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Wanda Watson, a certified diabetes care and education specialist, works at the Tift Regional Diabetes Learning Center.

TIFTON — Wanda Watson, the supervisor of the Tift Regional Diabetes Learning Center, recently achieved Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist status by successfully passing the certification examination for diabetes care and education specialists.

The status is achieved through the certification board for diabetes educators and candidates must meet rigorous eligibility requirements to take the examination, hospital officials said in a statement.

"Achieving certification status demonstrates to people with diabetes and employers that the health professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for people with diabetes," hospital officials said.

Watson has worked in diabetes care with Southwell for 12 years, and she is only one of 19,900 diabetes care and education specialists who currently hold the CDCES certification.

“I am very passionate about providing care and education to our patients with diabetes,” Watson said. “A lot of patients come to us with misconceptions about what their disease means or with questions and concerns about their diet and I try to help them work through their concerns. I know it’s not easy learning that you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition like this, and I want them to know that they have someone they can trust when they come here.”

The Tift Regional Diabetes Learning Center is an American Diabetes Association-approved program that offers education on diabetes management, which covers topics such as nutrition, the importance of physical activity, managing medications, glucose monitoring and the psychosocial issues that can come along with diabetes, hospital officials said.

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