NYU Winthrop Hospital today announced that Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, FAADE, executive director of the Diabetes and Obesity Institute at NYU Winthrop Hospital, has been chosen for one of the nursing profession’s highest honors—induction into the American Academy of Nursing’s 2018 Class of Fellows. Ms. Peragallo-Dittko is one of only 195 distinguished nurse leaders from across the globe to be selected for this elite group. Ms. Peragallo-Dittko is a highly respected nurse of 40 years, and under her leadership, NYU Winthrop Hospital’s Diabetes Education Program became the first in New York state to be accredited by the American Diabetes Association. Today, in leading the Diabetes and Obesity Institute at NYU Winthrop Hospital as the executive director, a role she has held since 2009, Ms. Peragallo-Dittko works with nearly every specialty of the hospital—more than 75 divisions in total —to bridge the chain of diabetes and obesity-related healthcare and research to find new ways to understand and manage the conditions. She will be honored at a ceremony during the academy’s annual policy conference, which will take place November 1-3, 2018, in Washington, DC.
NYU Winthrop Hospital, situated on Long Island, is ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the New York metro area by U.S. News and World Report, and Ms. Peragallo-Dittko is the only staff member in the history of the hospital to earn this distinguished honor by the American Academy of Nursing. Fellowship selection criteria included evidence of significant contributions to nursing and healthcare. Also taken into consideration was the extent to which the nominee’s nursing career influenced health policies and the health and wellbeing of all.
“Virginia Peragallo-Dittko’s leadership and vision have impacted thousands, as she has tirelessly helped patients with diabetes, along with their families, to live healthy and productive lives,” said John F. Collins, president and CEO of NYU Winthrop Hospital. “She has led the charge for diabetes education and prevention, and in the process, has had a transformative influence of diabetes care, helping to put NYU Winthrop on the map as the regional leader.”
Ms. Peragallo-Dittko’s selection for the prestigious fellowship is a testament to her lifelong commitment to advocating for the best programs to understand and treat diabetes and associated conditions. She is a long-time proponent not just for educating the public about diabetes and prediabetes, but educating the medical community as well. In addition, she has demonstrated national leadership in forming policy and practice in diabetes prevention, management and education, and has been the recipient of several large grants for her work including funding by the National Institutes of Health.
Ms. Peragallo-Dittko’s vast professional contributions to academia have also had a tremendous impact on advancing the science of diabetes education. She has served as the author and editor-in-chief of a landmark textbook as well as the first associate editor of The Diabetes Educator journal. In addition, Ms. Peragallo-Dittko holds the prestigious distinction of being the only recipient of both the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes by the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes Educator of the Year by the American Association of Diabetes Educators—two elite national awards.
“My work, dedicated to the care and education of people with diabetes, has focused on the translation of science to clinical practice. The impact of my work is found along a continuum—from grassroots community-based programs to national policy and programming. Selection as a fellow by academic peers is particularly meaningful and provides an opportunity to publicly thank my teachers, mentors, colleagues, and family,” said Ms. Peragallo-Dittko.
Ms. Peragallo-Dittko joined NYU Winthrop Hospital (then known as Nassau Hospital) in 1985 as director of the Diabetes Education Center. It was in this role that she helped the center attain accreditation and the highest level of excellence that it continues to be renowned for today.