially enjoys relaxing at Cape Cod. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Peter.


Membership Chair Patricia Davidson
Patricia Davidson, DCN, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND
Membership Chair

Patricia Davidson is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and fellow of the Academy. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition, College of Health Sciences at West Chester University-PA, and holds degrees from Rutgers University (DCN, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition), Virginia Tech (MS, Nutrition and Food Science), Southern Illinois University (BS, Nutrition and Food Science). For nearly 30 years she has worked as a clinician, researcher, and educator. Her clinical positions include in-patient diabetes education, private practice, and community diabetes education. She has served on various task forces and leadership positions, including the State of Tennessee Standards Committee Diabetes Coalition, President of the New Jersey Dietetic Association, President & Treasurer of the Garden State Association of Diabetes Educators, Public Policy Coordinator for Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Chair of the Coordinating body of PA-AADE. In 2011 she received the Carolyn Sebastianelli Distinguished Member Award from NJDA and the Distinguished Service Award of the Garden State Association of Diabetes Educators.

On the national level, she has been active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; she is currently chairing the Prediabetes Workgroup, and has co-authored Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Nutrition Guidelines. Within DCE, she has served as the Awards Chair, and is currently the Membership chair. Her research centers on prevention and management of diabetes for adults and children as well as the development and applications of technology in diabetes management. She has authored or co-authored numerous manuscripts pertaining to diabetes treatment strategies, management, problem-solving, implementation of nutrition guidelines, and prevention.


DCE Print Communications Chair
Kathy Warwick, RD, LD, CDE
Print Communications Chair

Kathy Warwick is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with 35 years of experience in several areas of dietetics practice.  She is owner of Professional Nutrition Consultants, LLC in Madison, Mississippi, providing outpatient diabetes education, long term care consultation, hospice consultation, wellness program services, media communications and medical-legal consultation. She has served as an expert witness in numerous nursing home and malpractice lawsuits dealing with issues of malnutrition, weight loss, wound healing and diabetes care. Kathy has been writing and presenting on nutrition and diabetes-related topics for over 20 years.

Previous work experience includes home health, outpatient education, hospital nutrition support, public health, nursing home consultation, and teaching college level nutrition classes for nursing majors. Kathy speaks regularly to medical and professional groups on the subjects of diabetes, various wellness topics, and the role of nutrition in litigation. She was a speaker for FNCE 2014 and 2015 and has presented multiple webinars.

Kathy has previously served as the Reimbursement Representative and the editor of newsFLASH for the Diabetes Care and Education DPG of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is Past-President of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and currently serves as Media Spokesperson for MsAND. Kathy is also a member of the Coordinating Body for the Mississippi Association of Diabetes Educators focusing on advocacy and licensure for diabetes educators in Mississippi.


Electronics Comm Chair Theresa Moutafis
Theresa Moutafis, MA, RD, CDE, IBCLC
Electronic Communications Chair

Theresa Moutafis is a dietitian, lactation consultant, and certified diabetes educator. Having previously worked at a Boston-based community health center doing both WIC and outpatient nutrition, she now works from home with a variety of contracts, including virtual lactation and nutrition counseling..

Theresa has been involved with DCE working the Recipe of the Month and the event calendar. She's also served on the theme team and as a reviewer for some issues OTCE. She's been involved with other DPGs, her local affiliate, and with her community & church.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, her toddler Grace, and enjoying living in Salem. MA.


Professional Dev Chair Laura Russell
Laura Russell, MA, RD, CDE
Professional Development Chair

Laura is a Certified Diabetes Educator at the Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis in Edina, MN. She specializes in diabetes technology, such as insulin pumps and sensors, and works with type 1, type 2, and diabetes in pregnancy. She is responsible for accreditation and coordination of the diabetes program in her clinic position. Her past experience in Bismark, ND and Billings, MT also includes weight management for adults and children, bariatric surgery, celiac disease, development of insulin adjustment protocols, and several research projects. Laura was the Website Editor for DCE in 2013 & 2014 and the Electronic Communications Chair 2014 & 2015.  Laura is busy with two young children at home, and enjoys cooking, traveling, and going to sporting events with her husband. 


Policy Leader
Donna Plyler, MEd, RD, LDN, CDE, CHC
Policy and Advocacy Leader

Donna Plyler is a Diabetes Program Coordinator, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Health Coach at the Internal Medicine Center Residency Program at Cone Health System in Greensboro, North Carolina. She works with the residents and adult  patients with diabetes, educating them both about diabetes and nutrition and many other comorbidities requiring specialized Medical Nutrition Therapy.   Donna served on the board of the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association, the Greensboro District Dietetic Association, the hospital Ethics Committee and most recently as a Reimbursement Representative for the North Carolina Dietetic Association. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, kayaking, biking and hiking.     


Delegate Linda Rocafort
Linda Rocafort, MPH, RDN, LDN, CDE
Dietetic Practice Group Delegate

Linda has been a clinical dietitian for over 10 years, and currently works at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, FL as the Employee Wellness Coordinator for the North Florida South Georgia VA System. Linda’s previous work experience includes serving as an outpatient dietitian for the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, clinical dietitian for the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, Program Co-Manager for the Take Charge Weight Initiative at Guilford Child Health, and managing her private practice Access Nutrition, LLC in Mebane, NC. She has volunteered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics over the years as a member and Chair of the Academy’s Diversity Committee; in addition to serving as the Nominating Committee Chair and Legislative Policy Chair for her local affiliate, the Gainesville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAND). She received the Recognized Young Dietitian Award from both GAND in 2013 and from the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014. Most recently, Linda became a Certified Diabetes Educator and is dedicated to empowering Veterans in their efforts to manage their diabetes and overall health and wellness. When she is not working, Linda enjoys running outdoors, supporting her alma mater (Go Gators!), and spending time with her husband Jared and two daughters, Emma and Harper.


DCE Nominating Chair
Lisa Herzig, PhD, RDN, CDE
Nominating Committee Chair

Lisa Herzig received her Bachelors of Science in Community Health Nutrition from Georgia State University, Master’s degree from University of New Mexico in Nutrition, and her Doctorate degree in Humanities from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a concentration in transformational learning and change. She is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Dr. Herzig is the Didactic Program in Dietetics Director and coordinates the undergraduate nutrition and dietetics program at Fresno State. Finally, Dr. Herzig has been elected as the department graduate program director. In her spare time, she likes to travel, ski, chase her High School Students to and from practices and bike ride.


DCE 2015 Linda
Linda Flanagan Vahl
Administrative Manager

Linda began her career at the Academy as Manager of Professional Development with CDR in 1999, working with CPE Accredited Providers and recertification/credentialing.  Linda has been a DPG Manager since 2007, and enjoys working with volunteer leaders. Linda has a BA in Urban Studies/Public Policy from DePaul University in Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, tennis and volunteering in her community. She served on her local high school Board of Education for 8 years, and served on her local H.S. Education Foundation devoted to scholarship fundraising. Linda enjoys time with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 sons & cat in suburban Oak Lawn, IL, 30 minutes southwest of Chicago.