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Remembering a Great Mentor

Jul 13, 2017

charlie-reasnerThis is not my usual blog – but this is a topic weighing heavily on my mind. We have lost a brilliant mentor, outstanding educator, and loyal and witty friend. I am sure those of you who have attended educational or promotional programs by a pharmaceutical company have attended a presentation by Charles Reasner, MD. I had the great good fortune to work with Dr. Reasner for many years – he actually hired me to help with the opening of the Texas Diabetes Institute in 1998.

Dr. Reasner joined the faculty at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center in 1989 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. An incredible educator, Dr. Reasner served as Director of the Department of Medical Resident Education. He won the UT Outstanding Professor Award many times and had a unique ability to make a technical subject, such as lipid pathways, more understandable. You could always tell that Dr. Reasner was not just reporting what he had read or been told, but shared with us information which he delivered in an understandable manner – you knew he really “got it.” A great friend and mentor to the pharma reps, many have shared with me the times Charlie Reasner would sit and explain to them the pharmacokinetics of their drugs. It was important to him that they also “got it.”

Dr. Reasner served as the chief of the Department of Clinical Endocrinology at UT until he retired as a tenured professor to enter private practice in 2010. He was recognized by his peers and named as a Best Doctor for Endocrinology and Metabolism in San Antonio. Dr. Reasner served as chair of the Texas Diabetes Council, guiding the council as it established algorithms used around the country to improve management and care of individuals with diabetes and related comorbidities. He is widely published and served as the editor of the Journal of Practical Diabetology and was a frequent contributor to scientific journals. In 2012, Dr. Reasner joined DiabetesAmerica.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Charlie Reasner also found time to do ballroom dancing, for which he won many awards and collected many friends. He frequently shared with his staff his new dance moves, twirling them down the clinic halls.

In early 2017, DiabetesAmerica announced that it was closing its doors in San Antonio. Dr. Reasner made plans to work with his good friend and mentor, Ralph DeFronzo, at the new Diabetes Clinic at UTHealth. Unfortunately, Dr. Reasner was diagnosed with a neuro-endocrine tumor with extensive metastasis at the beginning of April. After an unsuccessful course of treatment, Dr. Reasner passed away June 4 leaving a huge hole in the hearts of all his friends and colleagues. Because he was such a well-loved and respected public figure in the diabetes world, I wanted to share this information with his many friends. Rest in peace, Charlie Reasner. Thank you for making the world of diabetes a better place.


Barbara WalzAbout the Author

Barbara Walz is an RN, BSN and has been a certified diabetes educator since 1986. Since 2000, Barbara has coordinated a multi-site diabetes study examining the macro-vascular effects of diabetes at the South Texas Veterans’ Healthcare System under the supervision of Dr. Ralph DeFronzo.

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