Happy Trails, Julie Shapero!

We’ll miss Julie Shapero’s bright smile and sunny disposition! Before retiring, Julie used her expertise to help Kentuckians who have pre-diabetes or diabetes prevent and manage this condition. Here’s a snapshot of her time with us:

Julie was with us for nine years, as a Diabetes Educator, and then as Population Health Diabetes Specialist. Retirement is bittersweet – she will miss her work and those in the community support groups she coordinates. She says she will most miss her coworkers because, “the best people work at the Health Department!”

Julie is most proud of her tidy workspace, she says jokingly! Other sources of pride are having chaired the diabetes symposium and reflecting on the accomplishments of the Northern Kentucky Diabetes Coalition. Other highlights include:

  • Facilitating grocery store tours and coordinating diabetes dinner programs
  • Seeing improvements in patients’ A1c levels
  • The diabetes coalition receiving the first annual regional Program Services Partner Award from the National Kidney Foundation

She wishes she started her career much earlier here. It is the “most favorite job” she’s ever had. She’s never worked anywhere before that valued internal and external collaboration as much as NKY Health does. “It’s very valuable, and is the way to be successful.”

Julie may have missed her calling as a restaurant critic, and mentions she likes the Kentucky rating system for inspections better than across the river. She says her biggest contribution to NKY Health and the community is, “superior knowledge of all the restaurants in the region,” in addition to helping people manage and prevent diabetes. Seeing improvements in patients’ quality of life brings her joy.

Here’s one piece of advice she gives new employees – take advantage of the knowledge of coworkers by asking questions. There’s a wellspring of expertise here. Her sweetest NKY memories are of having lunch with her coworkers and making lifelong friends.

Julie will stay active after retirement by visiting her daughter in New Orleans, traveling, playing in a Mah Jongg league weekly, and giving sewing a try. She most looks forward to not setting her alarm for 6:05 a.m. every day and escaping the long commute in traffic. She also added, “I won’t miss not getting upset when I see the snow forecast for the next day!”

Julie would name this chapter in her book of adventures “Exodus.” Well said, Julie. We will miss your sense of humor and your passionate work!

 By:  DaNelle Jenkins, Health Educator