Karen Kemmis, PT, RN, DPT, MS, CDE, FAADE
Hi! My name is Karen Kemmis, and I am a physical therapist (PT) and a certified diabetes educator (CDE). Most recently, I became a registered nurse! I also have attained certifications in Pilates for rehabilitation and exercise for aging adults. I work at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY where I split my time between our Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate, outpatient rehabilitation department, and as an adjunct professor for our PT program.
I have been a PT for 35 years (time flies when you’re having fun!) and have worked in diabetes education for 23 years. In my job as a diabetes educator, I teach group classes and meet with people individually to create safe and effective exercise/physical activity programs. I have several areas of interest including diabetes, osteoporosis, balance dysfunction, general orthopedic/painful conditions, and geriatrics. There are many interactions between each of these areas when it comes to individual patients.
I think the most satisfying thing I do is to guide patients to the best program for them based on their physical and social challenges. If it was as easy as “just going for a walk,” everyone would do it!
I have been extremely fortunate in my participation in the AADE over the past 20 years. I was involved in the creation of the Physical Activity Specialty Practice Group (SPG), became the first Chair-elect, then Chair. I was elected to SPG Liaison-elect to the Board of Directors, was Liaison, became a Director, then Treasurer and am currently the 2019 President. I was on the Planning Committee for the 2008 Annual Meeting, sat on the Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee, and on the AADE Grants Review Workgroup. These positions have allowed me to work with amazing diabetes educators and AADE staff members and have provided wonderful exposure to so many facets of diabetes education.
I am a HUGE proponent of exercise. To practice what I preach, I run every day (rain, snow, heat, cold…) and dabble in yoga and Pilates. I love to travel for leisure and business, which I do fairly often, especially for my role with AADE.