Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Focus on Leadership

Apr 14, 2017

Editor’s Note: Innovative and agile associations combine the professional skills of their staff with the clinical and practice expertise of their members. AADE is no exception, and two new diabetes educators recently joined the AADE staff to add an additional layer of practice and content knowledge. We welcome former Board members Jodi Lavin-Tompkins, MSN, RN, CDE, BC-ADM, and Joanne Rinker, MS, RD, CDE, LDN, FAADE to AADE in their new roles. This change necessitates the addition of two new AADE members to the Board of Directors.

In this issue of eFYI, we present new 2017 Board Members Sandra Bollinger, PharmD, FASCP, BCGP, CDE, MCMP-II and Kellie Rodriguez, MSN, MBA, CDE. We look forward to profiling the entire Board over the course of 2017.


BOD - BollingerSandra Bollinger, PharmD, FASCP, BCGP, CDE, MCMP-II has been an Active Member of AADE for nine years and has worked in diabetes education for 20 years.

I am a clinical pharmacist and the owner of Health Priorities, Inc.; co-founder of The Center For Diabetes and Wellness (i.e., a membership-based model of care) in Cape Girardeau, MO; and Provider Outreach Coordinator for Conduent and MO HealthNet's (i.e., Missouri's Medicaid program) CyberAcess web-based provider portal. I am a pharmacist by trade, so I spent the earlier years of my career working in pharmacies at the hospital, retail and consulting levels. My passion, however, is to empower patients with the tools and knowledge they need to prevent and/or manage the complications of chronic conditions.

I wanted to become an AADE Board Member because:

I love the mission of the organization and want to continue to improve the organization to be even better than it is now (if that is even possible!)

The best thing about being a diabetes educator is:

Seeing the impact of the results on someone I've helped.

A great book I would recommend is:

“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell because it is so applicable to diabetes educators regarding how little things truly can make a BIG difference.

The best dish I cook is:

I love to cook, so this is hard…there are many! My best one would have to be Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Marsala Chicken.

I seriously collect:

I'm not much of a collector, but I do like coming across pharmacy relics.

An interesting fact that no one would ever guess about me:

I sing in a trio whose most requested song is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by the Andrew Sisters. We do many of the Andrew Sisters' songs, dress in the attire of that era (1940's and 1950's), and do choreography to match their songs. We take pride in performing at WWII send offs where WWII and Korean War Veterans are "sent off" on a tour to visit the monuments in Washington, D.C. that were built in their honor. We love singing all types of music, but we especially enjoy singing gospel songs.


BOD - RodriguezKellie Rodriguez, MSN, MBA, CDE has been an Active Member of AADE for 11 years and has worked in diabetes education for 19 years.

My current title is Director of Diabetes Education & Community Engagement for the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health and Hospital System and UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. I am responsible for building an effective and creative infrastructure and system of care delivery to advance diabetes education and clinical management across inpatient and outpatient services at Parkland and the broader Dallas community.

From 2006 - 2014, I was Director, Diabetes Education at the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami, Florida, responsible for coordinating patient and professional education programs across a broad range of clinical areas in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

I was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) from 2011-2015, and National Chair in 2014.

I wanted to become an AADE Board Member because:

Throughout my entire 19-year career in diabetes education, I always tried to be involved in my profession at a local, state and/or national level, because I believe it is my responsibility to contribute to the advancement of the specialty of diabetes education in whatever way I can. Immersion enables me to network with my talented multidisciplinary colleagues and grow from their experiences.

The best thing about being a diabetes educator is:

The ability to work with and learn from multidisciplinary colleagues to truly impact the lives of people living with diabetes.

My all-time favorite movie is:

“The Shawshank Redemption” - A story of determination, bonding and brotherhood in a time of significant adversity and restriction. This movie is a reflection of my life mottos of “Simply no boundaries” and “Just do it.” The power of the mind is far more important than the power of our physical selves.

A great book I would recommend is:

“Beyond the Razor Wire,” a true story of a detention officer's experience at illegal immigrant centers in Australia. The book describes some of the personal stories of people who have tried to immigrate illegally to Australia, providing details that truly make you reflect on what you would do if faced with the same life violations, desperate to protect your family.

The best dish I cook is:

Warm sticky date pudding and Christmas plum pudding – but quite honestly, you don't come to our home for the food (or you will likely be disappointed!). I hope you are there for the company and the red wine!

An interesting fact that no one would ever guess about me:

I would love to one day learn to play the saxophone in an eclectic, dim-lit bar, with a small audience. I want to play in a darkened room, as I am sure my round cheeks filled with air is not going to be a complimentary look!

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