Lara Al-Dandachi is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Certified Diabetes Educator who provides care to patients in UCLA Health’s Gonda Diabetes Center in Westwood and Santa Monica, and coordinates the UCLA Gonda Diabetes Prevention Program, which was awarded full CDC recognition. She has 16 years of experience providing medical nutrition therapy as a RDN, and holds two board certifications in diabetes education: CDE and an advanced diabetes management certification, BC-ADM. She is fluent in Arabic and French.
Ms. Al-Dandachi is passionate about diabetes education and prevention, and coaches patients on how to improve their lifestyle by incorporating mindfulness, physical activity and intelligent food choices in their daily lives. She provides personalized care to patients with prediabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood, and treats each patient with compassion, care and understanding. She also teaches the type 2 diabetes group class in Santa Monica.
Ms. Al-Dandachi graduated from the American University of Beirut, and then relocated to the United States to complete her graduate studies. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University in 2003, and also completed her clinical dietetic internship at Loma Linda University. During her public health practicum, she volunteered at Riverside County and San Bernardino County, working with underprivileged populations on public health initiatives, including HIV education and prevention and the Head Start program, among others.
When she is not working, Ms. Al-Dandachi enjoys volunteering at her son’s school and cheering at his soccer and basketball games, traveling, and fighting injustice.