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Melissa Anderson is an active community volunteer with three nearly grown children including her daughter, Katie, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2011 at age 11. She currently works in the Diabetes Clinic at Stanford Children’s Hospital as a parent mentor and is the parent lead for their Diabetes Family Advisory Council. She also serves as the parent advisor on Stanford Children’s Diabetes Quality Improvement team working with the T1D Exchange to develop interventions aimed at improving clinical care for patients with type 1 diabetes. Additionally, she serves on the board of Carb DM, a San Francisco Bay Area organization providing support, education and connection to the T1D community. She is married to Howard Look, the founder and CEO of Tidepool.

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Henry Anhalt, DO, is a pediatric endocrinologist who was most recently the Chief Medical Officer of the T1D Exchange, a nonprofit organization that has created a new paradigm fostering collaboration among patients, physicians, researchers and industry to speed discovery of better therapies for type 1 diabetes. Prior to his appointment at the T1D Exchange, he held numerous executive positions in the medical device and biopharmaceutical industries. He was CMO and medical director of the Artificial Pancreas program at Animas and was then recruited by Sanofi to lead its nascent T1D program and the North American Medical Affairs strategy for their new basal insulin Toujeo. Dr. Anhalt has held numerous executive leadership roles in the Pediatric Endocrine Society and the Endocrine Society, currently serving as chair of the Hormone Health Network, and a member of the Society’s Knowledge Integration Task Force. He has published over 30 peer reviewed papers, four textbook chapters, and dozens of abstracts. Dr. Anhalt is a member of the board of trustees of camp Nejeda, a camp for children with diabetes in Stillwater, NJ and member of the board of trustees of Insulin for Life USA an organization that provides insulin to people with diabetes around the world that have no access to insulin. He sees patients in Hackensack NJ.

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Christel Marchand Aprigliano was diagnosed in 1983 with type 1 diabetes and spent her early years wishing it would simply "go away." She now devotes her efforts to many diabetes advocacy and peer support initiatives as the CEO of Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the diabetes voice on federal and state policies; Founder of The Diabetes Collective, Inc., which produces The DiabetesUnConference; a member of Florida's Diabetes Advisory Council, and as a consultant for healthcare companies. You can find her thoughts on life with diabetes on her popular personal blog, www.theperfectd.com.

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David Baidal, MD, is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Diabetes Research Institute's Clinical Islet Transplant Program. Dr. Baidal had completed his internal medicine residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami and was a part of the DRI's clinical transplant team, training under Drs. Rodolfo Alejandro and Camillo Ricordi. He then went on to complete a clinical and research fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center / Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Following his fellowship, Dr. Baidal rejoined the DRI's Clinical Islet Transplant Program to focus on managing islet transplant recipients, developing new clinical islet transplant trials, and testing novel therapies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

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Shana Baker is Vice President, Controller for Buchanan Street Partners, located in Newport Beach, CA. She has been with Buchanan for 12 years and has over 18 years experience in Commercial Real Estate. Shana enjoys giving back to the community, and currently serves on the board for Buchanan Children's Charities and is the President of the Board of Directors for the PADRE Foundation. Her nephew Parker was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three, so she became involved with the foundation immediately in 2012. Her main goal for PADRE is to expand the program's reach across the US, to continue to educate, and provide support for children and their families living with T1D.


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Diagnosed at age 8, Sam Billetdeaux has always been determined not to let diabetes get in the way of his ambitions. While those ambitions have changed over the years, the determination hasn't. Sam, now 27, lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend Grace and his FFL Ben, whom he met over 10 years ago on a CWD Youth Ambassador trip to Italy. He enjoys biking with friends, going to the dog park, and seeking out the best pizza/ramen/coffee/brunch in New York! Sam graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in July 2016.

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Possessing over 25 years of professional experience in health care government relations activities focused on diabetes, Tom Boyer currently serves as director, government affairs for Novo Nordisk Inc. The focus of his work involves handling government affairs issues for the company before elected officials and regulators in the western half of the United States. As of early May 2016, authorship credits over the course of his career include over 75 health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and related laws directly credited with helping families affected by diabetes. Working directly with the diabetes community he helped convince President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich of the need to improve diabetes coverage for the Medicare population, wrote the legislative language to implement this aim and oversaw the public affairs efforts credited with achieving the benefits. He worked more recently with Members of Congress including then Congressman, now Governor Inslee and the Bush Administration to create and pass legislation providing coverage for diabetes needs within Medicare Part D, which is the prescription drug insurance program for America’s senior citizens.

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Susan Brennan is a Print Sourcing Specialist for The Walt Disney Company, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California for almost 30 years. Her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1996 at the age of 15 months. She was immediately introduced to the PADRE Foundation and began attending classes and functions in 1996, becoming part of the PADRE family for almost 21 years. In 2007, she joined the PADRE Board of Directors, and became President of the Board in 2008. She was awarded the Cathie and John Haretakis Award by PADRE in 2013, and has served on several committees such as ADA, and JDRF. She remained president until 2016, and is still an active member of the board. Her passion is to support the families and kids affected by T1D, and is excited for the opportunity to share PADRE's successful model with CWD families to hopefully have a greater impact in the T1D community nationally.


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Adam Brown was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001 and serves as Senior Editor/contributor at www.diaTribe.org and Head of Diabetes Technology & Digital Health at Close Concerns. At both organizations, Adam writes extensively about continuous glucose monitoring, insulin pumps, automated insulin delivery, and mobile apps. He also writes an acclaimed column for diaTribe.org, Adam’s Corner, which has brought actionable diabetes tips to over 600,000 people since 2013. In addition to his writing, Adam has shared a patient perspective at many public venues over the past five years, including events for people with diabetes (Friends for Life, TCOYD, JDRF), several FDA Advisory Committees and NIH Workshops, and major diabetes conferences (ADA, AADE). He is passionate about cycling, strength training, nutrition, psychology, and spends his free time outdoors in San Francisco. His first book was published on diaTribe.org in Spring 2017.

