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2016 CDE of the Year Award Program

Jan Baldwin National CDE of the Year

The prestigious title ‘Jan Baldwin National CDE of the Year’ this year goes to Kirrily Chambers, a pharmacist in regional South Australia, and Ann Morris, a nurse from regional Victoria, whose diabetes education experience spans 40 years.

Kirrily, the first pharmacist to be qualified as a CDE, is passionate about taking care of mental health issues for people with diabetes, sometimes brought about by stereotypical language used in diabetes.

Ann, a founding member of the ADEA and a respected mentor, has been helping people with diabetes using her wealth of four-decade experience in providing diabetes education services.

Both Kirrily and Ann’s profiles are available below.

CDE of the Year award in branches

ADEA is proud to congratulate recipients of the following CDE of the Year in branch awards:

CDE of the Year in ACT: Vicki Mahood

ACT Health

Vicki Mahood
My career changed in 1998 when I had a great opportunity to meet diabetes educators (DEs) working in ACT and southern NSW. The dedication, passion and knowledge these DEs demonstrated in their work inspired me to learn more about diabetes self management education and the DE role in supporting people living with diabetes. In 2002, I commenced work as a DE, gaining my post graduate certificate in 2003 and credentialling status in 2004.

Maintaining a balance between systems and a person-centred individualized approach to care is what keeps me up at night. I continually consider models of care or change to existing models to expedite access to services & to ensure those referred have timely access to a qualified DE.

During the past few years, I led the establishment of a multidisciplinary team model of care (MOC) in community health settings. The MOC includes a vision screen service using retinal photography, foot assessment clinics, medical adult and paediatric clinics. The ease of access to these appropriately staffed clinics has demonstrated timely access and an increased number of persons care meeting national recommendations and hopefully improved wellbeing and outcomes.

I was inspired by my mentor and role model. Now when I am in that role, I hope that I am a role model for others to follow.

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CDE of the Year in NSW: Marion Hawker

Greater Newcastle Sector Diabetes Service

Marion Hawker
I welcome a challenge and I knew from the start that diabetes, with its many facets and complexities, would be a rewarding journey. The sheer numbers and ever increasing burden of diabetes concern me, but this also impels me to enhance my professional partnerships, encourage change and be innovative in my practice. I have worked collaboratively in both acute and community contexts to promote new models of care across our Health District, redesign specialised clinics to accommodate increasingly complex patients, and establish a telephone titration program, minimising face-to-face clinic encounters. Partnerships have been enhanced with general practice and primary care networks, as part of the Alliance Integrated Care Project, upskilling GPs and practice nurses during co-consultations – a win for clinicians and patients.I have been fortunate to have many opportunities to give back to less experienced colleagues, the future of diabetes care, through mentoring and sharing my acquired expert knowledge.

What has inspired me to become a CDE

A defining moment in my career was the opportunity to relieve in a Diabetes Educator position, triggering a yearning to learn as much as I could about diabetes management and a determination to making a difference to the lives of people with diabetes in my care.

One interesting thing no one knows about me …

My first holiday post-retirement will be a trans-Siberian railway journey – not the trip to the UK that everyone expects.

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CDE of the Year in NT: Jan Stevenson

Casuarina Square Medical Clinic

Jan Stevenson
Who has inspired me to become a CDE

Prior to CDE status, I worked with 3 diabetes educators at Royal Darwin Hospital at various times – Liz Obersteller, Cherie Whitbread and Linda Rennie, so met with some amazing educators. I did my Grad Cert at UTS where I met Gillian Harris and Jan Alford. Jane Lehmann was great and really helpful when setting up my private practice “Balancing Diabetes Care”. It’s been a very successful business. I get much pleasure from my work with diabetes patients. One of the practice managers “would like to clone me” which is a great compliment.

What keeps me up at night

Due to the lack of EPC referrals for diabetes educators, the only way when titrating patients on insulin that works seems to be ringing them or asking them to ring me every 3-4 days with BGLs. Self-management is encouraged but doesn’t always work.

One interesting thing no one knows about me …

I started the Grad Cert course aged 64 – I intend to retire at the end of this year, at the age of 76.

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CDE of the Year in Queensland: Kate Mundy

AH Diabetes

Kate Mundy
What has inspired me to become a CDEMy decision to become a diabetes educator came from my own personal experiences living with Type 1 diabetes and navigating health services. In 2012, I joined the Medicare Local team as a diabetes educator, gained my credentialling and now work in private practice with AH Diabetes.

What keeps me up at night

Filling service gaps to maintain optimal patient care and quality of life is what keeps me up at night. Living in a regional area means there are plenty of service gaps despite our large catchment area. In response to a gap in insulin pump education in our region. I was able to produce a patient orientated guideline on insulin pump self- management in 2015.

