Part of the DESMOND Programme

Educator of the Year

Marryllyn D

Marryllyn Donaldson

Marryllyn Donaldson

Marryllyn became part of the WellSouth team in 2014 and has been proactive in bringing DESMOND to the Southern Region of New Zealand, which is the only centre to offer the programme in the country at the moment.

She was involved in writing an article for the Diabetes NZ magazine about DESMOND and also presented at the Diabetes NZ Conference in October.

Marryllyn’s colleagues say she brings a bubbly, friendly attitude to the team and takes feedback seriously as she is always looking to see where she could improve her delivery. She has demonstrated a commitment to completing the DESMOND quality development process by being proactive in booking her first mentoring session with the Australian team.

She is committed to providing the best possible care pathway for patients, so will follow up with them individually if she has any concerns about the management of their diabetes.

Sonia Willis

Sonia has worked as a DESMOND Educator for more than 10 years and says she feels more passionate than ever about quality diabetes structured education. She believes that becoming an Educator has changed the course of her career as made her become more interested in the subject.

In 2010, Sonia became one of the National Quality Development Trainers and Assessors for DESMOND, which she said she considered was a “real privilege”. As part of her new role Sonia was able to visit and observe DESMOND sessions being delivered in all parts of the country, which helped her to gain exposure to the many and varied ways DESMOND can be delivered.

Sonia firmly believes that the key to being a good DESMOND Educator is to remember that listening is more important than speaking. She enjoys allowing the group to share their experiences and helping to facilitate their learning.

Claire Neerly

The team say their enthusiasm for the DESMOND Programme is largely because of Claire Neerly, who they call an “inspirational leader”. Claire is positive, keen and supportive of her staff, allowing them to develop their services and education.

Claire is part of the Surrey Downs Diabetes Service, which is a new service. The team is made up of experienced DESMOND Educators and newly trained people. The people who participate are from all walks of life, nationalities, ages and backgrounds. They arrive as strangers and leave as friends, which Claire and her team are hugely proud of.

Claire runs courses in six different areas of Surrey including Tadworth, Leatherhead, Dorking and Cheam.