On September 18, 2018, the diabetes community lost Dr. Lois Jovanovic, a real powerhouse in women’s health. Dr. Jovanovic lived with diabetes herself and pioneered a procedure to better help women with diabetes have healthy, successful pregnancies. We are honored to share heartfelt tributes from two of our DiabetesSisters.
“It was with great sadness that I learned about Lois’s passing. She was one of the greatest influences in my personal life, and because of her I learned how to live well and thrive with T1 diabetes.
I met Lois Jovanovic, MD for the first time in 1982. I was entering my 20th year of being diagnosed with T1 diabetes, and after living precariously with 'brittle diabetes' in less than ideal control, she taught me how to truly live consciously and well with my diabetes. She changed my life forever, and it is because of her that I followed a calling to go into a medical career as a nurse, specifically as a holistic diabetes educator.
Lois was a woman, doctor, researcher, healer and leader for women and babies’ health, with the brave tenacity and dedication to follow the calling of science. Thank you, Lois, for being the visionary pioneer you are and for sharing your gifts with all of us.”
Connie Hanham-Cain MSN, RN, DNS, CDE
DiabetesSisters PODS Co-Leader Albany/Schenectady NY
Living with diabetes for 56 years
“Lois was the woman who convinced me that a successful pregnancy was possible for me, and she led a most remarkable life. I met her at a seminar put on by the American Diabetes Association in White Plains, late in 1983 and just after I bought my first home glucose monitor. I knew she was also a type 1 and had two young children herself, but had no idea she was my age and had so recently been diagnosed - while at the same time completing medical school and her residency.
By monitoring my A1c level, she determined that it was low enough for me to try to conceive. I was then enrolled in the first research project she led for NIH concerning diabetes in early pregnancy. Lots of trips into Manhattan for weekly testing and visits to her husband at the time, who was also my obstetrician. This was all before portable insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors and other modern conveniences.
Looking back on it now, I'm amazed we were not more intimidated. But we trusted her advice and were rewarded with two healthy boys! And now two beautiful grandchildren! We were so fortunate to meet the right person at the right time in our lives. I feel like a pioneer.”
Mary Pruiett, MBA
American Diabetes Association member
Lilly Foundation 50-Year Diabetes Award recipient
Former DiabetesSisters PODS Leader Chapel Hill, NC
Living with diabetes for 65 years
***More on Dr. Jovanovic’s legacy can be found at:
Dr, Jovanovic’s photo credit: https://www.sansum.org