Making a Difference with Young Diabetics

Emily Casciano has found her niche as a registered dietician and diabetes educator at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. Enthusiastic and energetic, Ms. Casciano, who has been at the Berrie Center for less than a year, is the newest member of the pediatric team, where she feels right at home.

“The team is fantastic,” she said. “We’ve really come together to work toward the greater good of our patients. It couldn’t be better.”

Ms. Casciano has always had an interest in food and nutrition; she decided to become a dietician while attending the University of Connecticut, where she received a BS in dietetics in 2011. When she "connected" with kids who had diabetes during an internship program, she quickly realized that it was the population with which she wanted to work.

“You can really make a difference in someone’s life,” she said.

While being a pediatric diabetes dietician means spending a lot of time with parents planning meals, the most rewarding part of her job, said Ms. Casciano, is getting her young patients interested in eating healthfully as early as possible.

“Diabetes is such a huge part of their lives,” she said. “Kids have to find ways to be involved and enthusiastic about their own nutrition.”

Ms. Casciano is the daughter of a career naval officer and spent her early life moving from base to base with her family, all the time developing life skills that have shaped her and helped her at work.

“Someone in that situation really knows how to make friends, cope with different situations, and adapt and be flexible,” said Ms. Casciano, who lives in Manhattan (a life’s dream) with three friends from college. “That is who I am.”

Prior to joining the team at Berrie Center, she worked as a dietician at a small practice for kids with diabetes in Connecticut. “Emily is a wonderful resource for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher, who heads the pediatric program at the Berrie Center. “Her positive attitude and enthusiasm for her work are infectious.”

This is an edited version of a profile that originally appeared in the Berrie Center's e-newsletter, Insider News.