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Medtronic Team: Meet Catriona, Diabetes Clinical Specialist from Tasmania

14 November 2014

At Medtronic, our team are committed to improving health outcomes for all Australians requiring access to medical technology. Team members conduct their work in hospitals, clinics, with government and in our office hubs across the nation. Marking World Diabetes Day, we sat down with one of our team members working in the Diabetes space. Meet Catriona from Tasmania:

Kate and Catriona 

Tell us about your experience with Diabetes

My background is in nursing both in Australia and the UK. Over the years I had the opportunity to meet and work with hundreds of  people living with diabetes. All too often I would see the serious side effects of diabetes when unmanaged. It was during my time as a carer for a patient who also had Type 1 diabetes (T1D) that my knowledge of T1D developed and out of that grew a genuine interest in improving outcomes for people living with the condition.

I have worked in the medical technology industry for more than 15 years in Australia. One year with Bayer selling a Glucometer, and 14 years with Medtronic Diabetes. I have seen the number of people accessing our technology grow from 300 Australia wide to over 14.000 in that time.  What I enjoy most about my current role is meeting with patients and partnering with healthcare professionals and advocates throughout Tasmania, and contributing to improved clinical outcomes through the application and  use of the latest technology for Tasmanians with T1.

What key issues do you think the diabetes community face in Australia?

Broadly speaking about T1 & T2 and Gestational Diabetes, I think diabetes is an under-estimated epidemic. Many people don’t take it that seriously, including decision makers with limited understanding of the disease. The long-term impacts of poorly managed  diabetes advance over many years and are difficult, if not impossible to reverse. I feel that more awareness  and education  is required for the general community to enable them to engage and then understand the impacts of this condition. 

Also, with experience in both the UK and Australia I see a huge gap in access to technologies for Australians. In my opinion, financial circumstance should not dictate whether a person has access to technology and  the choice to gain more control of their diabetes.

What is your advice to someone newly diagnosed?

My advice is don’t panic. Take a step back and think about who you will approach to get the right information and seek as much information as possible from trustworthy, educated sources about your choices and how you can and will manage yourself and learn as much as you can about diabetes and its impact on your body.

How will you be celebrating WDD 2014?

On World Diabetes Day, my four year old daughter and I will be participating in the Walk to Work event in support of Diabetes Australia. The walk will take place from the Hobart Cenotaph to the front lawns of Parliament House. Naturally, we will be wearing blue in support of the worldwide diabetes community.

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