SIUE pharmacy alumna is Educator of the Year

The American Association of Diabetes Educators named Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy alumna Diana (Jason) Isaacs, RPh, PharmD ’09 as its Educator of the Year earlier in August. The award honors a diabetes educator who has made a special contribution to the field of diabetes self-management and education through dedication, innovation and sensitivity in patient care.

“My passion for diabetes education began in the SIUE School of Pharmacy,” said Isaacs, who is an endocrine clinical pharmacy specialist and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) program coordinator at the Cleveland Clinic Endocrine and Metabolism Institute Diabetes Center. “There is a tremendous amount to learn with all the different medications, technology, lifestyle factors and psychological aspects. I was fortunate to learn a great deal from amazing and passionate faculty like Dr. Jessica Kerr.”

“Dr. Isaacs has always had a passion for diabetes,” said Kerr, PharmD, SOP interim dean of professional and student affairs, and professor of pharmacy practice. “As a past instructor of hers, I am always impressed by the level of energy she brings when she educates other healthcare professionals on hot topics in the diabetes world. I have had the honor to work with her as a colleague, and she is at the forefront in service and impactful patient care projects.”

A member of the first SOP graduating class, Isaacs always found diabetes to be fascinating.

“Almost 10 percent of the population has diabetes and this percent continues to rise, which means there are many opportunities to help,” she said. “I’m inspired by knowing that with the right treatment, people can live long and healthy lives.

“What continues to motivate me is that every day I use my skills and knowledge to make a positive impact in people’s lives. It’s the most rewarding career I could ever imagine.”

The honors have been flowing for Isaacs this year as the Ohio Pharmacists Association honored her as a distinguished Under 40 award recipient for professional achievements and vision in the practice of pharmacy at its 141st Annual Conference in April.

“We are pleased to recognize Diana Isaacs who has exemplified leadership, excellence and vision in her practice,” said Ernest Boyd, association executive director. “She is a valued member of the association, and we look forward to her future contributions to the profession.”

Isaacs has advanced diabetes patient care through clinical services, professional organization involvement and scholarly activities. She has initiated many new services at her health system to help people with diabetes, including a CGM shared medical appointment program and a pharmacist-run insulin dose adjustment service for post-transplant patients.

Isaacs holds many leadership roles in diabetes organizations, which include serving as president of the Ohio AADE Chapter and communication director for the American Diabetes Association Pregnancy and Reproductive Health Interest Group.

After earning a PharmD, Isaacs worked for six years at the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy before moving to Ohio.

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