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Dan Browne is Program Coordinator for the College Diabetes Network, overseeing CDN’s growing network of over 100 campus based Chapters around the country. After starting a CDN Chapter during his senior year at the University of Mary Washington in 2014, he worked for two years as a research associate at the New York Stem Cell Foundation in Manhattan, studying stem-cell based therapies for type 1 diabetes in the lab. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002 and is passionate about organizing and empowering young people with diabetes to improve their lives.

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Todd M. Brusko, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Researcher at the University of Florida. His postdoctoral work in diabetes research contributed to the first clinical trial employing regulatory T-cells as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Todd and his team of diabetes researchers at the University of Florida are dedicated to the development of safe and effective therapies to prevent and reverse T1D. His laboratory works in close collaboration with Michael Haller, MD, and Desmond Schatz, MD, to conduct mechanistic studies in ongoing clinical trials and generate novel avenues for therapeutic intervention.

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Bruce Buckingham, MD, is a Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at Stanford Medical Center. His research interests have focused on continuous glucose monitoring in children. He is Principal Investigator at Stanford for DirecNet, an NIH sponsored multicenter study group which evaluates continuous glucose sensors in children. His current work focuses on the use of continuous glucose sensors in real-time, and the development of a closed-loop. These efforts are being funded by the JDRF and NIH and are currently focused on preventing nocturnal hypoglycemia and rapidly restoring metabolic control at the onset of diabetes.

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Alyssa Cabrera, MPH, is the Quality Improvement Specialist at T1D Exchange. She helps 10 clinical teams in their QI pilot drive improvement projects (through rapid tests of change) to eventually improve patient outcomes. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2014 and is a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Paraguay (2009-11). She’s very passionate about serving underserved populations.


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Sharon Kabbes Chrisman began her advocacy efforts on day one of her daughter’s diagnosis at age 11 in 2011. She is captain of her three-parent care team, maintaining balance in chronic illness and mental wellness management in a complex two-home family. She’s worked for five years with a psychologist (CDE) in developing coping mechanisms that work for their family. Her involvement at conferences and in the diabetes online community (DOC) showed her there was no support in place for families like theirs. She recently founded the group Type 1 Diabetes in Two Homes, serving a local and online community. Sharon is active in her local JDRF office as Connections Volunteer, TONS 2017 Committee and is a 2016-2017 JDRF Youth Ambassador Mom. She attended Friends for Life Orlando in 2014 and 2015. In her spare time, she works as a freelance academic copyeditor and ceramic artist.

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Kevin Covais is an actor, singer, and diabetes advocate. He is most recognized as a Top 12 Finalist on the fifth season of "American Idol", which aired in 2006. On the show, Kevin was mentored by several award-winning recording artists including Stevie Wonder and Barry Manilow, and he placed 11th overall. Since his "Idol" days, Kevin has transitioned into acting. His credits include a lead role in the 2008 MGM comedy, "College", a supporting role in the family film, "Touchback", starring Kurt Russell, as well as a role in 2014's summer blockbuster, "Transformers: Age of Extinction". Kevin has also made several television appearances including a guest star credit on the FOX show, "Raising Hope". Disney Channel fans know Kevin best as Victor Deleseur on the hit show, "Good Luck Charlie". Kevin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 11 and has worked with the Diabetes Research Institute for many years. He is thrilled to be a part of Children with Diabetes again after making his first CWD appearance in 2006.

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Edward Damiano, PhD, is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His educational training is in the areas of biomedical and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. Over the years, his lab has been engaged in basic scientific research that combine aspects of fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and intravital microscopy to study the biomechanics of the inner ear and blood flow in the microcirculation. In addition to his basic science research, he has also committed himself to building a bionic pancreas for type 1 diabetes. Ever since his 17-year-old son, David, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11 months of age, he has set his sights on creating and integrating blood-glucose control technologies with a vision of building a bihormonal (insulin and glucagon) bionic pancreas that David could take to college. He and his engineering team at BU began conducting experiments testing an early version of their bionic pancreas running on a laptop computer in diabetic swine in 2005 and then progressed with their clinical collaborators at the Massachusetts General Hospital through in-patient trials in adults and adolescents with T1D from 2008–2012. From 2013–2016, his team at BU and clinical collaborators conducted seven outpatient clinical trials in adults and children with type 1 diabetes testing a mobile version of their bionic pancreas, which ran on an iPhone. With $2.5MM in donations from over 1,000 gifts from the T1D community, his engineering team at BU along with their contract manufacturers, have recently built the first fully integrated biohormonal bionic pancreas that does not rely upon smartphone technology. They call their device the iLet, in homage to the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. They recently received FDA approval to begin clinical trials testing the iLet in the outpatient setting. Their goal is to begin clinical testing of the iLet in the middle of 2017 and to conduct the final pivotal trial testing the insulin-only configuration of the iLet in the first half of 2018. He recently co-founded Beta Bionics, Inc., a Massachusetts Public Benefit Corporation, for the purpose of commercializing the iLet for people living with type 1 diabetes.

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Cynthia M. Deitle, JD, has been a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 1995. During her career, she has focused her efforts on investigating violations of federal civil rights statutes including police brutality and misconduct, hate crimes, human trafficking, and abortion extremism. Deitle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University, her Juris Doctor degree from New England Law Boston, and a Master of Laws degree from both the George Washington University National Law Center and the New York University School of Law. She is a licensed attorney in Florida, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Deitle was featured in a February 2011 episode of 60 Minutes dealing with an unsolved Civil Rights Cold Case investigation in Mississippi, and she appeared in the first season of Investigation Discovery's series, The Injustice Files in 2011. After her two year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013, Deitle and her wife joined the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and attended their first Children With Diabetes Friends for Life (FFL) conference in Orlando. Deitle and her wife, Kristina L. Norris, joined the staff of FFL in 2016 and Deitle joined the FFL faculty in 2017 to address the legal needs of young adults with Type 1 diabetes. She currently serves as the President of the East Tennessee Chapter of the JDRF. Deitle and her family live in Knoxville, Tennessee.


