Diabetes Forecast

Diabetes Advocate: Maudene Nelson, RD, CDE

Maudene Nelson, RD, CDE, (left) and husband, Earl Headley
Yonkers, New York

Maudene Nelson, RD, CDE

Maudene Nelson, 65, says her goal as a Diabetes Advocate is straightforward—to help identify and understand the many needs of people with diabetes. “This has often meant bringing others’ voices to the front,” she says. Her advocacy work has both enriched and been enriched by her professional career in providing nutrition education in several programs at Columbia University, including the Institute of Human Nutrition and the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.

Nelson is chair of the Association’s national African American Diabetes Action Council and also chairs the African American Initiatives Committee for the New York City office. She served a term on the Association’s Board of Directors. She’s attended Call to Congress three times. She enjoys the creative thinking and problem solving that advocacy fosters.

Motivation: “My daughters are my motivation. After meeting other families with kids with type 1 diabetes, it hit me that I had many millions of daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, moms, and dads in the U.S. to advocate for.”

Encouraging Words: “There’s an advocate in all of us. One can become an advocate with baby steps, such as calling an elected official’s office or joining an awareness-raising event.”



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