Meet our Certified Diabetes Educator


As a diabetes educator, Stacy Biesel, RN, CDE is not only teaching patients about diabetes, she is also serving as a cheerleader, a guide and a support person.

“Diabetes is an American epidemic. A lot of people need help,” said Biesel. “My true passion is dispelling the stigma of diabetes. Patients come to see me and are ashamed, angry, and in denial. I encourage people to be forgiving of themselves, find the positives in their situation, and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, each year about 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, which in 2015 was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. A total of 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older were diagnosed with prediabetes in 2015.

Also in 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes, with approximately 1.25 million American children and adults having type 1 diabetes. The percentage of Americans age 65 and older with diabetes remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).

According the SSM Health’s recent Community Health Needs Assessment, in Columbia County in 2011-2013, 5.8% of the adult population had been diagnosed with diabetes. This figure rose in 2016 to 8.7% making Columbia County slighter higher than the Wisconsin average (8.5%), but lower than the U.S. average (nearly 10%). Diabetes related deaths in Columbia County have also increased from 14.2 to 18.0 per 100,000 people over the same time.

Biesel sees both inpatients and outpatients with type I, type II and gestational diabetes in the hospital and clinic setting.

“I am passionate about educating our patients, their family members, and the professionals that take care of them,” Biesel explained.  “I enjoy working collaboratively with the nursing team and educating them about diabetes.”

In addition to creating an environment of learning and acceptance, Biesel makes sure patients set realistic goals that fit their lifestyle.

“It’s not about perfection. It’s not about diet. It’s about choosing to live a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “If you screw up at one meal or miss a day of exercise, it’s okay. Just get back on track.”

Stacy Biesel, RN, CDE sees inpatients and outpatients with type I, type II, and gestational diabetes at Columbus Community Hospital and at the Prairie Ridge Health Clinic in Beaver Dam. She also plans to provide community outreach education at various locations in and around Columbus.

For more information call Columbus Community Hospital at 920-623-2200.

The following information is courtesy of the American Diabetes Association. For more information visit www.diabetes.org

What is Prediabetes?
When a person has blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Medical professionals sometimes refer to prediabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). Prediabetes puts a person at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseasedisease of the heart and blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries).X.

What is Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

What is Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a problem with the body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.

If a person has type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it is not able to keep up and cannot make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose at norm
al levels.