Cardiometabolic Health Congress (CMHC) congratulates the winner of the #IAmCardiometabolicHealth contest, Shannon Christen, RD, CDCES, CCHP!
In Nov. 2022, CMHC launched a social media contest that challenged our provider audience to share their stories in the field of cardiometabolic medicine. Using the hashtag #IAmCardiometabolicHealth, we asked for examples of how practitioners in many medical disciplines are all involved in caring for patients with cardiometabolic diseases, complications or risk factors. After reviewing the submissions, we’ve picked a lucky winner …
Shannon earned her Bachelor Degree in food science and human nutrition from Colorado State University and works as a certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES), and registered dietitian (RD). In her role at the Advanced Lipid Clinic in the Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes at the University of Colorado UCHealth, Shannon works with a multidisciplinary team of endocrinologists, cardiologists, pharmacists, nurses and dietitians. She sees patients with diabetes, lipid disorders, statin intolerance, and high triglycerides that may also suffer from other cardiometabolic disease states.
Shannon holds the designation of a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), formerly called a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). The practice-based CDCES credential represents that Shannon has demonstrated mastery in diabetes care and education.
“My nickname in the clinic is ToughLove. I bring tough honesty with a splash of encouragement and a dash of humor to continue to create a better self.”
Like Shannon, most holders of the CDCES credential are registered dietitians (RDs), but other professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, medical doctors, social workers, and others with advanced degrees in medicine may also be certified. Beyond the foundational degree, candidates must have 1000 hours of direct diabetes education services over two years before sitting for the CDCES exam, and then complete 15 continuing education hours in diabetes yearly to maintain certification.
“My role varies from day to day. I train patients on the latest and greatest of diabetes technologies and medications, the next day is coordinating labs/appointments, PCSK9’s and prior authorizations. And the day after is getting a critical alert on a patient with TG’s >1,000 mg/dl that needs intensive nutrition and lifestyle management.”
Shannon tells CMHC that working in the cardiometabolic clinic means she plays several roles in patient care. These are just some of them:
- Provide dietician and diabetes educator care
- Assist with scheduling and referrals
- Arrange samples, genetic testing, cardiac rehab, and coronary calcium scores
- Support technology use such as Epic and diabetes devices
- Make logistical arrangements for future medications
- Manage patients with high triglycerides
- Obtain lab results and coordinate care for aphaeresis
- Work with pharmacists, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies to get patients the best therapies
- Identify barriers to care and find resources to help patients overcome them
“The most exciting part of my job is when a patient reaches their health and wellness goals! Our team approach to patient care and shared decision-making allows for all members to provide support and care when it comes to heart health.”
Shannon was in attendance at the Women’s Cardiometabolic Health and Wellness Masterclass in August 2022 at the Terranea Resort! She happened to stop and chat with us, see what she had to say:
Congratulations and thank you, Shannon, for being a part of the CMHC community and helping to advance the care and outcomes for patients with diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and other interrelated cardiometabolic conditions!