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Bennet Dunlap, MSHC, is passionate advocate for better diabetes care. He is the father of four, two of whom live with type 1 diabetes. Like millions of Americans Bennet tries to be successful with type 2 diabetes himself. He has created a variety of social media projects including the advocacy campaign StripSafely, DrinkingWithDiabetes a resource for families sending type 1 students to college and his blog, Your Diabetes May Vary. Bennet is an integral member of the Spare a Rose / Save a Child community supporting the IDF's Life for a Child program. He is a respected participant in industry social media summits. Bennet has given patient perspectives in public testimony before the FDA's Endocrine and Metabolic Drug Committee on diabetes medication. Recently, he was a patient reviewer for PCORI. With a degree in finance from Lehigh University, Bennet pursued a career in commercial banking. Following the diagnosis of his children with type 1, his passion for advocacy grew and he earned a masters in health communications from Boston University to better serve the diabetes community. Bennet is currently a consultant helping to advance diabetes care and patient engagement.

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Alessio Fasano, MD, is Chief of Pediatric GI, Director of the Mucosal Biology and Immunology Lab, and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Fasano is regarded as one of the foremost authorities worldwide on celiac disease, and his epidemiological studies in the United States have changed the preconception that celiac disease is a rare disorder in our county. He will be presenting sessions on celiac disease, which is more common in children with type 1 diabetes than the general population.

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Leigh Davis Fickling, MEd, MS, JD, is the Executive Director of the Disability Management System at Duke University. With over 19 years of experience in Higher Education Administration, Leigh has served in a variety of executive leadership roles including Dean of Students and Dean of Campus Life. Leigh's area of expertise is disability law and the implementation of reasonable accommodations in the classroom and the workplace. Leigh and her husband Jimmy are the proud parents to six year old twins, Ava and Davis. Ava was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three in 2013. With Ava's diagnosis and the need for accommodations in elementary school, Leigh's work life and home life have merged.


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Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, Elizabeth Forrest was determined not to let diabetes negatively impact her life. She connected with the local American Diabetes Association and created an annual benefit show and nonprofit organization, "Dancing for Diabetes." What started as a small neighborhood event quickly transformed into an annual show hosted at Seminole High School and a 501c3 nonprofit organization. In the fall of 2015, Dancing for Diabetes will produce the 15th annual show, due in large part to the loyal supporters, performers, and audience members. Elizabeth has proclaimed that Dancing for Diabetes will continue until a cure is found. Alum of Seminole High School, the University of Florida (Bachelors) and the University of Central Florida (Masters), Elizabeth is currently the Firm Administrator of a large Orlando Law Firm.

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Kenneth Gorfinkle, PhD, is the Scientific Director of The BETES Organization. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Children’s Hospital. He is also associated with the Behavioral Medicine Program at Columbia University, where he has participated in research, consulting, and teaching in areas of diabetes care, pain management, cardiovascular health, and rehabilitation after craniofacial surgery. Dr. Gorfinkle served as consulting Psychologist for the Babies and Children's Hospital Pediatric Oncology Service from 1992 until 2001, for the Craniofacial Surgery and Rehabilitation Service from 1998 through 2008, and from 2007 through 2016 as consulting psychologist for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at NY Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Gorfinkle is the author of Soothing Your Child's Pain: From Teething to Tummy Aches to Acute Illnesses and Injuries-How to Understand the Causes and Ease the Hurt. He has published in numerous books and peer review journals and is a member of various scientific societies, including the New York State Psychological Association and American Psychological Association. Dr. Gorfinkle is married to Doris E. Ullendorff, ACSW, with whom he shares a psychotherapy practice, Common Sense Therapy in New York. They have three children.

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Karen Graffeo was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1979 at the age of 11. In 2008 she started her blog, Bitter-Sweet, and became immersed in the diabetes online community. Two years later she created Diabetes Blog Week, uniting approximately 200 diabetes blogger annually to connect as a community and to spread diabetes awareness. Karen recently joined the team at DiabetesSistersVoices, serving as the site moderator and a research assistant. She also volunteers with DiabetesSisters, leading the monthly Virtual PODS support group. Her blog tagline best sums up what she’s come to realize over the years ... life with diabetes isn’t all bad.


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Grace Grande-Cassell is very excited to be staffing her sixth year of CWD conferences! She has grown up with a connection to type 1 diabetes because of her grandfather, who was diagnosed at age 14. Grace currently lives in New York City where she works in the fashion industry. She is so happy to be helping at another conference.

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Marisa E. Hilliard, PhD, is clinical pediatric psychologist whose clinical care and research focuses on supporting the health and well-being of young people with type 1 diabetes and their families. Her work focuses on promoting resilience, specifically how youth and families overcome the challenges of diabetes to most effectively manage diabetes while maintaining good quality of life, and she studies strengths-based clinical approaches to support these outcomes. Dr. Hilliard is especially interested transitional times in diabetes management, such as the adjustment to new T1D diagnosis, how family diabetes management shifts between childhood and adolescence, and how teenagers prepare for life with diabetes as young adults. She also collaborates with professional and patient advocacy organizations to educate mental health providers about diabetes to improve access to behavioral and mental health support for people with diabetes. Dr. Hilliard joined the CWD faculty in 2014 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in the Psychology Section of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas.

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Raj Hirani, PhD, serves as the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at the Diabetes Research Institute/University of Miami Miller School of Medicine where he works to advance the development of transformative therapies for the cure of type 1 diabetes. He concurrently serves as the Associate Vice Provost for Human Subject Research at the University of Miami. Dr. Hirani has extensive experience with all matter associated with clinical trials, FDA regulations, research compliance, and other areas required to ensure that a clinical trial protocol meets the highest standards for the benefit of patients living with a disease. Prior to his current positions, Dr. Hirani served as Lead Clinical Research Pharmacist at UM Health System, where he was responsible for more than 350 clinical trials across all university hospitals, clinics, and satellites. As the father of a son with type 1 diabetes, Dr. Hirani would like to see nothing more than a cure for his son and millions of others living with the disease, like the many DRI colleagues whom he works with to move cure-focused research toward that final goal.

