Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

News & Publications

Meet Board Members Donna Ryan and Lucille Hughes

Dec 14, 2017
Editor’s note: The bulk of eFYI’s articles are devoted to highlighting key news and resources to keep you informed of the educational, social, political and practice trends that impact diabetes education.

eFYI is pleased to take a moment to present a good-natured look at the lives of AADE Board members who are making significant contributions to the organization and specialty. 

In this issue of eFYI, we present to you 2017 Board Members Donna Ryan, RN, RD, MPH, CDE, FAADE; and Lucille Hughes, MSN/Ed, CDE, BC-ADM, FAADE.

Donna Ryan 2Donna Ryan, RN, RD, MPH, CDE, FAADE has been an AADE member for 17 years and has worked in diabetes education for 20 years.

I am currently the Regional Director of Community Health and Outreach, Division of Population Health, Gulf Coast Health Services for Ascension Health.

I oversee the community health programs for a 350-mile, bi-state Accountable Care Organization which includes four hospitals and more than 300 physician offices. My programs include: patient education services for diabetes, prediabetes and related chronic diseases, care management, nutrition therapy, faith community nursing, outcome care navigators, and community health screenings. Prior to this position, I have worked as a diabetes educator in both inpatient and outpatient settings. I am a certified insulin pump and CGM trainer, a registered nurse and a registered dietitian. I work with health care practitioners across the continuum of care, and mentor and foster new diabetes educators, working to improve the standards of care and access to quality diabetes education and management. I am passionate about quality care that is safe, accessible and patient centered.

I wanted to become an AADE Board Member because: I wanted to contribute to my profession at a national level, collaborate and innovate with thought leaders in the field, as well as advocate for and facilitate quality diabetes education and management across the continuum of care. In essence, I want to contribute to the success of AADE and its members, my peers, and hopefully help improve the lives of people with and affected by diabetes.

The best thing about being a diabetes educator is: The people. In particular, the person with diabetes, their support people, and the healthcare team members I work with who come along to help. I love the constant learning, the critical thinking skills needed, and the satisfaction of doing a hard day’s work that actually helps someone—I love the journey and I love the people.

The best dish I cook is: Butternut squash enchiladas-light, healthy, vegan/vegetarian, nutritious, easy to make, makes my family happy.

I seriously collect: Quilts. Can’t help it. I'm a fabric-aholic, hand-crafts junkie. I own too many and keep giving them away and getting more. I once bid $15,000 by accident for one on eBay. I now have a quilt budget.

An interesting fact about me: My dad owned a race car when I was little, and I grew up going to Nascar races. I had a motorbike when I was 10 and was going to be the first girl dirt biker.

TR - Lucille HughesLucille Hughes, MSN/Ed, CDE, BC-ADM, FAADE has been an AADE member and worked in diabetes education for 28 years.

I am the Director of Diabetes Education for South Nassau Communities Hospital (SNCH). Over my 28-year professional career in diabetes, I have worked as a CDE in the following work environments: inpatient acute care, home care, private endocrinology practice, and outpatient diabetes education centers. Furthermore, I have had the privilege of creating and implementing four AADE recognized outpatient diabetes education centers. I presently oversee inpatient and outpatient diabetes education at SNCH. Although I have a wonderful staff of inpatient and outpatient CDEs whom I mentor and supervise, I continue to see patients and teach classes. I am co-chair of the hospital endocrine disease committee and critical care glycemic control committee. I thoroughly enjoy my work and I hope to make a difference and change outcomes for my patients living with diabetes.

I wanted to become an AADE Board Member because: I have had the privilege of serving as President of the New York State (NYS) Local Networking Group (LNG) and as secretary and chair elect of the NYS Coordinating Body (CB). Over the years of service for AADE, I have worked to impact diabetes education for both patients and diabetes educators on a local and state level. I wanted to become an AADE Board Member to impact diabetes education on a national level. Being able to serve diabetes educators from all geographic areas, serving different patient types and backgrounds brings me great pleasure. AADE has a tremendous amount to offer our patients, students and professional staff. I am excited about having the opportunity to bring these groups together to better utilize the services AADE has to offer.

My all-time favorite movie is: White Christmas. I watched it each year with my mom around Christmas time. It became our special holiday thing to do. Since she passed, watching it without her isn't quite the same; however, I still enjoy the movie. I will never get tired of this Christmas classic. It is also filled with incredible talent like Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. The songs and dance numbers are spectacular.

A great book I would recommend is: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This book was phenomenal. It is captivating, and you will never be able to put it down. It’s a loving, feel-good, inspirational book. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow is life changing. A must-read for all. I was moved and made it mandatory reading for my entire family. It’s filled with life lessons and words to live by.

The best dish I cook is: Thanksgiving. I know it is more than a dish; however, the turkey and all my special side dishes all seem to come out perfectly on Thanksgiving. I don't seem to have the same luck all the other days of the year, but I have Thanksgiving down pat!

I seriously collect: Teapots. I have a collection in my living room. I am an avid tea drinker; however, I just love the look of teapots. I have about 30.

An interesting fact about me: My first college degree is in accounting. Also, I played the oboe all through grade school and high school.

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