A diabetes educator from Galway has received a prestigious international award. Ciara Heverin, who delivers Type 2 diabetes courses under the DESMOND programme, has been presented with the ‘Educator of the Year’ awards in the inaugural Celebrating DESMOND awards.
Ciara Heverin, Senior Community Diabetes Dietitian, HSE Galway, teaches the patient education courses at Galway University Hospitals and Galway & Roscommon Primary, Community and Continuing Care.
Alongside colleague Lorna Hurley, Ciara, became the first DESMOND educator in Ireland in 2007. It was the first step on the way to achieving her ambition of introducing high-quality structured education for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Together with Lorna, Ciara then trained as a trainer and quality development assessor, delivering the country’s first educator training – they now conduct about 25 educator assessments annually.
There are now 53 educators delivering DESMOND to over 1,200 people across 20 counties in Southern Ireland thanks to Ciara’s dedication and pioneering work.
Ciara said, “Personally I was just doing what needs to be done, always thinking of the patient. For someone to think that you are doing a good job is amazing. To win means everything. DESMOND is fantastic because it gets to what matters to the patient, it’s about supporting them to manage their diabetes. Patients have done fantastic at self managing their diabetes and in healthcare that is the goal.”
Colleague Mary Clare O'Hara, who nominated Ciara, said, “We believe Ciara is an outstanding DESMOND educator, caring to her patients and passionate about patient empowerment, self-management education and DESMOND philosophies. As well as her commitment to her patients, she is equally committed to her team of fellow educators.”
The winners were announced on Friday, November 14, to mark World Diabetes Day, which this year has a ‘healthy living’ message relating to the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and the effective management of diabetes to avoid complications.
The Celebrating DESMOND Annual Awards was launched to reward excellence and good practic