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Care team


Administrator
Sebastian Vassallo

Diabetes Educators
Debbie Venditto, R.N., B.S.N., C.D.E.
Karen H. McAvoy, M.S.N., R.N., C.D.E.
Kathleen Simoneau, R.N., C.D.E.
Susan G. Zailskas, R.N.,M.S.N.,C.D.E.

Exercise Physiologist
James M. Pugliese

Nutrition Educators
Carole J. Demarest, R.D., C.D.E.
Patricia A. O'Connell, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., C.D.N.
Michele G. Roy, R.D., C.D.E.




Administrator

Sebastian Vassallo

Sebastian Vassallo General Info

Sebastian Vassallo has been administrator and practice manager of physician services at the Diabetes Center and Plainville Primary Care and Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders, Endocrinology practice since 2004.

He oversees day-to-day operations and handles everything from the budget to scheduling to strategic planning. He earned his associate's degree in science/surgical technology at Manchester Community College and is pursuing his bachelor's degree from Central Connecticut State University.




Diabetes Educators

Debbie Venditto, R.N., B.S.N., C.D.E.

Debbie Venditto General Info

Debbie Venditto is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. She educates patients with Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes on how to manage their diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes. She conducts classes primarily at the hospital's Bradley Memorial campus.

Karen H. McAvoy, M.S.N., R.N., C.D.E.

Karen McAvoy General Info

Karen McAvoy is the education coordinator at the Diabetes Center, overseeing a variety of programs for people with diabetes and providing individual counseling.

She earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire and her master's degree in nursing from Yale University School of Nursing. She is a certified diabetes educator, certified clinical nurse specialist in medical-surgical nursing and certified critical care registered nurse.

Kathleen Simoneau, R.N., C.D.E.

Kathleen Simoneau General Info

Kathleen Simoneau is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator. She educates patients with Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes on how to manage their diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes.

She earned her nursing degree from Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C., and has more than 20 years of nursing experience and more than 10 years experience as a diabetes educator.

Susan G. Zailskas, R.N.,M.S.N.,C.D.E.

Susan Zailskas General Info

Susan Zailskas is a registered nurse, certified diabetes educator and recruiter clinical research nurse at the Diabetes Center. In addition to her nursing and educator duties, she recruits patients for clinical studies to test new diabetes treatments.

She earned her nursing diploma from St. Mary's Hospital School of Nursing Waterbury; her bachelor's degree in nursing from Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, and her masters degree in nursing from the University of Hartford.




Exercise Physiologist

James M. Pugliese

James Pugliese General Info

James Pugliese is an exercise physiologist with The Hospital of Central Connecticut's Department of Health Promotion. He has worked at the hospital since 1997, providing exercise prescription for people without health conditions and those with diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, weight-management issues and other health concerns.

Pugliese earned his bachelor's degree in physical education: exercise science/health promotion from Central Connecticut State University. He is an American College of Sports Medicine-certified Health/Fitness Instructor.




Nutrition Educators

Carole J. Demarest, R.D., C.D.E.

Carole Demarest General Info

Carole Demarest is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She works to educate patients and their families on nutrition, meal planning, and diabetes self management skills to optimize healthy living with diabetes.

Demarest earned her bachelor's degree in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University and has over 10 years' experience in the nutrition field.

Patricia A. O'Connell, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., C.D.N.

Patricia O General Info

Patricia O'Connell is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Her responsibilities include providing medical nutrition therapy and diabetes education in a variety of settings to patients and their families/care partners to maximize diabetes management.

She conducts community outreach through diabetes screenings and presentations. O'Connell is involved in the American Diabetes Association in various capacities and is part of grassroots efforts to influence funding for diabetes.

She earned her bachelor's degree in home economics with a nutrition emphasis from Marywood College, Scranton, Pa., and completed a dietetic internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. She earned her master's degree in nutrition from the University of Maryland.

Michele G. Roy, R.D., C.D.E.

Michele Roy General Info

Michele Roy is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Her responsibilities include nutrition assessment and counseling for patients with Type 1, Type 2, gestational and pre-diabetes.

She also performs general diabetes education, including use of glucose meters, insulin pumps and diabetes risk management. She earned her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Connecticut.