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Cassandra Donahue, RDN, LDN, CDCES, works in the Division of Endocrinology. Recently, she became a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and hopes to become a published researcher. When not working Cassandra enjoys hanging with her pup Louie and trying new foods in the area! 

Cassandra DonahueWhat’s your role and how long have you been a part of our Department?

 Clinical Research Coordinator and Registered Dietitian; 2 years in July

 Where are you from?

 Cleveland, Ohio

What originally attracted you to work at UNC Department of Medicine?

I was looking for the opportunity to gain employment through the state system. When presented with the opportunity to work in a clinical research unit that focuses on diabetes and obesity, this was the ideal setting for me as someone with diabetes and as a Registered Dietitian

What is the most interesting project you’ve been a part of so far?

A 5-year research study (SELECT) that is looking at the effectiveness of semaglutide for cardiovascular protection.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

I love the collaboration within our unit, and overall, within the school of medicine. I enjoy working closely with physicians and being an active participant in patient care. Plus, I love the continual learning opportunities that we are offered through the department.

How has your role evolved over time since you’ve been here?

I have had the opportunities to take on more studies and coordinate on different types of trials, and I continue to build my relationships with my patients.

What is one thing that you wish people knew about your job?

How much education is involved in becoming a RD and CDCES. To become a RD, you must complete a DPD (college) and 1200 hours in a dietetic internship, then after both of those pieces are complete you can sit for the two-hour exam. To become a CDCES, first you must be a RD, RN, MD, or MSW. Then, you need 1000 clinical hours and hours of continuing education within the diabetes field before you can sit for the 4-hour exam.

What are you most proud of, personal or professional?

 Taking the RD exam and becoming a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist this past December.

What’s one thing on your bucket list?

To become a published researcher at some point.

Do you have hobbies outside of work that you enjoy?

I enjoy concerts and trying new foods and hanging out with my pup, Louie.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

Say yes to everything, you never know what doors will open for you!

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I met LeBron James at a high school football game.