Officers/Leadership

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Anna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, FANDAnna Parker, DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, FAND

Chair

Anna Parker DCN, MS, RD, CDCES, CCRC, FAND is a research dietitian with Anaheim Clinical Trials in Anaheim, California. She is team leader for all clinical trials for patients with diabetes, prediabetes and obesity. She is passionate about diabetes and devoted to diabetes research to help patients improve their diabetes control and live a better quality of life. Anna is a graduate of Rutgers University where she received her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition.

During her graduate studies, she obtained grant funding from the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group (DDPG) Karen Goldstein Memorial Grant for Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy to pursue a randomized clinical research trial to investigate the effect of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) compared with usual care on fasting plasma glucose values, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), serum lipid levels, and Diabetes Risk Score, from baseline to the end of a 12-week intervention in adults with overweight or obesity and prediabetes. Seventy-six subjects participated and the results were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has also published in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Dietetics.

Dr. Parker is also currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the clinical nutrition department. She has taught classes in preventive nutrition, advanced clinical nutrition, pharmacology, vitamin and mineral metabolism and human metabolism. She is dedicated to being a mentor for students and has also published articles with her graduate students. Dr. Parker promotes research and encourages her students to use evidence analysis.

Dr. Parker has served as Professional Development Chair for DDPG for the past three years. She has also served as research chair for DDPG before that. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; DDPG; Dominican University Alumni Association; and ACRP.
She has received various honors and awards as the: Diabetes DPG Publication Award, Huddleson Award, California Dietetic Association Excellence in Research Award, and the Pharma Times award for Beardsworth Citation for Patient Focus. Dr. Parker has also served as a National Study Coordinator for Novo Nordisk contributing to the area of clinical research trials.

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Lorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, LC, CDCESLorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, LD, CDCES

Chair-Elect

Lorena Drago, MS, RD, CDN, CDCES, is a registered dietitian, speaker, author, consultant and certified diabetes care and educator specialist. Lorena specializes in the multicultural aspects of diabetes self-management education and is an expert in developing culturally and ethnically oriented nutrition and diabetes education materials. She founded, Hispanic Foodways which received the New York City Small Business Award in 2006. She developed the Nutriportion™ Measuring Cups that has the calorie and carbohydrate amounts of common foods embossed on each cup and the Nutriportion™ Hispanic Food Cards that have pictures and nutrition composition of common Hispanic foods.

Lorena served on the American Association of Diabetes Educators board of directors from 2006-2010, Chair for Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition. She was Past President of the Metropolitan New York Association of Diabetes Educators in 2004. Lorena won the Diabetic Living People’s Choice Award in 2012, the Latinos & Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition Trinko Award in 2016, and the Diabetes Educator of the Year in 2022.

She is the author of the book Beyond Rice and Beans: The Caribbean Guide to Eating Well with Diabetes published by the American Diabetes Association. She is a contributing author and co-editor of the book Cultural Food Practices published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the 15-Minute Consultation: Tips, Tools, and Activities to Make your Nutrition Counseling More Effective both published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She serves on the editorial board of the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (ADCES) in Practice. Lorena is Chair-elect of the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Lorena graduated cum laude from Hunter College of the City University of New York with a Master of Science degree in Food and Nutrition and received her bachelor’s degree from Queens College.

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Laura Russell, MA, RDN, LD, CDCESLaura Russell, MA, RDN, LD, CDCES

Past-Chair

Laura Russell is an RDN, CDCES and is the program coordinator at Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis. She has been an educator for over ten years and worked in various settings including research, inpatient care, telemedicine and out-patient clinics. Her expertise includes pregnancy and technology related to diabetes care. Laura enjoys teaching patients new skills and enjoys empowering them with the tools they need to reach their health goals. She is a contracted insulin pump trainer with all major pump companies. She has volunteered with Diabetes DPG for 8 years in various roles. She represented the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at a consensus conference on continuous glucose monitoring for American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists in Washington, DC. She also co-authored an article in OTCE entitled “Insulin Management and Advancing Practice of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in Diabetes Care” in 2018. Laura enjoys trying new foods, cooking, gardening, attending sporting events and being outdoors with her husband and three young children.

