Diabetes Care & Education


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Executive Committee

Committee Chairs

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Chair Alyce Thomas
Alyce Thomas, RDN
Chair

Alyce Thomas is a Nutrition Consultant at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ. Her interest in diabetes and pregnancy has resulted in several publications and presentations in this area. She has been involved with 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, past Chair and Treasurer of the Women’s Health DPG, and a former DCE Professional Development Chair and Editor/Assistant Editor of On the Cutting Edge. She is a current member of Council on Research Evidence Based Criteria Development Task Force. Alyce is also active in other organizations and was recently appointed to the The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Advisory Council. She was reappointed to a fourth term on the New Jersey’s Governor’s Council on the Prevention of Developmental Disabilities, and was the only RDN to serve on the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel on Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. She is a past recipient of DCE’s Diabetes Educator of the Year Award and in 2015, received the Academy’s Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. 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.

 

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Chair Elect Constance Riggs Brown
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN
Chair-Elect

Constance Brown-Riggs—a former national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of the Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World; The African American Guide to Living Well WithDiabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators; and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes.

Over the course of her career, Constance has established herself as an expert in nutrition, diabetes, and the cultural issues that impact the health and health care of people of color. Her work has appeared in books for health professionals and health care consumers, and she has been a featured expert in national magazines, and innewspapers across the country. She also is a regular contributor to Today's Dietitian Magazine, also serving on the magazine's advisory board, and to BlackDoctor.org.

Constance is a former member of the board of directors for the American Association of Diabetes Educators, DCEs’ first social media and diversity chair, former member of NDEPs Promotion Taskforce,  past president of the New York State Dietetic Association and the Long Island Dietetic Association. Her professional honors include the Health Education Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Suffolk County Chapter, Inc., Award for Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Distinguished Dietitian Award from the New York State Dietetic Association, and the Diabetes Educator of the Year award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group.

Learn more about her work at www.constancebrownriggs.com, follow her on twitter www.twitter.com/eatingsoulfully, and instagram www.instagram.com/eatingsoulfully, and on Facebook becomea fan of Living Well With Diabetes www.facebook.com/livingwellwithdiabetes.

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Past Chair Liz Quintana
Liz Quintana, EdD, RD, LD, CDE
Past Chair / Industry Relations

As Program Director of Diabetes Services at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, Liz supports the development, coordination and delivery of diabetes self-care within a worksite disease management/ program environment. She provides 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 respectively. She completed her dietetic internship at 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.

 

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Secretary Laura Russell
Laura Russell, MA, RD, CDE
Secretary

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.

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Treasurer Mary Angela Niester
Mary Angela Niester, MPH, RD
Treasurer

Mary Angela Niester, MPH, RD obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Central Michigan University, completed an AP4 dietetic internship at the Oakland County Health Division, and received a Master in Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. She is a Nutrition Consultant, currently working with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan on a number of projects related to diabetes prevention and diabetes self-management. She also serves on the Parish Health Ministry leadership committee at St. Patrick Church in Brighton. Mary is actively involved with the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, serving in a number of elected and appointed board positions including past-president and is currently serving as HOD-elect. She is a long time member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is currently involved with the formation of the Academy’s Religion MIG. In her spare time Mary loves to do any activity outdoors and travel with her family.

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Delegate
Patricia Davidson, DCN, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND
Dietetic Practice Group Delegate

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.

 

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daisy
Daisy Seremba, MS, RD, LD, CDE
Membership Chair

Daisy is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator.  She currently works in the Population Health Management division of Optum, where she provides telephonic disease management education and medical nutrition therapy to diverse patients managing chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and chronic kidney disease. She also provides diabetes self-management education and nutrition counseling services to women at two large OBGYN member practice groups of the Atlanta Women’s Health Group, P.C.  She is fluent in Spanish and has passion for reaching multicultural groups with culturally sensitive nutrition education.  She has experience in planning, developing, and evaluating nutrition education programs.  Daisy has a long and varied work history in the field of nutrition and dietetics.  She has worked in clinical and outpatient settings, as an adjunct professor and in county and state level government health agencies and community health programs providing nutrition education and diabetes self-management education to residents of Georgia, New York and Michigan.  She worked extensively with the Michigan University Cooperative Extension Service, where she was a contributing author for the 4H youth curriculum Jump into Foods and Fitness.

Daisy is a long-time member of DCE and has served previously as nominating committee chair and member. She previously served as programming committee co-chair of the Greater Atlanta Association of Diabetes Educators.  Daisy is active in her church and enjoys cooking, travelling and spending time with her family. 

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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.

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Electronics Comm Chair Jamie Kowatch
Jamie Kowatch, MS, RD, CD, CDE
Electronic Communications Chair

Jamie is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator at Western Washington Medical Group’s Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center just north of Seattle, WA. She specializes in individualized diabetes care, as well as weight management and chronic kidney disease. She opened the office at one of WWMG’s primary care centers and works to provide the best patient care through partnering with the primary care physicians. She put together WWMG’s Chronic Kidney Disease class, and also teaches both the pre-diabetes and DSMT classes.

