Riva is a health researcher and coach, diabetes educator, author, corporate advisor and key opinion leader. Riva has worked as an advisor to, among others, the CDC, International Diabetes Federation, Sanofi, Roche Diabetes Care, Medtronic Philanthropy, Lions Club Foundation International, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Diabetes Education and Camping Association. She is trained in Harvard University’s Minds at Work, Stanford University’s Diabetes Self-Management program, Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Thinking Environments.
Riva’s work is dedicated to changing the conversation and interaction between health professionals and people with diabetes to make both more successful. Riva and her partner, Boudewijn Bertsch, designed the Flourishing Approach (FA), based on neurobiology, complexity science and medical sociologist, Aaron Antonovsky’s concepts of ‘Sense of Coherence and Salutogenesis.’ Riva has presented the Approach at medical conferences around the world, in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and the US, and led workshops in the FA’s tools.
Author of three books on diabetes and hundreds of articles, including two-peer reviewed articles on the FA, she has written for the Huffington Post and on her award-winning blog, Diabetes Stories. In 2015, Riva received the International Diabetes Federation Lecture Award for education and advocacy, and in 2019 her book, The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes, was used in Costa Rica at diabetes camp to help children, and families, develop greater emotional resilience.
Riva has served as an A1C Champion peer-mentor for ten years, is a member of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists, is an IDF Blue Circle Voice member, an Ambassador for Insulin for Life, has spoken at the United Nations and the WHO, and is recognized for her humanistic work by professional associations and organizations.
Prior to working in diabetes, Riva spent two decades in advertising, marketing, branding and change communication and lived in Copenhagen, Sydney and Tokyo.
Riva has lived successfully with type 1 diabetes for more than 48 years.