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Patty Horn, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, has been with Sharp Rees-Stealy's diabetes and nutrition education department since 1996. She received her degree in nutrition from Oklahoma State University and completed her dietetic internship at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
How did you choose to work in the field of diabetes education?
I decided that I wanted to start working with people that were no longer hospitalized but were at home and trying to learn how to live with a chronic condition. I had had many years of inpatient experience but felt that the best way to help people learn to make changes was to teach them in a more realistic setting. My mother had been a dietitian and through her I learned just how important a role a dietitian can play in a person’s life.
What do you do in your role at Sharp-Rees Stealy as a certified diabetes educator?
I have the opportunity to work with many types of people that have many types of diabetes. I teach group classes for newly diagnosed clients and one-on-one for the people that have more specific or challenging needs.
How do you help your patients succeed in managing their chronic disease?
I feel that the most important thing that I can do is to be a good listener. I try to make sure that our clients know that I am not there to judge or criticize but to motivate and encourage them in making healthy changes. It is a delicate balance between being a coach and a cheerleader but I believe that’s what makes for the greatest success.
What is the key to self-managing a chronic disease?
Having a great team of people to provide the best of care.
How do you stay healthy?
I exercise six to seven days a week doing a variety of activities so that nothing gets stale or boring. I love to eat, but I am lucky because vegetables, fruits and whole grains are foods that I really enjoy. I also like a few less healthy options, but I eat them infrequently and in moderation.
For More Information
To learn more or to speak with someone to determine if you're eligible to participate in a Sharp Rees-Stealy disease management program, please call 619-446-1571, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
I believe excellent health is an essential ingredient to happiness, which is life's ultimate goal."
1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
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