The Clinical Diabetes Program at BMC aims to improve the health and quality of life for people with diabetes through disease management, education, support, advocacy, and research.

The program has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) since 1993. The ADA endorses the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education to promote quality education for people with diabetes.

Living with diabetes can be very challenging. The outstanding interdisciplinary team share a commitment to helping you live life to the fullest. The team includes highly experienced  diabetes specialists, nurse practitioners, certified diabetes educators (including nurses, pharmacists, and dietitians), and other specialists skilled in treating the complex needs of diabetes patients. The coordinated care approach keeps the focus on the patient and allows for personalization of medication, monitoring, lifestyle changes, and nutrition education. Adults with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes that is newly diagnosed, difficult to manage, or in need of long-term monitoring and follow-up, will receive comprehensive care at BMC.

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Specialty Clinics

Endocrinology

The Division of Endocrinology is staffed by internationally renowned physicians in the fields of thyroid and metabolic bone disorders, who are devoted to caring for patients and to evaluating, managing, and researching a multitude of endocrine disorders.

Treatments & Services

Diabetes Education

Our program is designed to help patients -- and their primary care provider -- understand their conditions related to diabetes through education, medication, monitoring, nutrition and exercise recommendations. These behaviors can be hard to start, but research has shown that even small changes can lead to helpful improvements. Our team offers comprehensive diabetes care in including nutrition, podiatry, ophthalmology, cardiology, and dental services.

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Diabetes Technology

CGM uses a special glucose sensor connected to a tiny catheter worn discreetly under the skin that wirelessly sends sugar values to a receiver every five minutes for up to seven days. The sensor data shows sugar trends and patterns and gives the provider a detailed analysis of sugar values over a period of time. If this type of technology interests you, talk with your diabetes care team to learn if your insurance will cover it.

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Inpatient Adult Diabetes Service

Clinical research has identified hyperglycemia (high blood glucose or blood sugar) as a factor that increases length of stay, hospital complications, and even inpatient mortality. The inpatient program is designed to meet current national standards for glycemic control in hospitalized patients, for those with known diabetes, and those with newly identified hyperglycemia. The team can initiate insulin therapy in the hospital if appropriate, teaching all the necessary skills for independent management. The team of endocrinologists and nurse practitioners follow patients throughout their stay. The goal of the program is to improve the transition from inpatient care to outpatient care while designing an individualized regimen.

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Diabetes and Pregnancy

Patients with diabetes during pregnancy will be supported through close management during pregnancy and immediately after delivery, to reduce the risk of complications to the mother and baby. This special program is led by obstetricians and is designed for mothers who develop diabetes during pregnancy (a condition called gestational diabetes) and those women who have diabetes before they become pregnant. The visits may involve seeing an endocrinologist, dietitian, or both. Medications, meal plans and exercises will be personalized to best fit the patient’s lifestyle and blood sugar patterns.

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Our Team

Diabetes Doctors

Sara M Alexanian, MD

Director of Inpatient Diabetes
Endocrinologist

diabetes, osteoporosis, hyperparathyroidism, thyroid disease

Shirin Haddady, MD, MPH

Endocrinologist

Thyroid cancer, Thyroid nodule, Hyperthyroidism, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Diabetes

Katherine L Modzelewski, MD

Associate Fellowship Director of the Endocrinology Training Program
Endocrinologist

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes, diabetes technology and mobile health, thyroid disease, general endocrinology

Ivania M Rizo, MD

Endocrinologist

Diabetes Management, Weight Management, Thyroid Disorders, General Endocrinology, Medical Management of Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery

Placeholder image for doctor

Devin W Steenkamp, MBChB

Director of Clinical Diabetes
Endocrinologist

Type 1 diabetes, Diabetes technology, Insulin pumps, Atypical diabetes, MODY

Diabetes Education Team

Corinne Aia, MS, RD, CDCES
Megan Bergstrom, PharmD, BCACP, CDE
Kyle Bertram, PharmD
Elizabeth Brouillard, RD, CDE
Mara Garwood, RD, CDE

Patient Resources

Conversation Mapping for Diabetes Education

At BMC, we understand that having diabetes is not easy. Our Certified Diabetes Educators are here to offer you a fun way to develop the necessary tools to balance, diet, exercise and medications.

Additional Resources

The Plate Method for Diabetes

Managing Hypoglycemia

Insulin

Research Overview

Our Research Team

The diabetes research unit is composed of an interdisciplinary team engaged in basic, translational and clinical diabetes research. The department is engaged in a number of research studies, many sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, which aim to help develop more effective treatment and management options for patients with diabetes. Research interests of our team include: diabetes types 1 and 2, atypical diabetes, MODY, inpatient diabetes management, and diabetes pathophysiology and the role of T cells. For more information, visit Boston University School of Medicine’s Diabetes Research page.

Clinicians 

Sara Alexanian, MD
Kathryn Fantasia, MD
Katie Modzelewski, MD
Niyoti Reddy, MD
Ivania Rizo, MD
Devin Steenkamp, MBChB
Catherine Sullivan, MD

Basic Science Investigators

Barbara Corkey, PhD
Jude Deeney, PhD
Hans Dooms, PhD

Research Support Staff

Özden Özkur Akinci, MSc, PhD - Research Coordinator
Zhihui Ju, MSPH - Research Coordinator
Ashley McCarthy - Clinical Research Manager

Currently Enrolling Studies

FOCUS (Novo Nordisk)

FOCUS trial logo

Do you have type 2 diabetes?

