What is your personal connection to diabetes? I am a T1D of over 30 years, diagnosed at age 14 and I also have a daughter who was diagnosed at age 5 and is now a young adult.
What is your personal mission regarding diabetes? I want to advocate for diabetics by providing information/education not normally provided in the mainstream and to dispelling some of the myths commonly accepted by diabetes. For example the myth that type 1 diabetics cannot achieve normal blood sugars, especially children, which may delay, prevent and possibly reverse some diabetic complications. We now know that early complications are being formally recognized and are due to the high glucose targets recommended for our children. Our family has experienced this for ourselves in following the standards of care that did not work for us and as we now know do not work for most. Lessons learned would have made a huge difference in our life and we hope to share our experience with others to hopefully prevent common traps that are all to common and accepted. But the tide is changing so we are encouraged to be part of the advocacy that is bringing about change within the T1D community.
What is your professional background? I obtained a degree in software engineering from NC State. I am currently developing public safety communication systems to support first responders to do their jobs more efficiently and safely.
What are some of your other Interests/endeavors? I also volunteer with the Forest Lions Club supporting programs that benefit the local community. I enjoy hiking and l consider myself a “music enthusiast".
My husband of 25 years, our daughter (dx’d at five), and my niece (dx’d at 24) live with type-one diabetes. My personal connection is in supporting my beloved family members through the physical and emotional components of managing this relentless, twenty-four-hour disease. I consider the patients who I work with at the rehabilitation center as my other personal connection, many who are struggling with severe complications from uncontrolled type two diabetes.
The majority of my experience wrestling with the complexities of diabetes has come from raising our oldest daughter, helping her to manage diabetes and its associated conditions. This journey has challenged me to want to provide more support and education to other families, on a grassroots level. I am compelled to reach out to those who are struggling with the emotional strains diabetes can ensue, because we have been through it. I am also passionate about empowering individuals with all types of diabetes to gain as much education and knowledge about their condition, so they can become their own advocate. Through T1DE, it is now possible to offer programs and resources regarding basic and progressive approaches, so that individuals juggling this disease can thrive physically and emotionally.
I am an occupational therapy practitioner, specializing in pediatric and adult rehabilitation, with certification in Hippotherapy, (a type of equine therapy). I am also certified as an Equine Gestalt Coach (EGCM), my practice is Serenity Strides in Forest, VA. I offer a unique life coaching experience, in partnership with healing horses, to help empower individuals and families living with chronic illness.
I love spending time with horses, and learning from my youngest daughter, Grace, as she becomes an experienced equestrian. I enjoy the peacefulness of hiking along the Blue Ridge with my husband, and writing.
I attended Radford University and graduated in 1991. I am part owner with my family in the Quik-E Foods Store convenience store business. We own and operate 12 stores and we also own a craft beer pub called The Filling Station. I am the vice president of the company and in charge of all information technology.
My daughter Karsen was diagnosed at 9 years old. She is now 15 and struggles with this disease daily.
My mission is to educate people that are struggling with this disease. Education is a key component to making this disease more manageable. Proper exercise and nutrition can make this much more bearable. I am passionate about my daughter’s health and personal well-being and if I can make her life easier I will do everything in my power to make that happen. We are always praying for a cure!
I love tennis and golf and I am very active with both sports. I enjoy working out as well.
I trained as a pediatric endocrinologist, and now focus in treating both kids and adults with diabetes, autoimmune problems, and other hormone problems. My goal is to find and treat the underlying causes for people’s health challenges.
Diet is key! I find my patients have much more normal blood sugars when they eat a low processed carb diet, high in vegetables, with appropriate amounts of protein and healthy fats. What you eat, how you move, how you deal with stress, how many chemicals you are exposed to – all of these are the basics to healthy living with diabetes.
I am an artist - work in textiles and mixed media. I exhibit locally and on the national level. I also like to hike, garden, read, and travel.
MD from Uniformed Services of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, 1983
Pediatric Residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, 1983 - 1986
Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, 1990 - 1993.
25 year career on active duty in the Army, retired in 2004
Pediatric endocrinologist in Lynchburg, VA, 2005 – 2015, Medical Associates of Central Virginia
Owner, Whole Health Catalysts, PC, Lynchburg, VA, 2015 – present
My daughter was diagnosed Type 1 at age 3 and she is now 19. During the years spent learning and researching all I could about diabetes, I discovered that I had very early Type 2 diabetes.
I am passionate about educating people with diabetes about the effective use of low carbohydrate diets to safely and effectively manage their diabetes. As a health care practitioner myself, I also have a specific mission to educate physicians and other health care professionals about how and why low carbohydrate diets are uniquely effective to not only decrease the onset of diabetic complications but also decrease the risk of emergency hypoglycemic events while improving quality of life for all types of diabetes and their families. I feel that Virginia needs at least one pediatric endocrinologist who can provide this option to those who choose it.
I am a Physical Therapist who works with pediatric and adult neurological populations. I received my Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Ohio University and will be returning for my Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy this year through Shenandoah University part time while continuing my practice in an outpatient clinic here in Lynchburg, Va.
I enjoy yoga and am currently trying to return to regular running/other fitness endeavors. I like to cook and have a well-developed low carb repertoire. I enjoy joining with my friend, personal chef Jeanell Smith in cooking classes specifically geared towards low carb cooking. My children have introduced me to local theatre and I have enjoyed helping out behind the scenes.
My daughter Kaitlynn was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on September 22, 2013.
For me, education is key both for those with Type 1 and their families as well as others in our community. Since Kaitlynn was diagnosed we have learned a lot together and realized how much we really didn’t know beforehand. There are a lot of misconceptions about Type 1 and the care of someone with Type 1.
I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in History through Liberty University.
I love to spend time with my kids and when I have a quiet moment I love to read.
What is your name? Jennifer H. Kerns, R.N.
What is your personal connection to diabetes? Several individuals in my husband’s family have diabetes. I have been a foster parent of a child with diabetes. And two students in the school in which I work also have diabetes.
What is your personal mission regarding diabetes? I am passionate about advocating for healthy lifestyles choices and educating others about medical issues and conditions. As a medical professional, I feel it is important for me to find ways to offer my knowledge, skill set and time in a way that is beneficial to others. I believe serving in a leadership capacity on committees/boards is a productive way for me to serve my community.
What is your professional background? I have been a registered nurse for 21 years. I worked at CENTRA for 12 years, serving in the “Resource Pool” for a majority of that time. I am an AHA BLS instructor. I am a member of the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps. I serve on the LCS Health Advisory Board and T1DE Board. I also have experience as a camp nurse for children with chronic health conditions. Currently I work in a school for special needs children.
What are some of your other Interests/endeavors? I enjoy spending time with my family at our cottage in Canada fishing, hiking, and camping. I prefer reading non-fiction and medical history books. Our family serves as a foster family for children in the Lynchburg area.