Newswise — CHICAGO – Aug. 12, 2021 –Diabetes care and education specialists were recognized at the virtual ADCES21 Annual Conference for their achievements in diabetes care and their dedication to the association. 

Diabetes Care and Education Specialist of the Year Award 

Honoring a diabetes care and education specialist who has made a special contribution to the field through dedication, innovation and sensitivity in care. This award is sponsored by Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  

Samuel Grossman, PharmD, Ph.D., CDCES, FADCES

Grossman is a clinical pharmacy specialist and diabetes care and education specialist at the department of Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System. He has more than 27 years of experience in diabetes and cardiometabolic management in both institutional inpatient and primary care clinic settings. Grossman presented and published numerous publications about improving patient care in chronic diseases. His contributions to ADCES have included roles as a past chair of the New Jersey Coordinating Body and the current corporate chair. He served as a member of the Member Affiliates Council, the danatech Advisory Board and a section co-chair of the 2021 ADCES Annual Conference Planning Committee. He is currently a member of the 2022 ADCES Annual Conference Planning Committee, among other distinguished positions. Grossman is a fellow of ADCES and a recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from the ADCES New Jersey Coordinating Body.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognizing the outstanding contributions and service to ADCES and honoring individuals who exemplify the proud history of diabetes education while serving as extraordinary role models. 

Steven Edelman, M.D. 

Dr. Edelman is a clinical professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of San Diego and Veteran Affairs Medical Center. He is the founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, a non-profit organization with the goal of teaching and motivating individuals in their diabetes self-care. Since 1995, TCOYD has reached hundreds of thousands of people living with diabetes. Edelman has also authored 5 books and more than 220 articles. He has been living with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 15 and was recently named in the top 1% of endocrinologists in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report.

Allene Van Son Distinguished Service Award

In honor of the first ADCES President, this award recognizes outstanding contributions and service to the association. 

Dennis J. Pillion, Ph.D.

Pillion has a long history of service to ADCES and the specialty. His 42-year career as a professor of pharmacology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham includes numerous peer-reviewed articles, journals and patents. He has contributed to ADCES in a variety of roles at both the local and national levels. At the national level this includes serving as the board of directors liaison to 9 state legislative coordinators, chair of the diabetes camp educators special practice group, chair of the pediatric and camping community of interest and grant reviewer for the ADCES Foundation. At the local level, Pillion continues to be active with the ADCES Alabama Coordinating Body, serving as the state president three times.  has contributed numerous articles, blog posts and practice papers to the association and was named the ADCES 2005 Outstanding Diabetes Camp Educator of the Year.  

Donna Tomky Award for Excellence in Practice: 

In memory of former ADCES President Donna Tomky, this award recognizes a member who advances the integration of self-management behaviors with clinical management through practice, health plan or heath system innovation.


Egan embraces the role of the nurse practitioner diabetes specialist by leading advances in diabetes digital health and technology. She developed the TechMastery program for the Endocrine practice at NYU Langone Hospital – Long Island so people with diabetes could learn to maximize the personal benefits of their diabetes technology management tools. Egan also expanded the Kindred Spirits support group and education program for families of children with diabetes. In addition, she developed and studied a program that transitions young adults with diabetes from their pediatric team to mature self-management with adult-focused endocrine providers. The program’s outcomes were published in the ADCES journal, The Science of Diabetes Self-Management and Care. She mentors nurse practitioner students with a focus on advancing the standard of diabetes care and management by all providers.

ADCES Rising Star Award

Honoring diabetes care and education specialists who have less than three years of experience and have demonstrated leadership and commitment to diabetes care.

Holly Falke, MS, RD, LD, CDCES

Falke is a registered dietitian at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital in Houston, Texas. She is a founding member of the Diabetes Resource Clinician group at her hospital, an interprofessional workgroup created to address concerns for diabetes care across the spectrum of care. Within this group, she was able to identify needs for diabetes care and education in her clinical area of expertise, oncology and bariatric nutrition. Through research, she was able to establish a diabetes self-management education and support service line to address identified gaps in diabetes care. She is passionate about the field of diabetes and being a voice for diabetes professionals. Falke serves on the Texas Coordinating Body as the technology leader as well as a member of the Texas State Conference Planning Committee with the intent to best serve her community of diabetes care and education specialists.

Innovative Use of Technology Award

Supporting the innovative use and integration of technology into practice.

Suzanne Lohnes, MA, BSN, RN, BC-ADM, CDCES, CPT

Lohnes is the CGM advanced practice nurse clinical lead for Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute in San Diego. She and her colleagues have initiated CGM as a standard of care for in-patient management in those requiring glucose monitoring.  Under this new initiative, a CGM is placed by staff or bedside RN on the individual. Continuous glucose data are available for viewing on an iPad at the nursing station 24 hours a day, eliminating the need for nurses to enter the room to conduct as many point-of-care tests. Staff are on site to support the bedside RNs with any technical issues accessing the dashboard for real-time management. A centrally located diabetes care nurse remotely monitors CGM trends and communicates with hospital staff to recommend standardized algorithm-based daily insulin adjustments to optimize therapy. As a safety measure, a centralized remote monitoring team monitors CGM values 24/7 on a dashboard equipped with audible and visual alerts. If an individual starts trending towards hypoglycemia, the bedside nurses are alerted. 

Shelby Nicole Roberson, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES

Roberson is a registered dietitian and diabetes care and education specialist with ARcare in Augusta, Arkansas. ARcare is a Federally Qualified Health Center with 52 locations in Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky providing DSME, MNT and IBT services to under-served rural communities. The ARcare program provides CGM services within a primary care out-patient setting to meet the challenges of rural healthcare, including fewer practitioners, long distances to travel for care, and limited finances. The team has been able to assess CGM data and recommend medication and lifestyle changes to improve health outcomes.   

Advancing the Vision Award

Recognizing an ADCES member whose program or project advances the ADCES strategic vision pillars to achieve the outcomes inspired by ADCES’ mission. 

Sandra Chmelnik, RDN, CDCES

Chmelnik is the Diabetes Program Manager at Valleywise Health in Phoenix where she serves as the educational services liaison between nurses, pharmacists, physicians, patients, family support and case managers. Her project targets vulnerable populations who have diabetes and are experiencing food insecurity. It addresses the ADCES strategic pillars of promoting person-centered care and achieving the quadruple aim: population health, quality of the patient’s care experience, and the cost associated with care. The project team measures the health benefits that follow from reducing food insecurity through a food pharmacy in a clinical setting. Sustainability, as judged through health impacts and cost savings, are evaluated for long-term implementation in the community. Education is provided to introduce new foods and ways to prepare it that will support a healthful diet. Food pharmacy staff are trained on motivational interviewing strategies to guide participants on how nutritional changes can improve their clinical outcomes.

About the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists: ADCES is an interdisciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving prediabetes, diabetes and cardiometabolic care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 12,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and others, ADCES has a vast network of practitioners working to optimize care and reduce complications. ADCES offers an integrated care model that lowers the cost of care, improves experiences and helps its members lead so better outcomes follow. Learn more at, or visit us on Facebook or LinkedIn (Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists), Twitter (@ADCESdiabetes) and Instagram (@ADCESdiabetes).

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