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Irl B. Hirsch, MD, MACP, is professor and Diabetes Treatment and Teaching Chair at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He received his medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1984. He completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Miami, in Miami, Florida and Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, Florida and a research fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He has authored more than 170 papers, more than 60 editorials, three commentaries for The Journal of the American Medical Association, numerous book chapters and six books for patients and physicians. He is the past editor-in-chief of DOC News and Clinical Diabetes. Currently, he is section editor for Up-To-Date. Areas of interest include glucose variability, i.e. if fluctuations in blood glucose could have an impact on the complications of diabetes due to inflammation and reactive oxygen species which occurs both with hyperglycemic spikes and hypoglycemic troughs. He is currently researching the impact of glucose control on inpatient bone marrow transplant patients who have had no change in mortality over the last 20 years. With the T1D Exchange, he has become involved with the study of older patients with type 1 diabetes, especially with regard to issues pertaining to hypoglycemia. Over the years he has explored the various biomarkers of glucose and the various limitations of hemoglobin A1C. From both a research and teaching point of view, he has spent his career studying best strategies for the use of insulin therapy in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and recently Dr. Hirsch has become involved with artificial pancreas technology. He has an interest in the use of computers in diabetes data management, how pattern recognition can be used to improve diabetes control and how glycemic variability noted on glucose meter downloads may be an independent risk for microvascular complications. These ideas have led to the funding and completion of the trial FLAT-SUGAR (FLuctuATion reduction with inSUlin Glp-1 Added togetheR). Additional past major clinical research trials include DCCT, ACCORD, STAR-1, the JDRF Sensor Trial, SEARCH, ORIGIN, and ADAG, a variety of important observations with the T1D Exchange and many more involved with insulin therapy. Dr. Hirsch is the former chair of the Professional Practice Committee for the American Diabetes Association and served as a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.


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Korey K. Hood, PhD, is Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University where he directs NIH-funded research projects and provides clinical care aimed at promoting health and quality of life outcomes in youth with diabetes and their families. Dr. Hood actively investigates the human factors associated with the uptake of diabetes technology and works with Dr. Bruce Buckingham on his team's artificial pancreas project. Dr. Hood also serves on national committees for the American Diabetes Association and is on editorial boards for Diabetes Care and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Hood is the author of Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes and a recent book entitled Teens With Diabetes: A Clinician's Guide (with authors Michael Harris, PhD and Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDE). His research, clinical care, and service are fueled by his personal experience with type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed as a young adult and has spent more than 15 years managing type 1 diabetes. He is passionate about helping children and teens with diabetes, and their families, make diabetes a part of their lives while not letting it run their lives.

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Dana Howe was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002 at the age of eight. Passionate about science, health and how we communicate (and driven by her T1D) she studied Biology and Health Communication in school. At Beyond Type 1, Dana strives to use social media to amplify the voices of people with type 1 and build community around living well now with T1D. When she’s not liking your tweets, you can find her skiing, hiking, biking or curled up somewhere drinking coffee.


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George Huntley is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Theoris Group, Inc., a professional services and software company based in Indianapolis, IN with offices throughout the US and Europe. He has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1983 and has been an active volunteer in the fight against diabetes since 1986. George has held many leadership roles with the American Diabetes Association including Chair of the National Board of Directors. George is a founding member and current officer of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council, a 501c3 organization dedicated to patient advocacy to improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes. George also serves on the board of T-1 Today (Children With Diabetes).


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Scott K. Johnson is an experienced patient advocate. He works with a wide range of stakeholders across the healthcare environment to help them establish effective communication with the patient community. His expertise in the diabetes social media space is recognized worldwide and he advises organizations within the healthcare, food, and consumer goods industries. Today he is Communications Lead, USA for mySugr and Patient Pathways Lead in the Diabetes Division of Delta Project Management. He manages an award-winning blog “Scott's Diabetes” that reaches hundreds of thousands of people annually and co-hosts a weekly radio show. Scott is also a member of the Children with Diabetes faculty where he develops educational curriculums and content for the Friends for Life annual conference and regional events. He is on the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Hands Foundation, the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation, and is a founding member of Partnering for Diabetes Change, a coalition of people living with diabetes and industry representatives working to support underserved communities.

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Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad. He's the creator/author of www.diabetesdad.org, a daily syndicated column. His daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed at age 2 in 1992. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom has been introduced to the NY State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., and has lectured globally about being a DiabetesDad. With Kim May, a dMom from Texas, he created the website and FB page; www.GetDiabetesRight.org, a grassroots effort spreading awareness about the detection/understanding of t1 diabetes. He received numerous commendations for his work in the Diabetes Community from Hurricane Katrina to advocacy initiatives. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from CWD in 2008; among many other awards from groups and organizations. For 12 years, as an actor, he starred in the New York Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding and also at The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was at the Sundance Film Festival, and he appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and numerous commercials. He won 13 Telly Awards, a FREDDIE Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award while Executive Producer of dLife on CNBC. His mantra; just "Don't do Nothing", is well known throughout the diabetes community. Tom will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.

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Kim Kelly, PharmD, BCPS, FCCP, is President of Kelly Diabetes Associates, and former Director of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute-North America. Dr. Kelly has a lengthy and distinguished career involving patient care, academic medicine, and organizational involvement including President of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Chairman of the ACCP Research Institute, and Board of Directors of the College Diabetes Network. His research and experience have included a number of publications, participation on editorial boards and review panels of several journals, involvement in medical curriculum development, and various committees of professional organizations. Currently, his activities center around developing diabetes health management and educational programs for various health care providers and provider organizations. Delighted to work with children and teens alike, Dr. Kelly participated as a volunteer at Friends for Life conferences, where he became 'hooked' in working with the wonderful CWD kids and families.

