First diabetes educator license is issued in Kentucky

Kim DeCoste (photo via AADE)
Kentucky is the first state to issue a diabetes educator license, according to a press release from the Kentucky Board of Licensed Diabetes Educators.

Kim DeCoste of Richmond, a registered nurse and chair of the Kentucky Diabetes Educators Licensure Board, is the licensee.

"I am proud to represent diabetes educators throughout Kentucky as the first person to receive a license,” DeCoste said. “Kentucky’s legislation assures that the qualifications of diabetes educators have been thoroughly reviewed and that individuals are appropriately credentialed. Improved consumer safety is vital as diabetes care becomes increasingly complex.”

The release said Kentucky passed laws in 2011 to require licensing of diabetes educators in an effort to improve the quality of health care in the state, which has a high rate of diabetes. Ten percent of Kentucky adults, or approximately 370,000, had been diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, according to the latest Kentucky Diabetes Report. An additional 233,000 Kentucky adults have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and research from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that approximately 27 percent of people with diabetes have not been tested or diagnosed.

Because diabetes is controllable if diagnosed early and managed well, diabetes educators play a vital role in working with people who have or are at risk of developing diabetes and developing a plan of care, the report says.

The American Association of Diabetes Educators define a diabetes educator as “health care professionals—registered nurses, registered dietitians and pharmacists, among others—who specialize in helping people with diabetes understand how to best manage their health.”
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