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Blank_Canvas_on_Transparent_Background.pngClarissa Rivera, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES, BC-ADM

Secretary

Clarissa Rivera MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, holds her Master of Science Degree in Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM). She is grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Secretary for the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group (DPG). She works at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System as the Facility Program Coordinator (MOVE! Program) and serves on her health system’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Committee. She also serves on the Weight Management DPG Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Committee, the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) BC-ADM Credentialing Oversight Committee, and the Diabetes DPG Technology and Innovations Committee. She started the ADCES South Central Texas Local Networking Group, and previously served on the ADCES Texas Coordinating Board, and the Member Affiliate Council. She has held various positions in diabetes care as a diabetes educator dietitian, a clinical specialist and trainer for continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps, and smart insulin pens, and as a national American Diabetes Association (ADA) Co-Quality Coordinator, and Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) subject matter expert. She is a graduate of the 2022 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Leadership Institute. She enjoys gardening, reading books, and spending time with her family. 

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Jason Roberts, RDN, LD, CDCES, FANDJason Roberts, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND

Treasurer

Jason Roberts.

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Alison_Evert_Head_Shot.jpgAlison Evert, MS, RD, CDCES

Dietetic Practice Group Delegate

Alison has worked as a RDN/CDCES in a variety of clinical practice settings providing direct patient care for many years.  Over the last 5 years, she has had the honor and privilege of supervising an amazing team of RDN/CDCESs embedded in 14 primary care clinics associated with UW Medicine. This team provides evidence-based nutrition and diabetes/pre-diabetes education to patients referred by family practice and internal medicine providers.

In her current position, Alison also provides nutrition/diabetes education to primary care providers, dietetic interns, and serves frequently as an invited speaker at national and international conferences on diabetes nutrition topics. Career highlights include, serving as the co-chair the ADA’s 2019 Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for Adults with Diabetes and Pre-diabetes - consensus group committee and serving on the committee for the Academy’s 2015 EAL Update for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Alison has been a long-time, passionate volunteer of the Diabetes DPG, serving as Chair in 2002.

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Vita Tambone, MPH, RDN, CDCES, CDNVita Tambone, MPH, RDN, CDCES, CDN

Membership Chair

Vita Tambone is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist. She currently works as the Senior Manager of Diabetes Education and Support at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she helped start and continues to be a quality coordinator for an ADCES-accredited DSMES program. She also works part time providing nutrition counseling to clients through a private practice. 

Vita became an active member and volunteer early in her dietetics career and served as the Awards Chair from 2017-2019. She's excited to serve DDPG again as the organization's Secretary.

In her free time, Vita enjoys running, reading, theater, and playing with her dog, Bailey.

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Kathy Warwick RD, CDCESKathy Warwick RDN, LDN, CDCES

Professional Development Chair

Kathy Warwick is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with over 40 years of experience in several areas of dietetics practice.  She is owner of Professional Nutrition Consultants, LLC in Madison, Mississippi, providing diabetes education and support, long term care consultation, hospice consultation, wellness program services, media communications and medical-legal consultation. 

Kathy speaks regularly to community and professional groups and has presented multiple national webinars. She has authored several articles and serves as a medical reviewer for Heatlhline.com and Medical News Today. Kathy has served as the Editor of On the Cutting Edge and is the current Professional Development Chair for the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a Past-President of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys her grand babies, gardening, caring for her chickens, yoga, and a weekly art class.

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Carrie S. Swift, MS, RDN, BC-ADM, CDCES, FADCES

Print Communications Chair

Carrie S. Swift, MS, RDN, BC-ADM, CDCES, FADCES is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and is Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. Carrie has worked in multiple healthcare settings and roles in her career. Since 2010, she has been a diabetes educator at Kadlec Medical Center. Carrie earned her BS and MS degrees in Nutrition through Washington State University. She has been actively involved in the diabetes community as a volunteer with the American Diabetes Association, Certification Board of Diabetes Care and Education, and the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists.

Over the years, Carrie has held many leadership positions for the DDPG. She was honored to serve as Chair in 2007 and to be recognized with the group's Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and Diabetes Educator of the Year in 2013. In her free time, Carrie enjoys reading, playing tennis, and Pickleball. She lives in Richland, WA with her husband Neil and their two dogs.

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TBD

IDEA Liaison

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Britt Rotberg, MS, RDN, LD, BC-ADM, CDCESBritt Rotberg, MS, RDN, LD, BC-ADM, CDCES

Nominating Committee Chair

Britt Rotberg 

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candice_tufano_vidapic.jpgCandice Tufano, RD, LD

Policy and Advocacy Leader

Candice is proud to provide free and equitable healthcare to our nation’s heroes at The Department of Veterans Affairs in Central Kentucky. She currently serves as the Policy and Advocacy Leader (PAL) for DDPG. She earned her dietetics degree from the University of Kentucky and completed her dietetic internship in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to discovering dietetics, Candice earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehead State University double majoring in Government and Journalism. Her professional interests include early diabetes interventions, gestational diabetes, and health disparities in Appalachia. In her free time, she enjoys vegetable gardening and swooning over her rescue dog, Clementine.

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Rachel Stahl MS, RD, CDCES, CDNRachel Stahl Salzman, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

Nutrition Services Payment Specialist

Rachel Stahl Salzman, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES is a Lecturer in Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. Rachel is passionate about empowering people with diabetes to develop sustainable lifestyle changes and leverage diabetes technology and digital health to improve their health and quality of life. In addition to her clinical role, she serves as the Endocrine preceptor for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Dietetic Internship Program, is actively involved in interdisciplinary education, and contributes to quality improvement studies to advance diabetes care.

Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, completed her Dietetic Internship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and received her Master’s of Science Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University.

Rachel is actively involved in leading professional societies. In addition to her new role as Nutrition Services Payment Specialist for the DDPG, she serves as President-Elect of the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) Metropolitan New York Chapter. She held leadership positions within the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NYSAND) including Public Relations Coordinator, and with the DDPG, she served as Awards Chair and Diabetes Technology Chair. Rachel frequently presents at regional and national conferences and publishes on topics related to nutrition, diabetes management, and digital health. Her dedication and leadership have earned her numerous honors, including the Rising Star Award from ADCES in 2022 and Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year from NYSAND in 2016.

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Karen Lau, MS, RD, LDN, CDCESKaren Lau, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

Electronic Communications Chair

Karen Lau is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Originally from Hong Kong, she experienced the cultural differences in Asia and the United States and is passionate about providing and advocating for more culturally appropriate nutrition and diabetes care for Asian Americans.

Lau is also interested in presenting and discussing ways to provide inclusive care in a diverse community. Her clinical interests include preventing and managing gestational and type 2 diabetes, and utilizing technologies for better diabetes management.

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Jasmin RamirezJasmin Ramirez, RD, LD, CDCES

Awards Chair

Jasmin Ramirez is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist with over 25 years of experience in different fields of dietetic practice. Jasmin has spent majority of her career working as a Clinical Dietitian. She currently works at the Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis, providing Medical Nutrition Therapy for weight management and various endocrine and metabolic disorders. She facilitates both individual and group diabetes education, trains patients on insulin pump therapy/management, and continuous glucose monitoring systems. She works extensively with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetic patients. Her passion for diabetes education and technology blossomed further after she became a Certified Pump Trainer with all major pump companies.

Jasmin grew up in the Philippines. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from University of Santo Thomas, Philippines. She had the opportunity to practice as a Clinical Dietitian at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center before moving to Minnesota. Her experience helped her better relate and adapt to multicultural differences. 

Jasmin has a son and daughter with her husband Tony. She enjoys cooking, reading, outdoor activities and traveling. 

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Cassie-Verdi_1.jpgCassie Verdi, MPH, RD

Corporate Relations Manager

Cassie is a registered dietitian specializing in nutrition communications, public health programming, health professional education, and culinary nutrition. In her current role, she works closely with DDPG’s leadership team to build relationships with industry collaborators, and to secure sponsorships that support the practice of DDPG’s membership.

Her previous work experience includes several years at FoodMinds, a division of Padilla, where she managed and implemented nutrition communication programs for food and beverage clients. Prior to working at Padilla, she was the Associate Director of Nutrition at the American Diabetes Association. She is the co-author of two books published by the American Diabetes Association: 21 Things you Need to Know About Diabetes and Nutrition and The Diabetes Superfoods Cookbook and Meal Planner. She is currently working on her third book. 

Cassie completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Miami University, and she completed her Dietetic Internship and Master of Public Health degree at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Outside of her work in nutrition, Cassie is busy at home with her three little girls. When she has the time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, trying new restaurants, long-distance running, cycling, and spending time outdoors with her family.

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DCE_2015_Linda.jpgLinda Flanagan Vahl

Manager, DPG Relations

Linda began her career at the Academy as Manager of Professional Development with CDR in 1999, working with CPE Accredited Providers and recertification/credentialing.  Linda has been a DPG Manager since 2007, and enjoys working with volunteer leaders. Linda has a BA in Urban Studies/Public Policy from DePaul University in Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, tennis and volunteering in her community. She served on her local high school Board of Education for 8 years, and served on her local H.S. Education Foundation devoted to scholarship fundraising. Linda enjoys time with her husband, 2 daughters, 2 sons & cat 30 minutes southwest of Chicago.

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