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Jessica C. Kichler, PhD, CDE, is a pediatric psychologist who specializes in working with chronically medically ill children and their families. She is also a certified diabetes educator (CDE). She provides individual, family, and group therapy for all ages of children and their families. In addition, she engages in research, education, and training in the areas of adjustment and coping, adherence, and the psychosocial outcomes of chronic illness in children and families. Dr. Kichler is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Medical School, in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Charles "CC" King, PhD, is secretary of the Diabetes Research Connection and is an Associate Research Scientist at the University of California, San Diego's (UCSD) Pediatric Diabetes Research Center who has helped define the molecular mechanisms of human embryonic stem cell differentiation from pluripotency toward pancreatic endoderm. CC studies the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into endocrine cells, including insulin-producing cells. In additional, he has served as a study section member on review panels for the National Institute of Health and numerous scientific journals.

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Marlene Koch, RD, owner of Marlene Koch Culinary Nutrition, is registered dietitian, food and culinary expert, and New York Times bestselling author. Known as the “magician in the kitchen,” for her ability to make excess sugar, fat and calories simply “disappear” from everyone’s favorite foods, she is the author of eight bestselling cookbooks including the highly acclaimed “Eat What You Love” cookbook series, and the New York Times bestseller Eat More Of What You Love. Marlene’s expertise and dynamic media personality has made her a go-to media contributor and guest. She and her recipes have been featured from Cooking Light, Diabetes Health, and the Washington Post to sites across the web including Shape, The Huffington Post and Oprah.com, to national television from Fox and Friends, the Food Network and Home & Family, to QVC where she appears regularly. As a nationally recognized nutrition expert in wellness, weight management, and diabetes, Marlene speaks and provides food and nutrition content for professional health organizations and various media channels. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and holds an advanced certificate in child and adolescent weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the American Diabetes Association. Marlene comes from a large food-loving family and lives near San Francisco with her husband and two hungry boys.

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Leslie Landree, PhD, is the diabetes team leader in the Division of Chemistry and Toxicology Devices in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Leslie has been at the FDA for eight years where she has been involved in premarket submissions submitted to the Agency for U.S. marketing clearance and approval, post market regulatory compliance actions, and providing assistance to stakeholders. Leslie currently works primarily on devices that are related to the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes. Prior to working at the FDA, Leslie obtained her doctorate degree Biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine in 2000, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, after which she later became Research Associate and Section Head of In Vitro Studies for The Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research.

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Joyce Lee, MD, MPH, is a Pediatric Endocrinologist and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School. She has dual training in Pediatric Endocrinology and Pediatric Health Services Research, and her research focuses on the use of emerging technologies (mobile technology, data visualization, participatory game design, social media) and the creation of learning health systems for improving outcomes in diabetes. She is working with the Nightscout community and foundation to create a patient-driven collaborative research network focused on type 1 diabetes. Sign up for our email list to learn more about the research: http://eepurl.com/bGKk8H. You can find her on twitter https://twitter.com/joyclee and on the web http://www.doctorasdesigner.com/.


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Oren Liebermann is a CNN International Correspondent based in Jerusalem. Oren was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes in Nepal while backpacking around the world with his wife. After a brief trip home to recover and learn more about diabetes care, Oren resumed his trip in Thailand. He considers this the most important decision he ever made about living with diabetes: never let it slow you down. He aims to inspire other people with diabetes to live full, adventurous lives without limitations. Oren is the author of the recently published book, The Insulin Express: One Backpack, Five Continents, and the Diabetes Diagnosis That Changed Everything.

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Mary Lucas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 at the age of seven, and despite having the disease for 18 years now she still approaches each day with a smile and a sunny outlook. She attended Parsons the New School for Design in New York where she studied fashion design with a focus in Childrenswear. Now in her role as Community Partners + Programs Manager at Beyond Type 1, Mary loves connecting and sharing stories and tips and tricks with other diabetics. She grew up around philanthropy and is passionate about living well with T1D, growing Beyond Type 1, and her French Bulldog Lola! Find her on instagram @MaryAlessandraa.


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Frank Martin, PhD, is a Scientist in JDRF’s Discovery Research program. In this role, Dr. Martin focuses on the unique interface of the immune system and the pancreatic microenvironment, the development of biomarkers of beta cell stress and function, the development of reagents to specifically target or image the beta cell, and the discovery and validation of novel targets for diabetic retinopathy. Prior to joining JDRF in 2014, Dr. Martin worked in the ophthalmology department of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he designed proof of concept clinical trials for autoimmune and inflammatory eye diseases. He was previously a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Developmental and Molecular Pathways unit of NIBR, focusing on the epigenetic control of T-cell development. Dr. Martin completed his graduate work at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Columbia University, where he studied the innate immune response to inhaled pathogens (S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and H1N1 influenza), separately identifying connexin 43 gap junctions and the type I interferon pathway as critical in the host response.


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Ryan Martz is the Director for Pediatric-Adolescent Diabetes Research and Education (PADRE) Foundation located at CHOC Children’s Hospital in California. Following his diagnosis of type 1 diabetes in 1994 his passion for advocacy grew. He is responsible of the daily operations at PADRE while also managing and overseeing all fundraisers, events, psychosocial support programs, and diabetes research collaborations. In 2011, Ryan received a certification in Meeting & Events Management. Since 2004, Ryan has concurrently served as the Program Director for Diabetes Camping and Educational Services, Inc., which owns and operates Camp Conrad Chinnock. In 2012, he received the high honor of the Dr. Robert Chinnock Family Award for his service and dedication to those living with type 1 diabetes. In 2016, he was again recognized with the Cathie & John Haretakis Award for his vision and tireless devotion to the PADRE Foundation.


