Page Menu

Staff Spotlight: Alicia Warnock, MD

Former U.S. Navy officer joins the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

Date Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Alicia Warnock, MD, joins the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) after 12 years of service in the United States Navy, where she achieved the rank of Commander (sel).  She specializes in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes management, insulin pump therapy, obesity, and weight gain and regain. 

Her father was a career Naval officer, so when she decided to attend medical school after graduating from University of Maryland, the Navy was a natural choice.  After focusing on diabetes as an endocrinologist for the past five years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Dr. Warnock and her husband decided to move to New England. 

“His family is from Massachusetts and we want to raise our family here,” said Warnock.  They have two children, ages 7 & 9, plus a dog and a cat. 

- Enjoys spending time with family and being active outdoors
- Played field hockey in high school and college
- Favorite Music: 80’s, jazz, & classical, but her favorite band is Sigur Rós, a progressive rock band from Iceland

Why Diabetes?

During her endocrinology fellowship, Dr. Warnock gravitated towards a focus in diabetes care given the unique complexity of every patient. She learned to appreciate that to achieve an individual’s goals means knowing the person, not just the disease.  She takes pride in providing holistic patient care by treating individual needs and working with people to address all aspects of their care.  “It allows me to not only keep my patients’ blood sugars in a healthy range,” she said, “but also to help with lifestyle management and any health complications resulting from diabetes.”  Dr. Warnock’s goal is to improve the physical, mental, and social well-being of as many people as possible through education and quality patient care.    

Providing Patient-Centered Care

While working at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, FL, Dr. Warnock was tasked with creating a Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) model of care delivery.  The PCMH model is intended to improve overall health by changing how primary care is delivered.  It provides comprehensive care by a team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, educators, care coordinators, and others, all communicating in the best interest of each patient.  Her efforts were successful and resulted in the first PCMH in the Navy to be accredited by The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  “It’s a system that can benefit everyone involved – patients, providers, really the entire clinical and administrative care team,” she said.  “By streamlining processes and increasing efficiency, it allowed us to provide better care to more people.”

Humanitarian Mission in Guatemala and Honduras

Dr. Warnock was deployed to Central America in 2018 for a three-month humanitarian mission in Guatemala and Honduras.  She contributed to 15,500 patient encounters across two mission sites and also partnered with host nation professionals in subject matter exchanges (SMEs).  “During my SME experiences, I focused on providing expert education about diabetes and transgender care, as well as discussing capacity building within the nation’s healthcare infrastructure,” she said.  The multifunctional medical platform provided a variety of surgical procedures and clinical encounters and changed many lives through a community relations project.     

  

Why the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence?  

When she decided to move to New England and began researching local diabetes care, Dr. Warnock was attracted to the UMass DCOE because she found it to be the most efficient and well-organized diabetes center in the area.  She knew Andrea Kassai, MD, from her fellowship, where they had worked together.  “She [Kassai] had wonderful things to say about working at UMass [DCOE] and gave a very positive endorsement,” Warnock said.             

The comprehensive diabetes care offered to patients of the UMass DCOE was impressive to her.  “I love how this team works together to address all aspects of a person’s diabetes”, she said.  “Patients have access to physicians and nurse practitioners, but also diabetes eye care specialists, kidney specialists, podiatry, diabetes educators, nutritionists, weight loss specialists, and behavioral psychologists.” 

Dr. Warnock learns about the lifestyles and routines of her patients in order to help them best manage their diabetes with realistic expectations and attainable goals.  “At Walter Reed, our patients had access to behavioral specialists, which is so important,” she said.  “The UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence has two behavioral psychologists on the team.”

The patient-centered and coordinated care provided by the UMass DCOE is akin to what Dr. Warnock created at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola.  Her service to our country is greatly appreciated, and now she’s here to help serve the needs of the diabetes community of New England.  

Additional Resources
click to open search panel