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Staff Spotlight: Lindsey Gurry - Nurse Practitioner & Diabetes Educator

Treating and Educating UMass Memorial Inpatients to Manage Blood Sugars

Date Posted: Friday, September 25, 2020

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Turning a Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis into a Career Helping Others

Lindsey was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 18 years old during her senior year of high school. She was on the crew team and was rowing one morning without any issues. But later that day, she passed out in church during her brother's confirmation. The classic signs of excessive thirst and fatigue were there, however, it wasn’t until days later, during her scheduled college physical appointment, that she was told she had T1D. 

Lindsey always had a terrific relationship with her nurse practitioner (NP), who she admired very much. They spoke openly during her teenage years, and Lindsey appreciated how thorough and attentive she was. She never felt rushed during office visits. 

When Lindsey told the NP about passing out and the other symptoms, a blood glucose test came back dangerously high at over 800 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Lindsey attended Suffolk University as planned, taking liberal arts classes.  Transitioning to college life was stressful while still learning to manage type 1 diabetes with insulin injections & blood sugar checks all day. 

After freshman year at Suffolk, she decided to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner specializing in helping people with diabetes. Lindsey transferred to UMass Boston where she completed her undergraduate education and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

She spent eleven years working as a full-time nurse at Rhode Island Hospital and Mass General. She spent five years in Boston as the diabetes research nurse at MGH. Lindsey became a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and was finally making a living helping people with diabetes. She began wearing an insulin pump in her early 20’s and was able to relate to her T1D patients, while also educating those with type 2 diabetes. 

While working full-time and managing her own diabetes full-time, Lindsey also earned her Masters in Nursing degree by completing the Nurse Practitioner Program at Regis College.

About Lindsey

She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and their two young girls. Prior to meeting her husband, Lindsey took ballroom and Latin dancing lessons and participated in a few competitions. “My husband and I actually took lessons and performed a choreographed cha-cha dance at our wedding. I still love it and hope to return to dancing someday.”

During her limited free time, Lindsey enjoys exercise and weight training. “Living with a chronic disease like diabetes often makes it feel you lack control of your life and your body. There are days I feel no matter how hard I try, my numbers just won’t cooperate. It can be stressful and make you feel out of control.”

Lifting weights makes her feel empowered and in command of her body. “I always feel better about myself and in control over my life and body when I lift weights, and that’s why I enjoy it so much. In my experience, it even helps control blood sugars better than cardio exercises.”

  • Best Part of New England: Cape Cod and the beaches
  • Favorite Food: Italian
  • Favorite Movie/TV Series: Dirty Dancing & Friends

Inpatient Diabetes Blood Glucose Management at UMass Memorial

Lindsey joined the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic as a member of the Inpatient Diabetes Blood Glucose Management team. “It’s the perfect job for me because it allows me to treat people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes while they’re hospitalized for a variety of reasons, but also to provide diabetes education to those who need it.” 

Helping Hospital Providers and Care Teams Treat Diabetes Issues

The UMass DCOE Blood Glucose Management team is a specialized service that provides consultation to primary care providers and nurses at Worcester’s UMass Memorial and University campus hospitals. “We’re consulted for any issues relating to diabetes outside of standard treatment. We meet with anyone wearing an insulin pump so they can continue using their pump while in the hospital. We determine appropriate insulin regimens for in-patients using concentrated insulins. We treat uncontrolled blood sugars, people experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (D.K.A.), and provide diabetes education to any newly diagnosed type 1 or type 2 to teach them and their family what they need to know before being sent home.”  

Providing Diabetes Care and Education at UMass Memorial Hospitals

Nurse practitioners in Massachusetts have authority to diagnose and treat patients. They also prescribe medication, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. As an NP, CDE, and living with diabetes herself, Lindsey is an asset to any patient lucky enough to receive her care and expertise while at the UMass Memorial or University hospitals. The checklist of items she wants all people living with diabetes to understand include:

More UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Staff Spotlights

Victoria Andersen - Clinical Nutritionist & Diabetes Educator

Rachael Armenti - Pediatric Nurse & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Cheryl Barry - Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist 

Taylor Boudreau - Nurse Practitioner

Fernanda Costa - Adult Diabetes Educator

Elizabeth Dickinson - Inpatient Diabetes Nurse Practitioner

Christine Hoogasian - Nurse Practitioner

Stella Lopez - Health Psychologist

Nicole Sauve - Child Life Specialist

Nancy Sidhom - Nurse Practitioner & Diabetes Educator

Jessin Varghese - Inpatient Diabetes Nurse Practitioner

Alicia Warnock - Endocrinologist