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Justin Masterson is a strategist and designer heavily rooted in the pursuit of deep human insight. His career began as a news anchor and feature producer for NPR, where he learned that every story is a human story, and that even the most complex problems are, at their core human problems. He was thrilled to find out that the business world had a place where you could not only tell the stories of complex human issues, but actually innovate to solve them. His decade-long career with Seek has been hallmarked by success after success in leading the research, ideation, strategy and storytelling processes for more than a hundred Fortune-500™ brands. Chronic pediatric disease became a part of Justin's life story when his daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on her fifth birthday. Since then, he has turned his attention to innovating in health care, focusing on system design and quality improvement that puts the human story at the center of health care systems. Today, he is helping health care networks and global health care brands innovate from the patient and stakeholder perspectives, and break through problems that desperately need to be solved.

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Diana M. Naranjo, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. As a trained pediatric and adult psychologist working in behavioral medicine, Dr. Naranjo focuses on the psychosocial needs of patients and families with diabetes. Together with the team, she aims to understand barriers and facilitators to care, what developmental demands are important as adolescent’s transition to adulthood, and how to best provide services that engage young adults and their families. Furthermore, as a Latino-American and fluent in Spanish, much of her clinical work focuses on bridging the health-care gap for underserved ethnic minority patients with type 1 diabetes.

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Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993. CEO of DiabetesSisters, she is dedicated to improving the lives of women living with diabetes through peer support and education. DiabetesSisters (www.diabetessisters.org) creates a safe environment for women living with diabetes through online and in-person programs such as online forums, blogs, webinars, National Conferences, and monthly support group meetups throughout the United States. Anna graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Education at Florida International University. She has worked for large university systems and metropolitan health care systems since 1999, with a focus on major gift fundraising, annual gifts, event planning and community relations. She resides in the Chicago area with her husband and son.


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Sean M. Oser, MD, MPH, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before starting college. Through medical school, graduate school, and residency, as well as through marriage, parenthood, and his professional career, he has learned to make diabetes work at each step along the way. His daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven and, since then, he and his wife, Tamara Oser, MD, have discovered Children with Diabetes and other parent and family groups. CWD and its programs have motivated him to join the diabetes online community as well, where he blogs less frequently than he would like to at t1works.blogspot.com. He is currently Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State University College of Medicine. As medical director of Penn State Hershey’s Camp Hill primary care practice, he led that site to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s highest level of recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home, providing patient-centered, team-based, comprehensive care. He has also helped lead Penn State Hershey’s successful efforts to develop and implement their fully functional electronic health record and to help harness the power of technology in providing high quality, longitudinal care and enhanced communication with patients.

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Tamara Oser, MD, is Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. She is active in clinical practice, teaching both medical students and residents, and in medical education research. One of her major areas of focus is the patient doctor relationship. She has ranked in the ninety-ninth percentile nationwide for patient satisfaction and was recently named to the Best Doctors® in America. She is wife to Sean Oser, MD, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 25 years, and is mom to twins Courtney and Jessica (age 13). Jessica was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. She has seen firsthand that although there are challenges, diabetes is also her husband’s and daughter’s greatest strength. She blogs her family’s life with type 1 diabetes at t1family.blogspot.com.

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Chris Parkin is President of CGParkin Communications, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in diabetes education development. During the past 30 years, Chris has authored numerous articles on diabetes technology and management and has assisted several medical organizations in the development of clinical practice guidelines, position statements and consensus conference reports regarding diabetes management Chris received a Master of Science degree in education and instructional design in 1996 from Indiana University, Bloomington and served as Adjunct Professor at Indiana University.


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R. Stewart Perry grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. Since 1983 he has been the co-owner of Perry & Perry State Farm Insurance, one of the largest State Farm Insurance agencies in the state of Kentucky and is a Diabetes Consultant and Advocate. Stewart’s family has been dramatically affected by diabetes. His son has type 1 diabetes, both parents, and sister have all had diabetes during their lifetime. He has lost an uncle, grandfather and great grandmother to complications of diabetes. Stewart was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1990. Since that time, he has been actively involved in the American Diabetes Association. Stewart was the Chairman of the National Board of Directors and Chair of the National Advocacy Committee for five years, He was Chair Bluegrass Chapter for a number of years and helped organize many of the fundraising events still in existence. He served as the Kentucky Affiliate Board of Vice-Chair and was Chair-Elect when it became a part of the Southern Region where he served as the Chair of the Southern Region. He also is a former member of the National Board of Directors. He is the State of Kentucky State Advocacy Chair for ADA. Stewart is a member of the Kentucky Diabetes Network and a founding member of the Fayette County Diabetes Collation. Stewart was appointed by two different Governors of Kentucky to the GET FIT KY Board and The Diabetes Research Trust Fund Board where he currently still serves. Stewart is one of the founders of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council and currently serves as an officer of that organization. Where he has been instrumental in passing Diabetes Action Plan legislation in 18 states over the past four years.


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Matthew Point, MS, is a higher education professional. He currently serves as the Director of Residence Life & Housing at Moore College of Art & Design in Center City, Philadelphia. Matt holds a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration & College Student Development. As part of his role on campus, he manages special accommodations for housing and dining plans for students with disabilities or dietary restriction and is responsible for all on-campus emergency management. Matt began attending CWD events two years ago to support his partner, who has type 1 diabetes. Matt's favorite parts of attending CWD events are getting to see all of the new technology, as well as reuniting with Type 1 and "Type 3" friends.

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Stephen W. Ponder, MD, FAAP, CDE, has been a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist and certified diabetes educator since 1989-90. Dr. Ponder is also a Joslin 50-year medalist; having lived well with type 1 diabetes since March 1st 1966. He is the creator of Sugar Surfing™, a paradigm shifting approach to managing diabetes. His book Sugar Surfing (www.sugarsurfing.com) is now in its sixth printing and has sold in over 30 countries. Ponder has been volunteering every year since 1981 as medical staff at the Texas Lions Camp for Children with Diabetes. He has also served as that residential camp’s medical director since 1989. He served on and chaired the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) and chaired the organization in 1996. He has served on numerous local, state, and national committees advocating for child health and improved diabetes care. He has authored numerous research articles and received several diabetes research grants. He also serves as the Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Program at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. He is medical director for the Feed My Sheep Children’s Free Clinic which aims to serve homeless and uninsured children across central Texas. Dr. Ponder has spoken internationally on all areas of diabetes care for several decades. His professional focus is on empowering children, their families, and individuals with diabetes to assist them in achieving the best possible diabetes control and outcomes.

