Q & A with Kacey Conyers, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES & RanDee Anshutz, RDN, LD, LMT from Synergy Health & Wellness, Certified American Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists in Redmond & Bend
National Diabetes Awareness Month is a time when communities across the country come together to raise awareness about diabetes and support those living with the disease. With over 306,000 Oregonians diagnosed with diabetes (9.5 percent of the adult population), and an estimated 1,097,000 (33.5 percent) adults with prediabetes, the need for support and education as at an all-time high.
Q: Tell us what drew you to diabetes care?
RANDEE: I first experienced diabetes care while working in hospital settings; I got to work with really lovely clients and noticed that there was a lot of shame around receiving the diagnosis of diabetes. I became really determined to remove shame and help people realize that diabetes can fit into their current life. I’ve gotten to work alongside some brilliant diabetes educators and am inspired to share knowledge with clients that helps them understand the condition and make small adjustments that can have a big impact to their lives.
KACEY: Diabetes is a very prevalent and complex disease that affects so many people and their loved ones. I had been working with people on the nutrition side of diabetes for a while, and I really wanted to help them with the rest of their diabetes care, so I pursued advanced certification as a diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES). I’ve seen too many people view Diabetes as a life-threatening diagnosis and that is really disheartening. It can feel like an overwhelming thing to manage as there are many layers to it, but empowering people to simplify and live a full life with diabetes is where I find joy. I love helping people understand what’s going on with their bodies and creating a lifestyle plan that will help them thrive with diabetes.
Q: Why did you choose Redmond as a location for Synergy?
RANDEE: When I moved to Central Oregon 20 years ago Redmond was my first home. The community is really special, even as it’s grown it still has the small-town charm in many ways. Our main clinic is in Bend, and we’ve had many folks driving from Madras, Sisters, Prineville and Redmond to visits with us. Adding the Redmond location has made our care much more accessible and convenient for a lot of people.
KACEY: Redmond has such a great small-town community feel to it. The people in Redmond are very friendly, it’s always a joy to chat with patients from here. A bonus, you certainly can’t beat the location and scenery!
Q: Which diabetes treatment advances are you currently excited about?
RANDEE: I’m really excited about Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) technology. It’s so helpful to get to see the impact that things like food, movement, medications, stress, etc. have on our blood sugars in real-time. We recently completed a session of our Thriving with Diabetes classes, and during that class all participants had the opportunity to wear a CGM for two weeks. The feedback we received on how helpful it is to have the insight that a CGM provides is very affirming. CGM have come a long way in their functionality, connectivity and luckily — insurance coverage. I’m excited to get to introduce this technology to more people.
KACEY: It’s encouraging to see continual advances in technology and medications to help patients battle the disease and live with less fear. CGMs have come a long way and I’m looking forward to the day they are mainstream and more easily accessible to all people living with diabetes. I believe they are the future of diabetes care. Insulin delivery systems like pumps and insulin pens also assist patients with managing blood sugars and diabetes care, therefore, much easier for people who require insulin to stay on track.
Thriving with Diabetes classes begin January 15, 2022 and held every Saturday 9-11am for four weeks. Participants can choose to attend in person or virtually. Register at synergyhealthbend.com/diabetes-education-program.html.
Schedule a one-on-one pre-class appointment to get individualized plan of care and get prepped for class. Call 541-323-3488 for an appointment at Synergy in Redmond or Bend.
Sign up a local community support group, visit facebook.com/groups/COType2DMCommunity.
Synergy Health & Wellness Blog for information and articles at synergyhealthbend.com.
Deschutes County Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Call 541-322-7446 or visit deschutes .org/preventdiabetes.