Thursday, November 7, 2013

Educator of the Year

Today I got a total surprise. My family knew, my coworkers and hospital president knew, my in-laws knew... but they kept it a good secret. I was so busy running around like a chicken with it's head cut off running the Diabetes Educator conference that I wasn't expecting to be the recipient of an award. Anyway, I sort of got a clue when I saw my parents and coworkers come and sit in the audience...and then the announcer started explaining comments from nominating educators, patients and coworkers about the recipient...

They announced that I was chosen to be American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) of Utah's "Educator of the Year"!   I was surprised and touched. They asked me to say a few things up at the podium and I think I just thanked the educators I've worked with and gotten to know in the AADE. Afterward, I thought I probably could have been a bit more personal. This is what I would add:

People often ask me why I chose to become a diabetes educator. Since I don't personally have one in my immediate family has diabetes, the choice seems odd I guess. I tell them, I didn't choose diabetes, it chose me. There were many things during my schooling and career as a dietitian that kept pointing me straight to it...over and over again. It just seemed to fit and I embraced the idea fully and worked hard to make it happen. It is a most fascinating field, isn't it? It can also be extremely challenging but most of all, it is rewarding. When you make a difference in the life of a patient, when you show empathy, when they finally understand something, when you can reach them in a way no one else could because of your expertise, when you can celebrate together their successes...that is what makes it all worth it. That is why I do what I do... that is why you do what you do. It is all about our patients and making their lives better. "Mankind IS our business".  I am honored to be working with so many of you in the diabetes community who feel the same way.