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Trisha Porretti, RN, BSN, CDE, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1992. This diagnosis inspired her to become a nurse and a certified diabetes educator. Her area of expertise is in pediatric endocrinology and insulin pump therapy. For 15 summers she has been a nurse at Camp Coral Kids, a camp for children with diabetes. Since 2004 she has been a motivational speaker at diabetes conferences and events throughout the United States. She is the author of the book, The Sweet Blessing: My Adventures in Diabetes. She has encouraged and inspired patients to focus on the positive diabetes outcomes that are achievable with education, acceptance, faith, and humor. Trisha shares her optimistic message that laughter can lower our blood sugar!

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Alberto Pugliese, MD, has always strived toward one career goal – helping to cure/prevent type 1 diabetes through research. Dr. Pugliese has been at the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), University of Miami, since 1994. He is The J. Enloe and Eugenia J. Dodson Chair in Diabetes Research, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology and Deputy Director for Immune Tolerance. His work examines the role of genetic and immunological factors that lead to, or protect against, the development of type 1 diabetes. His studies have led to improved understanding of genetic and cellular mechanisms that regulate immunological self-tolerance (acceptance) specifically to molecules targeted in diabetes.  Dr. Pugliese's research has provided seminal contributions in type 1 diabetes genetics, immunology, pathology, and clinical trials. Dr. Pugliese is a Steering Committee Member of the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet, an NIH-funded clinical trial network. He is Executive Co-Director of the JDRF nPOD (Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes), which recovers tissues from organ donors with T1D and supports diabetes research conducted by nPOD-approved investigators worldwide. His research has been published in major international journals including Nature Genetics, Nature Immunology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lancet, among other prestigious, peer-reviewed journals.

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Nicole Rioles is Quality Improvement Director at the T1D Exchange. She is responsible for the organization’s strategic initiative to advance clinical care for people living with type 1 diabetes while reducing inefficiencies and cost in delivering care. Previously, Nicole worked as Director of the Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund to create community and clinical linkages in primary care and she has led patient advisory committees. Nicole also has community organizing and coalition-building experience in the intersecting areas of social justice, urban planning and public health. Nicole earned a Masters in Media & Communications at the University of London and has been living with type 1 diabetes for three decades.


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Liz Robinson, MS, PA-C, is a physician assistant at Reading Health Physician Network in Pennsylvania. She has specialized in high risk obstetrics for over 15 years, with a strong focus on type 1 diabetes in pregnancy. Her interest in type 1 diabetes began when she met her husband, who was diagnosed as a teenager. Her passion was further fueled when her daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at four years old. Liz takes pride in using both her clinical skills and personal experience to help her patients achieve healthy, happy pregnancies. In addition, she also specializes in adolescent gynecology and enjoys supporting her patients as they make the transition into adulthood.

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Henry Rodriguez, MD, is a highly regarded pediatric diabetologist and collaborative type 1 diabetes clinical researcher who led the Indiana University (IU) DPT-1 Regional Recruitment Center and served as the highly successful IU TrialNet Clinical Center's Clinical Director for 10 years. He joined the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 2010 as a Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Director of the USF Diabetes Center. He has led expansion of clinical, educational, and clinical research activities at USF including the launch of the USF T1D Exchange Clinical Center, establishment of the USF TrialNet Clinical Center, and partnering with industry in investigating novel therapies in type 1 and pediatric type 2 diabetes. Dr. Rodriguez is the Protocol Chair for the NIH-funded TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study and serves on numerous TrialNet committees. He is co-chair of the ADA Safe at School Working Group, co-chair of the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance and has been a longstanding volunteer with JDRF and a staunch supporter of diabetes camps. He has also been the member of working groups addressing insulin pump therapy in children and the transition of young adults from pediatric to adult diabetes care providers. His clinical and research foci are the improvement of lives impacted by diabetes while pursing prevention and a cure.

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Christina Roth is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the College Diabetes Network. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14, Christina became an active patient advocate while in college where she started CDN as a campus group in 2009. Due to the overwhelming response to the initial group, Christina expanded CDN into a national non-profit organization serving young adults with diabetes. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Christina worked at the Joslin Diabetes Center and consulted for the T1D Exchange. Christina served as President of CDN until 2013, when she was appointed CEO of the organization. As CEO, Christina frequently speaks on topics such as CDN’s programs; research on the young adult population and how to meet their unique needs; non-profit management; women in business; innovation; and start-up organizations.

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Desmond Schatz, MD, is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Director of the GCRC at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid 80s and has published over 200 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several JDRF and NIH awards. He is PI on JDRF funded studies aimed at reversing Type 1 diabetes using autologous stem cells (cord blood) and is currently PI the of the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet. He serves as co-PI on a Program Project Grant looking at the immunopathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, and also serves as co-PI for the NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida. Dr.Schatz has served in numerous capacities for the American Diabetes Association and on study sections and site visits for the JDRF and NIH. He also serves on the external advisory board for the NIH- and CDC-funded SEARCH study and the TODAY study in youth with type 2 diabetes and on the JDRF-funded Australian INIT II studies. He was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award together with his colleagues, Mark Atkinson and Mike Haller as well as the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association.


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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services, a practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy and advanced education for children and adults. He and his staff provide consultations throughout the world via phone and the internet. Gary is a Masters-level exercise physiologist. He has been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 19 years, and served as the 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year. He has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years and makes personal use of insulin pump therapy and CGM. Gary has written dozens of articles for diabetes trade publications and six books, including the popular Think Like A Pancreas - A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin. He lectures nationally and internationally for people with diabetes as well as professionals in the healthcare industry. In addition to serving on the faculty of Children With Diabetes and the Board of Directors for JDRF, Gary volunteers for the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Sisters, and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has been happily married for 25 years and has four wonderful kids. A fitness fanatic, he enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling and cheering on his Philadelphia sports teams.

