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Improving the In-Office Experience for People with Diabetes: Katherine Trimino and Mayra Rivas

Dec 02, 2019

At AADE19 in August, the AADE Education and Research Foundation provided scholarships to ten local diabetes care and education specialists who help communities that are at risk for diabetes and diabetes-related complications. This week, our blogs highlight some recipients, their conference takeaways and how they plan on implementing that knowledge. Donate today to the AADE Foundation, so that it may continue to support projects, communities and individuals like those featured below.


Katherine-MayraKatherine Trimino and Mayra Rivas are two dietitians working at an outpatient setting in Houston that serves many people with a high risk of developing type-2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications. Through AADE Foundation scholarships, the two were able to attend AADE’s Annual Conference for the first time. “Attending AADE19 has been an eye-opening experience of what I can do in the field of diabetes,” says Katherine. She feels better equipped to address prediabetes and diabetes management, especially after learning more about new CGM technologies, that have provided her with a new context to diabetes self-management that she had not been exposed to in her curriculum at school.

Katherine and Mayra are both especially interested in serving low income, undocumented, Spanish-speaking and housing-unstable populations in Harris County; populations they say their health system already serves, but who still easily fall through the cracks of the system. They both agree that AADE19 is teaching them a lot about the everyday barriers people with diabetes face, which has increased their empathy and given them insights that they hope to impart on their colleagues.

When Mayra returns to her practice, she plans on using and advocating for person-centered language. In her experience, dietitians and physicians are often seen as the “food police,” which can make the care they provide feel stigmatizing to people with diabetes. But by focusing on neutral, person-centered language, she believes providers can impact how the whole system interacts with the person with diabetes and support a welcoming, non-stigmatizing environment. She adds “I feel like I can really take it upon myself promote [person-centered language] at my clinic with the physicians.”

Katherine is equally motivated to make some changes in her practice environment that improve the experience for her clients with diabetes. She plans on making some simple changes, like buying a tablecloth for the table at work where she sees clients. Adding this prep to her environment will make it more realistic, relaxed and conducive to the open conversations that foster stronger relationship between her and clients.

For #GivingTuesday this year, please make a donation to the AADE Education and Research Foundation so that the foundation may continue to support the work of diabetes care and education specialists like Katherine and Mayra.

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