Janette Carter, MD

Internal Medicine

Endocrinology

1952-2001

Dr. Janette Susan Carter was a distingushed physician, researcher, and Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Carter received her undergraduate degree from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, in 1974 and the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of New Mexico in 1978. She was a Pathology Fellow at UNM-School of Medicine from 1978 to 1979, a Resident in Internal Medicine from 1979 to 1982 in Sacramento, CA, and Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at UNM-SOM in Albuquerque. Dr. Carter received additional training at the New England Epidemiology Institute. She was board certified in Internal Medicine and held medical licensure in the State of New Mexico since 1986. Dr. Carter was the Director of the Diabetes Model Project and Area Diabetes Control Officer, Public Health Service/Indian Health Service, Albuquerque Service Unit from 1983 to 1989, and Assistant Professor, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and UNM-School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Primary Care Division from 1989 to 1999. At the time of her death, Janette held the position of Associate Professor with Tenure, Veterans Affairs Medical Center/UNM-SOM, Department of Medicine, Primary Care Division, and directed research in the Native American Diabetes Research Program, University of New Mexico. In 1972 Dr. Carter did independent study with Behrhorst Clinic in a small, rustic Indian village in Guatemala, working with rural populations to meet basic public health needs. This experience helped to form her deep commitment to addressing the needs of underserved and disadvantaged populations. Dr. Carter, her husband and youngest son, were killed in the crash of a small plane in Beddel, Alaska, while vacationing there with friends. 

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Dr. Carter-Shaw left such an impact in the Veteran community. I knew her through an organization we were both involved in. She was a warm and funny person with a great laugh. She was a great mentor and mother to her kids. She is missed
Susan L. Weiss, Mac

Additional Remembrances

Janette arrived at the SOM on the early wave of awareness of obesity, and quickly became a leader in the Native American Diabetes Project, which in New Mexico was titled, "Strong in Body and Spirit!" The American Diabetes Association's Native American Program partnered with the Native American Diabetes Project of the University of New Mexico to create "Awakening the Spirit -Pathways to Diabetes Prevention and Control." A radio PSA is available: "Awakening the Spirit-Pathways to Diabetes Prevention and Control".

My first appreciation of Janette’s outstanding skills as a creative teacher and commitment to the health of all cultures in New Mexico, came during an educational visit to Taos Pueblo with her, sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s. We drove up together, and I listened as she talked about diet and obesity with an amazing demonstration of four jars of lard representing the fat content of Whole Milk, 2% Milk, 1% Milk, and Skim Milk. I was stunned at the sight, and have not touched Whole Milk again with the visual lump of lard in its jar. I was quickly to admire her enormous skill at educational communication and deep understanding of motivating change in diet and exercise for the New Mexican Native American people.

A series of illustrated children’s books regarding food, snacks, and exercise led by Georgia Perez, emerged from her “project” entitled, “Through the Eyes of the Eagle” that I used for motivation of healthy life styles for our grandchildren. I think of Georgia and Janette every time I look at the healthy rainbow of color of food on the plate. These books have been available to the public regularly at the Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and her impact was enormous during her professional life here, and will continue to make a difference for generations in the future.

What a pleasure to have Janette Carter MD for a friend, colleague, and fellow teacher for her too short years at the School of Medicine.

This remembrance was published by the Team of the Native American Diabetes Project, derived from the first "Strong in Body and Spirit!" program developed for eight Rio Grande Pueblo Nations in New Mexico and now being diffused in other diabetes programs across the country.

The project, "Strong in Body and Spirit" continues as a tribute to Dr. Janette Carter, who in the words of the NADP project Team, channeled a vision for reshaping the image of diabetes in communities into reality by honoring the wisdom and traditions of the people of the Rio Grande Pueblo communities. Through the example of her own life, Janette modeled for us the ways of respect, openness, courage, gratitude, and integrity. She left a legacy that continues as more communities around the country are transformed by the power of their stories and of their people to create a new, hopeful picture of what they can do together to control and prevent diabetes.