Laurie Anderson is a certified family nurse practitioner. In addition to coaching, she also maintains part-time practices in a rural health clinic serving a Native American population and in an endocrinology office. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Old Dominion University, and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of RI. She is certified by the American Heart Association in advanced cardiac life support, by the State of Rhode Island as a Diabetes Outpatient Educator, and as a Conversation Maps facilitator.
“My personal involvement with Diabetes started at a young age. My grandmother with whom I shared the profession of nursing (in fact she inspired me to become a nurse), had Type 2 Diabetes. My involvement continued on a personal level in my adult life when I be-friended a co-worker with Type 1 diabetes. I developed a huge admiration for the way that my friend chose to positively view her life with diabetes and continue to be inspired by her as a diabetes educator and friend.”
Laurie feels that the role of a diabetes educator is to help people view the options available to manage their diabetes as not threatening, but as tools to make their lives more healthy while controlling their diabetes. She seeks to help them to improve their self-confidence in using these tools, including physical activity, food choices, and medications so that they are better able to care for themselves. She notes, ”a good diabetes educator will take the mystery out of diabetes management by removing the medical aspect of the disease and by helping the person living with diabetes to understand that the control is in their hands, not their health care providers. The choice of how to improve their diabetes management and overall heath can be theirs, by being informed of their options and working with their health care provider to make the best choices for their lifestyle.”
When Fit4D came along Laurie was very excited to have an opportunity to work on a larger scale in diabetes education. Through her experiences, she found many health care providers don’t have the time or knowledge to provide adequate diabetes self-management education. Laurie has also found that in many rural communities there are no resources for patients to meet with a diabetes educator, and in places where these educators do exist, it is often a many months-long wait to see one.
Laurie believes the best part about what Fit4D does for their clients is provide them with the continuous access to diabetes educators. “Our clients get a whole team of experts to work with, including an RN or nurse practitioner, an exercise physiologist or personal trainer, and a registered dietitian. When they send an email to their team they get a response from someone within 24 hours, frequently in a matter of an hour or two. I know of no other diabetes educator program that provides that level of service.”
Laurie can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.