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About the CWD Fellows Program

The CWD Fellows Program at Friends for Life® Orlando gives health care professionals who are beginning their careers an opportunity to see what type 1 diabetes is really like by spending a week with Friends for Life® families. By exposing our Fellows to every aspect of life with type 1, from morning highs and lows to exercise-induced hypos to the emotional impact of a blood glucose reading that doesn't match expectations, we hope to help them bring greater understanding and compassion to the families who they will serve in their career. Our deepest thanks to Dexcom, Tandem Diabetes Care, and Animas for their inspired support for this transformational program.

Fellow Mentors


Jagjit Padda, MD, is a second year endocrinology fellow at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. Jagjit is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada where she did her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia. She is planning her career as a clinical physician and advocate of diabetes and women's health. She has published multiple manuscripts throughout her training. She is looking forward to spending her time as a part of the growing family of Children with Diabetes. She hopes to continue to be a part of this network and is looking forward to meeting again with all of the attendees this year.


Jenny Sapolsky RN, BSN, CDE, is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Nurse at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D. C. She received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University and her Nursing Degree from Marymount University. She works as a diabetes educator for MedStar Georgetown's Outpatient Internal Medicine Practice. Jenny is studying towards her Family Nurse Practitioner degree at The George Washington University with plans to graduate in May 2018. She volunteers on the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Local Networking Group Leadership Team in Washington, D. C. and the AADE Virginia State Coordinating Body. She was selected as the first AADE Friends For Life Fellow in 2016 and is excited to return this year as a fellows mentor. Friends for Life has shown Jenny that children with diabetes are so much more than just "children with diabetes" and helped her to embrace the understanding that Type 1 diabetes is a family journey.


Anthony Vesco, PhD, is currently a clinical psychology fellow at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He received his PhD from The Ohio State University in 2016. Anthony has specific interests in mood disorders in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes and is particularly interested in research and clinical programs that emphasize family-based models of treatment. Anthony enjoys working with families in building their support networks for diabetes and in helping families to communicate more openly and effectively about diabetes as a means of lessening the likelihood of argument and conflict regarding diabetes. Anthony is excited to be participating in the Friends for Life Orlando conference this year as a fellows’ mentor.

2017 Fellows


Lindsay Anderson, MA, is currently a pediatric psychology intern at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and will be starting her clinical psychology fellowship at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in July 2017 with a focus in diabetes. She is completing her PhD at Duke University, where she has studied interventions to promote adherence, cognitive functioning, and quality of life among youth and adolescents with chronic illness. Lindsay is particularly interested in the family and individual factors that promote adaptive functioning and the ways in which we can use innovative technology to help further support adherence, illness self-management, and overall quality of life. Lindsay is thrilled to be joining the Friends for Life® conference this year in Orlando to participate as a fellow


Laura Jacobsen, MD, is a third year pediatric endocrinology fellow at the University of Florida. Laura is a native Floridian and completed her undergraduate degrees and medical school at the University of Florida before going to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill for pediatric residency. She is planning a career as a physician scientist—taking care of pediatric endocrine and diabetes patients and doing type 1 diabetes research. Laura’s research interests include intervention and prevention clinical trials in type 1 diabetes in addition to translational research and technology trials such as the artificial pancreas. She also works with the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) at the University of Florida searching to understand better what causes type 1 diabetes. Laura has been involved with many amazing organizations and research consortiums related to type 1 diabetes including TrialNet, TEDDY, and the T1D Exchange. In her time as a fellow she has published three first-author manuscripts and six overall in the field of type 1 diabetes and she is also currently studying a retinal camera to improve screening for diabetic retinopathy. She is a member of the American Diabetes Association and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes and has enjoyed volunteering at the Florida Diabetes Camps.


Leena Shahla, MD, is an adult second year fellow at UMASS in Worcester, MA. In her role as a CWD Fellow, Dr. Shahla is eager to learn about the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes from CWD families. She currently has experience working with adults with endocrine diseases and looks forward to Friends for Life® Orlando expanding her knowledge base and helping her to develop experience working with adolescents and pre-adolescents. Dr. Shahla is thrilled to be part of the 2017 CWD Fellows Program at Friends for Life® Orlando.

  Friends for Life Orlando 2017 Conference  
  Introduction - Registration - Sponsors - Exhibitors - Convention Center Map - FAQs  
  InformaciĂłn en Español - Registro para la Conferencia - Facultad Sesiones Español  
  Faculty: Parent & Adult - Youth - Spanish Track - Grandparents - Nightscout - Sports Central - Retinal Screening - CWD Fellows - CWD Staff  
  Conference Schedule: Parents and Adults - Youth - Meet Ups - Childcare Form  
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Last Updated: Wednesday April 19, 2017 17:44:20
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