(11-2-20) Karen Homan, registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at the Mercer Health Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness, was recently recognized as the 2020 Ohio Diabetes Care and Education Specialist of the Year by the Ohio Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists.

The annual award is given to a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist who has made a significant contribution to diabetes care and education through dedication and innovation in the daily practice of patient care. Homan is Mercer Health’s lead diabetes educator and provides education and support to community members with Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. In 2019, she developed a free caregiver support class for community members caring for someone newly diagnoses with diabetes, including parents, teachers and childcare providers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Homan has been committed to continuing to provide education and support to her patients via virtual services and innovative resources. She also spearheaded a free meal planning service, including menus, shopping lists and recipes, as a way to support the community through the unprecedented time.

Most importantly, Homan treats all of her patients with kindness and compassion and is considered a role model by her peers and colleagues. According to a patient, “Karen makes each patient feel like they are the most important person she will work with that day.”

Homan has been a registered dietitian since 2001. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health and Sports Studies with a major in Dietetics. In 2004, Homan joined the Mercer Health team and became certified as a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and began to build Mercer Health’s Diabetes Education Program which received certification from the American Diabetes Association in 2005.

Mercer Health’s Diabetes Education Program is tailored to meet individual needs. Topics include blood sugar testing, blood sugar goals, healthy eating, physical activity, understanding medications, preventing complications and more. A physician referral is required. For more information, visit mercer-health.com or contact the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness at 419-678-8446.