Jamie has been involved with DCE since 2012, when she started volunteering with the web-editing team; she was the Web Editor for 3 years and served on the Nominating Committee last year. She volunteers as the Lead Dietitian at Camp Leo for Children with Diabetes, the local camp for kids with type 1 diabetes, and also helps on the medical team for the same camp. When she isn’t educating or at camp, Jamie enjoys playing nerdy games (board & role playing), reading, and enjoying her hedgehog & 2 chinchillas.

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Anna
Anna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDE
Professional Development Chair

Anna Parker DCN, MS, RD, CDE, CCRC is a research dietitian with Anaheim Clinical Trials in Anaheim, California.  She is team leader for all clinical trials for patients with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.  She is passionate about diabetes and devoted to diabetes research to help patients improve their diabetes control and live a better quality of life.    Anna is a graduate of Rutgers University where she received her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition.

During her graduate studies, she  obtained grant funding from the Diabetes Care and Education Dietetic Practice Group (DCE DPG) Karen Goldstein Memorial Grant for Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy to pursue a randomized clinical research trial to investigate  the effect of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) compared with usual care on fasting plasma glucose values, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), serum lipid levels, and Diabetes Risk Score, from baseline to the end of a 12-week intervention in overweight or obese adults with prediabetes.  Seventy-six subjects participated and the results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She has also published in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Dietetics.

Dr. Parker is also currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the clinical nutrition department.  She has taught classes in preventive nutrition, advanced clinical nutrition, pharmacology, vitamin and mineral metabolism and human metabolism.  She is dedicated to being a mentor for students and has also published articles with her graduate students.  Dr. Parker promotes research and encourages her students to use evidence analysis.

Dr. Parker has served on the joint Diabetes Care and Education/Dietetics Practice Based Research Network (DCE/ DPBRN) for the past two years to develop and launch a survey to identify current RDN knowledge/skills in diabetes care.  This work has recently lead to another publication in April 2018 regarding “Identification of Generalist Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Knowledge Gaps in Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy Compared to Diabetes-Credentialed Registered Dietitian Nutritionists: Results of a Survey to Inform Educational Opportunities” in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She has also served as research chair for DCE for the past two years and has accepted another two year term as Professional Development Chair.   She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; DCE; and the Dominican University Alumni Association.  

She has received various honors and awards as the:  Diabetes Care and Education Publication Award, Huddleson Award, California Dietetic Association Excellence in Research Award, and the Pharma Times award for Beardsworth Citation for Patient Focus.  Dr. Parker has also served as a National Study Coordinator for Novo Nordisk contributing to the area of clinical research trials.

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

I currently work at the Internal Medicine Center that is an Internal Medicine Residency primary care office in Greensboro, North Carolina. I coordinate an American Diabetes Association Recognized multisite in our office of the Cone Health System ADA recognized Diabetes self-management program. I assist the physicians and staff with learning about nutrition and diabetes; see patients for Medical Nutrition Therapy, Diabetes Self-Management Training, Medicare Annual Wellness visits, Continuous Glucose Monitoring. I previously worked as a clinical dietitian for the acute care for the elderly unit, Healthserve Ministries and cardiac units. In the past, I was a member of the Greensboro District Dietetic Association (GDDA), Piedmont Association of Regional Diabetes Educators (PARADE), and served as an officer on GDDA and the local chapter of the ADA. My current position with Diabetes Care and Education practice group is as the Policy and Advocacy Liaison from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2019. Prior to that, I volunteered for the DCE PAL and the DCE Webinar Committee. 

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DCE Nominating Chair
Lisa Herzig, PhD, RD, 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.

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Vita
Vita Tambone. RDN, CDN, CDE
Awards Chair

Vita is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in New York City. For the past 5 years she's worked in the outpatient setting with kids and adults in the South/Central Bronx at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and Lincoln Hospital. In addition to working with patients with diabetes, Vita has experience counseling patients in the general pediatric, adult medicine, and barbaric surgery clinics. In addition to individual counseling, Vita teaches in group education settings for diabetes and weight management education and works with the pediatric endocrine team to run Bronx Lebanon's 'Sugar Babies' support group for pediatric patients and families living with diabetes. She enjoys fundraising annually for the JDRF OneWalk for Type 1 Diabetes research and advocacy. 

Vita's been involved with DCE since 2013, starting as a volunteer with the Awards and Public Policy committees. She took on the role of Awards Committee Chair in 2017. Vita is also involved locally with the Greater New York Dietetic association's Public Relations and Public Policy committees, including participation in annual 'Lobby Day' trips to Albany, NY. 

Outside of nutrition and diabetes education, Vita likes to run. She's completed two NYC Marathons and runs regularly with Back On My Feet NYC, a nonprofit organizations who's mission is to combat homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources. She also​ enjoys practicing yoga, reading, and kicking butt in her bocce ball league.

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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.