University News

Western New England University Congratulates Dr. Katelyn Parsons on Receiving the 2023 ADCES Research Award

Published: September 05, 2023 | Categories: Pharmacy and Health Sciences, All News, Faculty
Dr. Parsons and her research team

Western New England University (WNE) takes great pride in announcing that Dr. Katelyn Parsons, PharmD, BCACP, a dedicated researcher and member of our academic community, has been honored with the prestigious 2023 ADCES Research Award. This recognition celebrates her outstanding work conducted at the WNE and Big Y Foods, Inc. Consultation and Wellness Center, a pharmacist-run community care clinic that offers free diabetes education in Springfield, MA. This project is being conducted in collaboration with WNE faculty members Gladys Ekong, BPharm, Ph.D., Kam Capoccia, PharmD, BCPS, CDCES, and Maria Charbonneau, PharmD. 

The Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) Research Award acknowledges individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, advancing knowledge in the delivery of care and education for those affected by this chronic condition. Dr. Parsons' research, Effect of Pharmacist-Led Interventions on Diabetes Distress Among People with Type 2 Diabetes, delves into an essential aspect of diabetes management, addressing the emotional and psychological aspects that individuals with diabetes often encounter. 

Dr. Parsons' research project investigates the transformative potential of pharmacist-led interventions in alleviating diabetes distress through tailored education based on the ADCES7 Self-Care Behaviors TM. Her approach is not only innovative but also deeply empathetic, acknowledging the complex realities faced by individuals living with diabetes. Dr. Parsons' dedication to enhancing the quality of life for those with diabetes aligns seamlessly with WNE's commitment to community-engaged research and practical solutions. 

"Through this project, we found that diabetes distress is common in people with type 2 diabetes, including those achieving treatment goals," remarked Dr. Parsons. "Most of our participants were people who had been coming to the clinic for months or years, and their diabetes was well-managed at the start of the study, but almost all participants still had diabetes distress at baseline. This shows that diabetes management should focus on much more than just the glucose numbers. In this study, we worked with participants to change how they think about their diabetes through tailored education and set goals for positive behavior change that ultimately reduced diabetes distress and improved glucose management."

Dr. Parsons has worked closely with her colleagues from WNE on this research. Each was instrumental in the success of the study. Her research team also includes WNE alumni Mackenzie Laisure, PharmD and Kayla Hopkins, PharmD who assisted with the research while students in the PharmD program. The collective effort of this team showcases the strength of collaboration and the potential for pharmacists to drive meaningful change in the healthcare landscape. 

According to Dr. John Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at WNE, "In the US alone, over 10% of the population, more the 37 million individuals, live with diabetes. The potential impact of this work is staggering. Hopefully, the intervention strategies developed by this team of clinical investigators will be broadly implemented for the benefit of many more people with diabetes throughout the country and the world."

This achievement highlights Dr. Parsons' exceptional research acumen and emphasizes WNE's commitment to fostering an environment where innovative research thrives. As an institution, Western New England University is dedicated to equipping its students and researchers with the skills, resources, and opportunities necessary to make a meaningful difference in the world. 

Dr. Charles Caley, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at WNE offers congratulations to Dr. Katelyn Parsons for this well-deserved recognition, and to the entire team involved in this groundbreaking research endeavor. He notes, "Their dedication and collaboration epitomizes the spirit of excellence that Western New England University stands for."