Member Spotlight: Katherine Britton

By Jeffery Leon

October 25, 2016

With the season of giving and gratitude about to enter into full swing, we asked members in our November Washington Lawyer what causes were close to their hearts. D.C. Bar member Katherine Britton, of counsel at Simmons Legal PLLC in Dallas, talks about her work with diabetes and related issues.  

Katherine Britton

"I am involved with the American Diabetes Association’s attorney advocacy network and since my practice covers data privacy and security, I have explored the data security and privacy issues that people with diabetes and heath care providers should be aware of. I first became curious about diabetes years ago because in my work, I did employment counseling. I trained and defended management and companies in employment cases, which included the Americans with Disabilities Act. Diabetes qualifies as a disability, and is protected under the Act. 

My interest with diabetes developed when talking and collaborating with my sister, a nurse practitioner who focuses on diabetes management. I learned a lot more about the disease. It's something that affects every patient population and stage of life, from children to seniors and can even affect pregnant women temporarily in the case of gestational diabetes. 

We are at an exciting time right now for diabetes. Lately, the advances in technology and science have made diabetes much more manageable, through lifestyle changes, advancements in medications, and tech such as carb-counting apps and wearables devices like continuous glucose monitors. Just this month, the FDA approved the first ever “artificial pancreas,” that is intended to act as a healthy pancreas does to adjust insulin levels with little or no input from the user by measuring glucose levels every five minutes and administer or withhold insulin automatically. 

There are a lot of data privacy and security issues that accompany this new tech, and that’s something my practice covers as well. My sister and I have written a several articles for the publication Endocrinology Advisor on the security and privacy issues surrounding wearables and technology that health care providers and patients use to manage diabetes. I’m so excited about what happens in the future of this fascinating disease."