Meet Our Team
Partners In Care: Our Diabetes Educators
They trained team of professionals you find at Cascade Health help increase your self-management skills by providing practical tools and knowledge that help manage diabetes.
Manager of Diabetes & Nutrition Education
Passionate about helping others make positive changes in their lives, Kirsten Gram provides education and support for those with diabetes, celiac disease, high cholesterol, and weight management issues. Kirsten became a diabetes educator in 1990, and has worked in the diabetes field for 25 years. Today, she oversees the Cascade Health diabetes and nutrition programs. Her role as an educator, she says, is to “till the ground” and “plant the seed,” but the “harvest” comes when that person puts in the hard work, learns from his or her mistakes, paving the way to a healthier lifestyle. Kirsten enjoys hiking, biking, and trekking, as well as cooking, gardening, and being with her family.
Denise is a registered dietitian, registered nurse, and a certified diabetes educator. She received her bachelor’s degree at UC Davis, completed her internship at Oregon Health Sciences University, and more recently completed her nursing degree at Lane Community College. Becoming a certified diabetes educator has provided a wonderful opportunity to merge her experiences as a dietitian and nurse. Having both backgrounds gives Denise a wide base of knowledge to draw upon when teaching classes or helping individuals who are learning to manage their diabetes and weight. At Cascade Health, Denise enjoys the collaboration and support that comes from belonging to a team of caring and competent diabetes professionals. At home she enjoys gardening, biking, swimming, hiking, and cooking. She is married to an outdoor adventure seeker and consequently has learned to scuba dive, kayak, fish, and ski since they have been together. She grew up in California and loves visiting her family and the beaches there.
Leslie has been a nurse-at-heart since her early days as a Candy Striper. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University and received her Masters of Science at Regis in 2006. She has medical and surgical nursing experience, and was a nursing supervisor at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center for 10 years. Her interest shifted to diabetes education and insulin management in 1998, and she is currently a certified diabetes educator at Cascade Health.
Tracy became a Registered Dietitian so she could help people discover the connection between healthful lifestyle habits and improved quality of life. In fact, her main goal is to show that eating well and moving your body can help you feel better on a very foundational level. She earned her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Oregon State University and completed her Dietetic Internship there as well. Tracy can’t claim to be a native Oregonian, but she has lived in Eugene most of her life. In her free time she enjoys backpacking, hiking, being outside, and of course, eating delicious and nutritious food!
Laura is a registered dietitian who has been helping people understand the role of nutrition in their health and well-being for more than 20 years. Since receiving a master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Studies from New York University, she has been teaching classes, leading groups, and counseling individuals in a variety of clinical and community settings. She has supported people with cardiac and pulmonary disease, those undergoing kidney dialysis and transplant, and through both surgical and non-surgical weight loss journeys. Laura has also worked to fight food insecurity through community gardening, cooking classes, food rescue and meal delivery programs. At Cascade Health, she enjoys helping people care for themselves by learning to understand what their bodies need and cultivate sustainable habits. As a native Oregonian, Laura is happy to call Eugene her home once again. She spends as much time as possible exploring the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and beyond with her partner.