People to Know 2016: Jane Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE
Jane Dickinson’s journey to become a certified diabetes educator (CDE) began 41 years ago, the day she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She was inspired by the diabetes team who taught and took care of her.
Four decades later, and carrying a CDE credential, Jane’s goal is to provide that same positive experience to the people she works with. Every aspect of her career—writing, teaching, and public speaking—supports that aim.
Take, for instance, her work at Teachers College Columbia University in New York. She serves as the program coordinator and adjunct associate professor for the Diabetes Education and Management online master’s program, which provides a first-of-its-kind academic pathway to becoming a diabetes educator. Through the master’s program, Jane prepares clinicians to be leaders in diabetes education and management. Graduates of her program are well versed in the science of diabetes and in the art of putting patients first.
Jane’s patient-focused mindset is apparent in her research, too. After conducting focus groups, Jane confirmed that words truly matter when it comes to people with diabetes. She says health care professionals can help by using messages and words that empower and avoiding those that judge. Jane is hopeful that her research will lead to a “language movement,” not only in diabetes, but in health care in general.
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, is a certified diabetes educator who has written diabetes management course content for health care professionals. She’s also the author of The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes.