PITTSBURGH, June 24, 2011 Linda M. Siminerio, R.N., Ph.D., C.D.E., executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute, will receive the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) prestigious Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award at the association’s 71st Scientific Sessions in San Diego, June 24 to 28.

The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates significant contributions to the understanding of diabetes education, has spent many years of effort in the field, and has benefited recipients of education.

“Diabetes is a condition that requires the person to make informed daily decisions about food, activity and medication in response to blood glucose-monitoring results, all day, everyday. Self-management education provides the necessary foundation for quality self-care. With a diabetes epidemic and accountable care, it becomes critically important that people with diabetes become actively engaged in their self-care,” said Dr. Siminerio.

Dr. Siminerio, who also is associate professor in the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh, has been a pioneer in the field of diabetes education. She was one of the first pediatric diabetes educators in the United States and has helped to establish 46 American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes self-management programs throughout Pennsylvania. She has been a leader in the Pennsylvania Chronic Care Commission, whose efforts are aimed at improving services to people with diabetes. 

“This is the largest diabetes meeting in the world, and candidates for awards are submitted from around the world. Thus, the independent committee that selected Dr. Siminerio as Outstanding Educator rightfully regards her as one of the best diabetes educators,” said Andrew Stewart, M.D., chief, division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and chair of the scientific planning committee for this year’s ADA Meeting.

Dr. Siminerio is the author of numerous books and scientific publications in her field and is the author of the National Standards for Diabetes Education and the International Diabetes Standards and Curriculum.

She has served as senior vice president for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and served as chair of the IDF World Congress in 2009. She was the editor-in-chief of Diabetes Forecast, and a past president of Health Care and Education for the American Diabetes Association.

Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes contributes to the deaths of more than 231,000 Americans each year. The ADA estimates that the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is more than $174 billion. Published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the United States could exceed $218 billion.