Mrs. Leonard is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator with over 24 years of combined inpatient/outpatient/community experience with La Porte Hospital (formerly Indiana University La Porte Hospital). She has held the position of program coordinator of diabetes and nutrition services teaching diabetes self-management education, in both individual and group settings, until her retirement in November of 2017. Patty has developed support groups, coordinated speakers, facilitated health fairs, screenings, and expanded services to a Starke County, IN. She also held her primary position as floor nurse on telemetry, medical/surgical unit, and rotated to other units as well from 2006-2012. She participated in several committees, acted as charge nurse and schedule coordinator. Prior to 2006, she held the position as program facilitator in an inpatient mental health unit treating adolescents through geriatrics primarily for depression, substance abuse, bipolar, schizophrenia, and dementia. Patty has developed and led several groups on multiple mental health illness, support groups, coping skills, and co-facilitated therapeutic patient/family meetings. Throughout her career, she has served as a preceptor and mentor in all roles to undergraduate nurses. She has created and presented several educational presentations related to diabetes and its comorbidities, such as chronic and end-stage kidney disease (CKD and ESRD), along with monthly radio education shows to increase community education.
Her passion and emphasis on kidney disease, specifically polycystic kidney disease (PKD), arose from her family history of PKD and her own renal transplant. During her time with diabetes education she realized how many clients had little knowledge, if any, regarding their kidneys health or awareness of chronic and end-stage renal disease.
Mrs. Leonard is a recipient of a critical occupational scholarship for nursing, served on the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization, and has volunteered for polycystic kidney disease fundraisers as well as The Slam Dunk program for diabetic children. She is currently a member of the American Diabetes Association, America Association of Diabetes Educators, and continues to serve on the Northwest Indiana Association of Diabetes Educators (NIADE).