Professional Members
November 01, 2017 By Krista Lamb
Celebrating our Diabetes Educator of the Year

Sherri Pockett is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator (CDE) at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg and a passionate advocate for people living with diabetes. She also lives with type 1 diabetes, and was inspired by her diagnosis in her teens to work in the health-care field and, in particular in the area of diabetes management. “I feel like they’re ‘my people,’ she says. “I want to make sure they do OK.”

Since starting her career, Sherri has worked in research, adult education, pediatric education and, most recently, as a nurse clinician, always with a specialty in diabetes. She is also a member of the local Professional Section Chapter, a dedicated professional volunteer for Diabetes Canada and the winner of Lifescan Diabetes Educator of the Year award for 2017. Every year, this award is presented to an educator who has made special contributions to diabetes education through dedication, sensitivity and innovation in the daily practice of patient education and care.

Many people are unfamiliar with the work of certified diabetes educators, who come from a broad range of health-care backgrounds including registered nurses, pharmacists or other health-care professionals.  These individuals have received extensive training and certification to become designated as a CDE. They play a significant role in supporting people living with diabetes. “We’re really there to help people manage living with the disease,” says Sherri, who notes that diabetes educators often have more time to spend with patients than an endocrinologist. “It’s not a one-time visit, but an ongoing relationship.”

Diabetes educators are also there to help educate other health-care staff about new diabetes resources and other ways to support patients. That collaboration is a big part of the success CDEs have in creating multi-disciplinary teams to ensure people with diabetes get the support they need to live a healthy life.

“It has been incredible to watch Sherri embrace the opportunity to better the lives of people living with diabetes, to provide guidance, care, education and knowledge, as well as compassion and understanding for those affected by the disease,” says Lori Berard, registered nurse, CDE and a colleague of Sherri’s.

Sherri is thrilled to be this year’s recipient. “I’m so grateful. I’m among some amazing people now—educators I’ve always looked up to.”

The Diabetes Educator of the Year award will be presented at the Diabetes Canada/CSEM 20th annual Professional Conference in Edmonton this year.

On November 1, Diabetes Educator Day in Canada, we hope you’ll celebrate Sherri and other diabetes educators who play such an important role in supporting the health of people living with diabetes. Reach out to your educator and tell him or her you appreciate them, or share your thoughts about how a diabetes educator has helped you on our Twitter or Facebook pages.

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