Mary McDonell, RD, RN, MSN, CDE

I was born and raised in Sebastopol, CA, a town once known for its Gravenstein apples. As a matter of fact, my first job at the age of 12 was picking apples. After high school, I moved to San Luis Obispo and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics. As a dietitian, I worked with a private risk factor management company in their weight management program. With this job, I had the opportunity to council clients and also travel around the country training other dietitians and nurses about the weight management program.

After seven years of working as a dietitian, I returned to school for a Master’s Degree in Nursing. My first job as a nurse was with a visiting nurses company and it was experiences with this job that started me on my journey to become a diabetes educator. In 1996, my husband and I moved to Vancouver, Canada where I obtained my Canadian nursing license and landed a job with an adult diabetes education program. Although we loved Vancouver, we returned to California in 1999 and I continued my quest to work in pediatric diabetes. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a diabetes and pregnancy program, adult diabetes program and I’ve now been with UCSF’s pediatric diabetes program since 2007.  I consider it a privilege to work with children with diabetes. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel challenged.