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Staff Spotlight: Taylor Boudreau, Diabetes Nurse Practitioner

Helping People in N. Central Massachusetts With Our Community Diabetes Partnership Program

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Taylor splits her time helping people manage diabetes at both the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) on the University campus in Worcester, as well as in northern Massachusetts at Heywood Hospital in Gardner. She lives with her husband, two children, and their 7 lb. morkie (maltese and yorkie mix) named Diesel. They’re expecting their third child in December!

Education

  • BS in Nursing from Fitchburg State
  • Masters in Nursing from MCPHS University in Worcester

While completing the nurse practitioner program at MCPHS University, the preceptor who supervised Taylor’s clinical practice was Richard Haas, MD. While Dr. Haas spends most of his week seeing patients at Worcester’s UMass Memorial DCOE, he also spends time at Heywood Hospital as part of the Community Diabetes Partnership Program.

“I’ve learned so much from him,” Taylor said. “Dr. Haas has made a huge difference in those north county communities by bringing DCOE quality care, diabetes expertise and resources to people who live in those towns and were having their diabetes treated by their primary care physicians (PCP).” 

Since beginning her career at UMass Memorial and Heywood Hospital in 2016, Taylor has appreciated the opportunity to continue working closely with and learning from Dr. Haas. Together they’ve made helped many people live healthier lives by offering newer, better medications, and the latest diabetes management technology.

What Makes the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Special

Many resources are available to people living with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. Our comprehensive care team works together to provide individualized diabetes management as needed. The endocrinologists are physicians who specialize in diabetes care and treatment. Our team of nurse practitioners are all diabetes experts, and we work closely with a group of CDCES (Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists) as well as two health psychologists, which many diabetes centers don’t offer.

Unlike a PCP, who can’t possibly stay up-to-date on the latest technology and treatment options for every disease and ailment, we only treat people living with diabetes. Our care team at the UMass DCOE can recommend the latest blood glucose meters, continuous glucose monitors (CGM), and insulin delivery devices such as insulin pumps and pens. We also prescribe newer classes of medications such as GLP-1 receptor agonists and SGLT2 inhibitors, which in addition to helping with blood sugars, can also help achieve weight loss and lower the risk of cardiac complications.

Our knowledge of diabetes management products allows us to help patients if they have issues obtaining necessary supplies. Our team helps when problems arise with supply, insurance or device companies.

The DCOE also works closely with other UMass Memorial specialists needed by many diabetes patients, like diabetes eye care, podiatrists, kidney specialists, cardiology, the metabolic weight loss program, transplant diabetes experts and others.  

My experience working at a smaller community hospital (Heywood) makes me appreciate all the accessibility the UMass DCOE offers our diabetes patients.

Most Rewarding Part of the Job

Building relationships with patients and their families and seeing how proud they get when they make progress like lowering their A1c, accomplishing a weight goal, or getting their blood sugars into a healthy range after making lifestyle changes. There aren’t many diseases that affect nearly every decision you make each day the way diabetes does. I enjoy helping people to understand the barriers preventing them from keeping their blood sugars within a healthy range and helping them to overcome those obstacles. Once we develop a plan and they put it into action and see results, they feel better and lower their risk of future complications from diabetes. That’s the most rewarding.

Most Frustrating Part of the Job

It’s unfortunate that insurance companies and medication costs often dictate treatment. It doesn’t make sense for me to prescribe a medication, even if I feel it’s the best option, if it’s not covered or the cost will be so high that the patient won’t fill it and take it. Instead, we use creative combinations of meds to best attack that patient’s needs that fit within their insurance coverage.

Telehealth Appointments During the COVID Pandemic  

While it’s ideal to meet face-to-face, people have been quite engaged during telehealth video appointments. They’ve been very forthcoming, perhaps because they’re in the comfort of their own home or office at work, instead of a clinical setting. Meters, insulin pumps and CGMs can be uploaded from home, so I have that data in front of me while we’re chatting face-to-face online. It’s also less of a time commitment for people. They don’t have to take time off from work, park and get to our clinic. That said, it’s important to meet in person with your provider at least once a year, then use telehealth for a couple of the quarterly maintenance appointments.

Taylor’s Favorites

  • Hobbies/Activities: Walks and hikes with the family, boating and jet skiing on the lake at her parent’s house
  • Massachusetts Locations: Mount Wachusett for hiking and skiing, taking the children to Davis Farmland
  • TV Shows: Celtics, Patriots and Bruins games
  • Movie: Apollo 13
  • Author: Jodi Picoult
  • Restaurant: Bull Run in Shirley, MA
  • Music: Country and pop

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 

Fernanda Costa - Adult Diabetes Educator

Elizabeth Dickinson - Inpatient Diabetes Nurse Practitioner

Lindsey Gurry - Inpatient Nurse Practitioner & Diabetes Educator

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