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Once More into the Fray: Chris Anderson (M.S., Diabetes Education and Management)

Life before TC

A registered nurse by training, Chris Anderson had been out of the formal workforce for two and a half decades, a homemaker focused on raising her three children. But as her youngest was getting ready for college, Anderson says, “I felt I had a little more kick in me.” She became interested in Medical Outreach Ministries, a non-profit in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, because it was faith-based provided service to uninsured patients. She began working closely with patients and was struck by the damage they had incurred from poor management of diabetes.  

Why TC 


As a volunteer, Anderson found she could not apply for board certification as a diabetes educator (a rule that has since changed). So she charted an alternate path: getting a master’s degree in the field from Teachers College, which offers one of the few such programs in the country. TC’s program enabled her to complete her degree online. Meanwhile, she has also earned her board credential.  

TC Takeaway


Anderson says the TC program gave her renewed confidence as a diabetes educator. “The first class I took was a 16-week course on how to assess someone with diabetes,” she says. “Sixteen weeks on assessment! But it’s not only physical and clinical – there are also cultural, spiritual and emotional aspects. Think about how devastating it is to receive a diabetes diagnosis! I learned so much in that first class. It gave me empathy.” Later, as part of her studies, Anderson spent time shadowing diabetes educators across her home state.

What’s Next


Armed with her new credentials, Anderson hopes to get the diabetes education program that she started at the Montgomery clinic recognized by the American Diabetes Association. That will help raise funds for the nonprofit clinic, she says. “The clinical staff are mostly retired doctors and all volunteers. We have to beg and borrow just to get hard-copy materials to share with our patients.” The stakes are high: “In the patient population I work with, many live in food deserts, and often don’t have transportation,” Anderson says. “This is a population that can become invisible if we’re not careful.”

Published Friday, May 1, 2015

Life before TC

A registered nurse by training, Chris Anderson had been out of the formal workforce for two and a half decades, a homemaker focused on raising her three children. But as her youngest was getting ready for college, Anderson says, “I felt I had a little more kick in me.” She became interested in Medical Outreach Ministries, a non-profit in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, because it was faith-based provided service to uninsured patients. She began working closely with patients and was struck by the damage they had incurred from poor management of diabetes.  

Why TC 


As a volunteer, Anderson found she could not apply for board certification as a diabetes educator (a rule that has since changed). So she charted an alternate path: getting a master’s degree in the field from Teachers College, which offers one of the few such programs in the country. TC’s program enabled her to complete her degree online. Meanwhile, she has also earned her board credential.  

TC Takeaway


Anderson says the TC program gave her renewed confidence as a diabetes educator. “The first class I took was a 16-week course on how to assess someone with diabetes,” she says. “Sixteen weeks on assessment! But it’s not only physical and clinical – there are also cultural, spiritual and emotional aspects. Think about how devastating it is to receive a diabetes diagnosis! I learned so much in that first class. It gave me empathy.” Later, as part of her studies, Anderson spent time shadowing diabetes educators across her home state.

What’s Next


Armed with her new credentials, Anderson hopes to get the diabetes education program that she started at the Montgomery clinic recognized by the American Diabetes Association. That will help raise funds for the nonprofit clinic, she says. “The clinical staff are mostly retired doctors and all volunteers. We have to beg and borrow just to get hard-copy materials to share with our patients.” The stakes are high: “In the patient population I work with, many live in food deserts, and often don’t have transportation,” Anderson says. “This is a population that can become invisible if we’re not careful.”

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