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Care Team Spotlight: Elizabeth Tinios, DNP, FNP-C, CDCES

Diabetes Nurse Practitioner - Blood Glucose Management at UMass Memorial Hospitals

“My goal is to empower patients through
education and individualized care”

  • Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Educator, UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence
  •  Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from UMass Amherst
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Master’s degree in Nursing from Boston College

When she was a student, Liz's preceptor was a diabetes specialist. While working with him she became interested in diabetes patient management. Her professional interests include promoting overall wellness and prevention, providing information and treatment plans in an achievable manner, and working with a culturally diverse population. 

Originally from Plymouth, Liz currently lives in the greater Worcester area with her husband and daughter.

Liz's Favorites

- Television Series: Stranger Things
- Movies: Hairspray, My Big Fat Greek Wedding
- Hobbies: Kickboxing, cooking, scenic walks
- Restaurants: Via Italian Table in Worcester and Legal Seafood
- Band: The Head And The Heart
- Author: David Sedaris

The Problem Facing People Living with Diabetes

One third of hospitalized patients have diabetes. Some will visit the emergency room or be admitted to the hospital for hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Others get diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for the first time with symptoms including excessive thirst/dehydration, frequent urination and/or unexpected weight loss. Many people already living with diabetes are undergoing surgery or procedure, or getting treated for another chronic illness or complication(s) from diabetes.

Inpatient Blood Glucose Management 

Liz treats diabetes patients at Worcester's two UMass Memorial hospitals as a member of the Inpatient Blood Glucose Management team.  Their goal is to improve the blood sugar control of all people living with diabetes, no matter the reason they were admitted to the hospital or emergency room. They work closely with primary care physicians, hospital nurses and other specialists to make diabetes care recommendations during their patients' hospital stay.  

New Diabetes Diagnosis at UMass Memorial Hospitals

She often helps people who are being diagnosed with diabetes for the first time. As a certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) she helps people learn everything necessary to leave the hospital with “diabetes survival skills.” In addition to teaching important diabetes self-care behaviors, the adult inpatient care team ensures the transition back home is smooth by coordinating all prescriptions and follow-up appointments.

Challenges and Frustrations of Treating Diabetes

Medication and treatment options are often based on health insurance benefits of the person being treated. Liz and the inpatient diabetes care team provide the best possible course of action within the allowable coverage. It's often frustrating for Liz and the patients being restricted by insurance decisions. Cost and medication options are discussed with each person to determine a treatment plan that will be adhered to for successful diabetes management.

Some people can't afford medications, so they don’t fill prescriptions. By not following their treatment plan and taking prescribed medications and/or insulin, their blood glucose levels remain out of target range. Liz wants to let people know that neglecting diabetes often leads to serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, diabetic eye disease, neuropathy, and in some cases, amputations of limbs. 

Diabetes Education

Liz and the Inpatient Blood Glucose Management team collaborate with other UMass Memorial hospital caregivers to provide diabetes education. People are taught to check blood sugar using a blood glucose meter, and how to treat low blood sugar. The care team preaches the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy blood glucose and A1c.    

People living with diabetes, no matter what brought them to the hospital or ER, receive the most up to date treatment options and educational resources, including insulin training. They learn using their own meters, pumps or other insulin delivery methods.

Follow-up Care

Liz and the care team regularly work with primary care physicians, or if necessary, help people to identify one. They schedule all necessary follow-up outpatient appointments after the hospital stay. The goal is to keep patients from returning to the hospital with future blood sugar emergencies.