Do you want to:

  • Take a more active role in managing your diabetes?
  • Get regular expert medical care to ensure that your blood sugar is well-controlled?
  • Receive free regular eye examinations to ensure optimal standard of care?
  • Help others by contributing to medical research?

If so, why not take part in our clinical study? FOCUS is currently recruiting.

The FOCUS study: FOCUS is a clinical study looking into the long-term effect of a new medicine called “semaglutide” on diabetic eye disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

You may qualify to participate in FOCUS if you:

  • Are over 18 years of age
  • Have had type 2 diabetes for 10 years or more
  • have high blood sugar levels

Participating in this study will not affect the care you receive at Boston Medical Center. To find out if you may qualify for this study, please take this brief screening questionnaire. If you have questions or would prefer to complete the screening questionnaire over the phone, please call Zhihui Ju at 617.638.2951 or send her an email here.

 

The ENDO (Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition Opportunities) Registry

ENDO Registry logo

We are currently creating a registry of interested individuals who would like to participate in research at Boston Medical Center or Boston University School of Medicine. The option to join the registry is voluntary. Joining will not affect the care you receive at Boston Medical Center. For more information, please read the ENDO Registry Consent Form. To enroll in the registry, please go to the secure enrollment portal. If you have questions prior to enrolling, please email or call 617-638-5906.

Estamos creando un registro de individuos interesados en participar en estudios de investigación en Boston Medical Center o Boston University School of Medicine. Participar en el registro es voluntario. Participar no afectará la atención recibida en Boston Medical Center. Para más información, por favor leer el formulario de consentimiento. Para inscribirse en el registro, por favor ingresar a https://is.gd/ENDOregistry_Spanish.

 

Ongoing Studies (not currently enrolling)

None currently

Previous Studies

Please click on the study title for more information. 

SWITCH PRO (Novo Nordisk)

This clinical trial is comparing the effect of insulin degludec and insulin glargine. Participants will first go through a 4-week screening and run-in period. If eligible to continue in the study, participants will be treated with insulin degludec (100 U/mL) and insulin glargine (100 U/mL) during two different periods each of 18 weeks duration. Both medicines are approved for use in humans and available on the market. In order to evaluate  changes in blood sugar level over time while being treated with the two different insulins, participants will be asked to wear a small blood sugar sensor on the back of their upper arm 3 times during the study.

GAZELLE Trial

If you are an adult between ages 18 and 65 living with type 1 diabetes you may be eligible to take part in the GAZELLE clinical research trial. This trial will look at an investigational fast-acting insulin to see if it works as effectively as an existing fast-acting insulin already being used to treat diabetes. Trial-related medications, procedures, equipment and supplies will be provided at no cost; health insurance is not required to participate.

INSTRIDE 4

The INSTRIDE 4 Study is looking at the ways the investigational insulin works to control blood sugar levels in patients with Type 1 Diabetes and to check how safe they are. All participants in this study receive the potentially long-acting investigational medication, in addition to an FDA-approved, rapid-acting insulin at mealtimes. Approximately 200 people are participating in this study internationally. The study is about 26 weeks (6 months) long.

PIONEER 2

Boston Medical Center was one of hundreds of sites to conduct the second phase 3a trial with oral semaglutide for treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. Oral semaglutide is a new GLP-1 analogue taken once daily as a tablet. The 52-week, open label trial investigated the efficacy and safety of 14 mg oral semaglutide compared with 25 mg empagliflozin in 816 people with type 2 diabetes, inadequately controlled on metformin. The confirmatory endpoints were defined after 26 weeks of treatment. Read their full results announcement here.

Linagliptin Inpatient Trial

Full title: A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Safety and Efficacy of Linagliptin (Tradjenta®) Therapy for the Inpatient Management of General Surgery Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. This study compared linagliptin (a once-daily diabetes pill) plus as-needed rapid insulin shots vs. long acting insulin glargine plus scheduled rapid insulin shots for the treatment of diabetes patients after they have surgery. Approximately 280 participants from 4 United States medical centers participated.

Linagliptin Outpatient Trial

Full title: The safety and efficacy of Linagliptin (Tradjenta®) therapy for an A1c directed post-discharge management algorithm of general surgery patients with type 2 diabetes: Only those individuals who completed the Linagliptin Inpatient Trial were invited to participate in this extended study. This study compared the effect of Linagliptin (diabetes pill) with insulin shots for the treatment of diabetes after participants left the hospital.

Technology usage among patients in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management

The purpose of this survey was to characterize the patient population of the BMC Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management Clinic. We sought to dispel myths about technology access and usage among our patients. The survey was adapted from Pew Research Center’s technology questionnaire and their data. The survey contained questions about internet usage, device ownership, preferred communication methods, use of technology for health, social media usage, and optional demographic information.

Contact Us

Patients and visitors: If you are interested in hearing about studies that you may be able to participate in, please consider enrolling in the ENDO Registry. Alternatively, you may email [email protected] or call 617-638-5906.

Are you interested in learning more about clinical research? Please visit our Clinical Research Basics page.