It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our dear friend, Kim Higgins on June 28, 2016. Kim was a long time member of the Diabetes Coalition of California (DCC) and served as the Chair from 2008-2010. Kim was a passionate advocate for people with diabetes and served the diabetes community as pediatric diabetes nurse educator, pump and sensor trainer, speaker and facilitator. She was also very involved in the American Association of Diabetes Educators and served on the National Board of Directors. Members of the DCC Board of Directors remember Kim:
“She was known as the “Poppy Queen” in recognition for her strong influence on Diabetes Educators in all parts of California and her strong work to forge collaboration and unity in that group. Kim was the life of the party and also usually organized it, decorated with high style, made all of the delicious healthy food and led the dancing. In fact, most California Diabetes Educators know each other through Kim’s efforts. She was one in a million and left California a much better place.” – Chesney Hoagland-Fuchs
“As sun and water nurture a young poppy in dry soil, Kim nurtured me, as she did so many others, in the early stages of my career as a certified diabetes educator. She welcomed me into the world of diabetes care and advocacy. Kim groomed me patiently and enthusiastically to take on the role of Professional Education Chair ten years ago when I served on the Board of the San Francisco Bay Area Association of Diabetes Educators. I and so many others will always remember and be grateful for the contributions Kim made both locally and nationally to the diabetes community.” – Barbara Liepman
“Kim’s smile and spirit could light up a room and her energy was magnetic. Kim’s legacy will live on and her contributions to California and the Nation will be appreciated for years to come.” – Susan Lopez-Payan
“Kim was my mentor and prepared me to assume my duties as DCC Chair after her term ended. Her energy and dedication to diabetes care were unique and she was one of the founding DCC members. Her spirit will always be with us and we are honoring her memory working together and making the DCC a strong organization.” – Ana Perez
“Kim was Vice Chair while I was Chair of the Diabetes Coalition of California and we worked closely on coalition issues. We would drive up to Sacramento together for coalition meetings chatting about family, crafts and diabetes, which made the ride up so enjoyable. We would stop on our way to get decorations or flowers so Kim could make sure the room looked nice. Kim also worked on the Sharps Coalition where work was done to pass legislation that would take sharps out of the waste stream in Alameda County. This legislation assisted in protecting workers that had to collect or pick through garbage from getting stuck and potentially acquiring a blood borne pathogen. Kim always thought of others whether it be diabetes related, safety or just decorating a room, you knew she cared.” — Brenda Yamashita
Kim will be terribly missed. We send our condolences to her family.