This year, our team at AH Diabetes was successful at securing funding to run free CGM trials for children with Type 1 diabetes. This has meant that all children within both the public and private system can now access CGM technology without the financial burden of having to purchase the device or the sensor. Currently, we are trying to secure funding to offer this service to adults also. We are also looking into funding to support diabetes education and management in aged care facilities and to provide updated skills and knowledge to staff.

One interesting thing no one knows about me …

What people don’t know about me is that in my not-so-spare-time, I am a single Mum to 3 special needs children.

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CDE of the Year in SA: Kirrily Chambers

Stirling Chemmart

Kirrily Chambers_SA
What has inspired me to become a CDEHaving been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, I have spent a considerable amount of years negotiating the health care system. What I found frustrating and a fundamental roadblock in my earlier years was easy access to services and education to help with my self-management.

Having worked as an accredited pharmacist in a community NDSS pharmacy where I was constantly approached to answer questions about diabetes and medications, becoming a CDE seemed like an obvious choice to increase access to education, encourage self-management and further continuity of care.

What keeps me up at night

Mental health, brought about by stereotypical language used in diabetes, is the one thing I wish I could change. I promote the Diabetes Australia position statement about a new language for diabetes every chance I get!

One interesting thing that no one knows about me …

Hot Yoga is my peace.

Read First ever pharmacist CDE wins top award.
Read JDRF supporter takes South Australian CDE of the Year award.

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CDE of the Year in Tasmania: Louise Taylor

North West Diabetes Centre

Louise Taylor
What has inspired me to become a CDE

I have been a Diabetes Educator since 2002 and soon after I started working as a Diabetes Educator I came to realise the importance of this role. Seeing the impact I could have on people’s lives inspired me to proceed with becoming a Credentialled Diabetes Educator.

I am currently working at the North West Diabetes Centre in the North West of Tasmania. This is an acute health service set in a rural and remote area and covers all aspects of diabetes care from GDM/DIP, type 1 and 2, both adults and children, both in and out patients.

I have a special interest in children with diabetes and I am part of the Diabetes Friendly School Steering Committee with a focus in providing consistent guidelines which are endorsed by the Education Department for the care of children with type 1 diabetes in Tasmania.

What keeps me up at night

Working in a rural and remote area is challenging because access to diabetes specialist care is limited. My concern is always that people living with diabetes and their families have access to equitable services to support their diabetes management.

I am driven to deliver contemporary evidence based practice within the region. Recently with the support of my colleagues I have taken a systematic approach to implement a tool for flexible insulin therapy in our paediatric population.

One interesting thing that no one knows about me …

Things that no one knows about me are I have just learnt how to crochet and I like to watch serial killer movies.

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CDE of the Year in Victoria: Ann Morris

Warrnambool Medical Clinic

Ann Morris
I started working in diabetes education in 1976 at the Royal Children’s Hospital. In 1980, I moved to Diabetes Foundation Victoria (Diabetes Victoria) and in 1984, I moved to Warrnambool where I have continued my work in diabetes education to the current day in my own private practice.

Along with Jan Baldwin and many others, I am a founding member of ADEA.

What keeps me up at night

People with diabetes live with a relentless condition and experience many barriers to self-care which may include diabetes distress and burnout. These psychological factors play a significant role in their capacity to meet healthcare professional expectations and clinical targets which add to the burden already present. I am hopeful that, through the wonderful work of my colleagues at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, ADEA and ADS, all future diabetes healthcare professionals will apply a psychologically sensitive approach to care. This approach enhances self-care capacity and improves quality of life for people with diabetes.

One interesting thing that no one knows about me …

I used to be a Gliding Instructor and once held a private pilot’s licence.

Read Ann Morris wins national award.

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CDE of the Year in WA: Sandra Burges


Sandra Burges
I’ve been working as a diabetes educator for 25 years in the public and private sector within Western Australian hospitals and community health. Presently I’m working in private practice in Narrogin and the surrounding region in Western Australia.

What has inspired me to become a CDE

The motivating factor for me to become a diabetes educator was when I spent 12 months working at the Diabetic Clinic at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth in 1986. It was such a rewarding experience motivating and helping people with diabetes and working with such a great team.

What keeps me up at night

What concerns me is the massive increase in numbers of people being diagnosed with diabetes and at a much younger age. When I first started in Diabetes Education, the age of diagnosis was over 60, whereas now I’m seeing much younger people, including many teenagers.

To address this problem, I’ve participated in group education healthy lifestyle programs as well as individual counselling to educate people on reducing risk factors for diabetes. I will continue to support people with diabetes, in partnership, to improve their overall health and lifestyle.

One interesting thing that no one knows about me …

On a personal level, I live on a farm with my husband and two adult boys, 19 and 21. I enjoy walking on the farm and through bushland to try and keep fit!

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Four of eight national finalists are graduates from the UTS Faculty of Health. Click here to read more. 

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