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2015 Delta Style's Super HealthCare Hero Winner Ashlea Hill of Diabetes Care Center

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Award Nomination and Presentation, Sara Bareilles, "Brave" My name is Kristi Tollett of Ruston. I am a mother…of a child living with type 1 diabetes. Because of this my family and I have become active advocates for the American Diabetes Association, both at the state and the national levels. My 14-year-old daughter, Anna Katherine, who is standing beside me tonight, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just 8 years old. She wears a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump which delivers insulin to her body every 3 minutes around the clock. In July of 2011, I received a phone call from Ashlea Hill. She was frantically packing to leave for Shreveport because her own 12-year-old daughter, Caroline, had just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Caroline was admitted into the LSU-S intensive care unit to be treated for “DKA”, or diabetic ketoacidosis. Though Ashlea was a practicing nurse practitioner, nothing had prepared her emotionally to care for her own child diagnosed with type 1. In her own words to me, “knowing about diabetes and living with diabetes are not the same.” Following Caroline’s diagnosis, Ashlea became increasingly impassioned for her patients living with diabetes. Her love for her daughter Caroline compelled her to research cutting-edge technologies, to research efficacy of trending treatments methods, and to eventually provide access to them! She became a Certified Diabetes Educator and became Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. Ashlea Hill began to have a vision of a clinic where individuals, like her own daughter Caroline, could go to receive the medical treatment, training, and education needed to effectively and proactively fight this chronic medical disease. Armed with the knowledge that our 5th congressional district of Louisiana ranks among the highest in the nation for diabetes, and motivated and inspired by those fighting to manage the disease, Ashlea established Diabetes Care Center (DCC) of Louisiana. Since opening in April of 2013, her goal for DCC has been to provide comprehensive diabetes medical care and education by offering an in-house lab, training for insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices, and classes for beginning and advanced management taught by registered dieticians and certified diabetes educators. Why do I think that Ashlea Hill is a Health Care Hero? By Webster’s definition, a hero is one who, in the face of adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage or self-sacrifice for some greater good. Because of the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in her own daughter’s life, Ashlea experienced her own devastating position of weakness. But, it was through that experience that she developed great compassion for and understanding of others facing similar adversities. While she personally understands and respects what a formidable challenge diabetes can be in one’s life, she is committed to offer the latest and most effective technology and treatment methods available to ensure optimal health, not just for her daughter Caroline, but for all who seek diabetes care. Today, I am truly blessed that Ashlea is Anna Katherine’s Health Care Hero, and I am additionally blessed to call her my friend. Thank you for recognizing Ashlea tonight for this award. She is truly deserving for her contribution to our community and its overwhelming need for improved diabetes resources. Thank you.
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