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Stacey Simms is the host of Diabetes Connections, an award-winning podcast that aims to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Connections was named a Top Ten Health Podcast in the 2016 Podcast Awards. Stacey’s son was diagnosed with T1D in 2006, one month before he turned two, and she’s blogged since 2007 about her family’s experience. In 2015 she created Diabetes Podcast Week, bringing together shows in our community to help benefit charity. For more than a decade, Stacey hosted Charlotte’s Morning News on WBT-AM, the city’s top-rated morning radio news show. She’s been named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s Forty under 40 and as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Mecklenburg County by the Mecklenburg Times.

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Anna Simos, MPH, CDE, CPT, is a Stanford Health Care Diabetes Education and Prevention Program Manager. Anna is an expert pump trainer, researcher and advocate for the patients she educates. Not only has she been an educator for inpatient, outpatient, and community programs, but she has also provided leadership and clinical diabetes management to transplant patients including renal, kidney, heart, lung, and intestinal. Anna is leading the team at Stanford to attain national accreditation as a Diabetes Education and Prevention Program from AADE and the National Center of Disease Control. Anna has received numerous awards and recognition from Stanford and other prestigious organizations.


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Laura Smith, PhD, CDE, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, a licensed psychologist, and certified diabetes educator at the University of South Florida Diabetes Center. Dr. Smith provides clinical care and conducts research in the area of pediatric and adult T1D. Her research focuses on how healthcare providers and individuals with diabetes can collaborate and share in health decision-making, how family interactions impact diabetes management, and the psychological impact of being genetically at-risk for T1D. Dr. Smith has published research articles in these areas and speaks on these topics to various groups of healthcare providers, researchers, and patients. She also provides clinical services to individuals living with T1D and their families. Dr. Smith's work is guided by her own experience; she was diagnosed with T1D 16 years ago and believes that having diabetes can be challenging but is manageable with education, a positive outlook, and a good support network.

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Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986, diagnosed at the age of seven. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.” Kerri is an internationally recognized diabetes advocate. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, established in 2005 and remains one of the most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, caregivers, and industry. She has been featured on NPR, US News and World Report, CBNC, Yahoo! Health, LA Times, The Lancet, Whole Living, Disney’s Family.com, and Family Circle, among other national outlets. In addition to her writing, Kerri is a highly-rated speaker and has presented the patient perspective to audiences around the world. She works to raise awareness for diabetes, patient advocacy, and the influence of social media on health outcomes. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), looks at type 1 diabetes in the context of “real life.” Kerri and her husband live in Rhode Island, USA with their two children.

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Ben Stroud, age 28, has been living with diabetes for 18 years, and has been pumping for over 10 years. Born in the northeast, and raised in the southeast and SoCal has given him an appreciation for the country and a hunger for travel. A graduate of the LA Film school, Ben has been working in the industry, making television commercials, short films, and working on television programs. Ben has been attending Friends for Life Orlando since 2002 and a volunteer for over seven years. Ben currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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Adam Town, BSN, RN, is a Registered Nurse who graduated with a Bachelors of Science in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. He currently works in a hospital where he lives in West Chester, Ohio. Adam is a husband to Marissa, who has had type 1 diabetes since she was two, and father to Connor and Everly. He has always enjoyed being a mentor and role model for children and loves to help families, caregivers and significant others of people with diabetes at CWD conferences.

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Marissa Town, BSN, RN, CDE, graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and later earned her Certified Diabetes Educator credential. She has had type 1 diabetes since the age of two and has grown up with a passion for helping families living with diabetes. Marissa works as a clinical diabetes specialist at Tandem Diabetes Care with a focus on young adults and optimism. She has always enjoyed working with families with diabetes at Children with Diabetes conferences, camps, and support groups. She and her husband Adam have two young children, Connor and Everly.

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Marina Tsaplina is a performing artist, patient advocate and founder of THE BETES Organization, whose mission is to employ the performing arts to help people with chronic conditions form a flourishing relationship with their health. A Scholar in the Medical Humanities at the Penn State College of Medicine - Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine, she is passionate about bringing the unique power of arts-based research to chronic illness care to serve patients young and old, caregivers, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship.

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Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN, is the owner of Susan Weiner Nutrition, PLLC and was named the 2015 AADE Diabetes Educator of the Year. Susan is the “Diabetes in Real Life” columnist for Endocrine Today. She is the co-author of The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life and Diabetes: 365 Tips for Living Well. Susan served as the 2015-2016 editor for On the Cutting Edge, a peer reviewed publication for the Diabetes Care and Education group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Susan is the 2017 co-chair of the Advanced Practice Communities of Interest of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She has been appointed to the medical advisory boards for Healthline.com, Diabetic Lifestyle, Endocrine Web and Diabetes Daily. Susan earned her Master's Degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University. She also earned a certificate of training in "Adult Weight Management" through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Jill Weissberg-Benchell, PhD, CDE, Pediatric Psychologist, Professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 20 years and is an author of numerous research articles, and a co-author of a book on transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Dr. Weissberg-Benchell works with children, teenagers and their families to facilitate adaptation and coping with diabetes and other chronic conditions.


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Jamie R. Wood, MD, is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She is the Medical Director of the Diabetes Program and the Mary Blossom Lee Chair in Pediatric Diabetes at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a pediatric endocrinologist that specializes in the clinical care of youth with type 1 diabetes. Dr. Wood is involved in many clinical research projects that focus on clinical outcomes, emerging therapies, and transition to college and adult endocrinology. One of her favorite places to be is diabetes camp. At Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital she directs support groups, family retreats, College Prep Events, and diabetes education classes. Dr. Wood loves working with and caring for youth and families that live with type 1 diabetes -- her goal is to work as part of the team that manages diabetes so that the child, adolescent, or young adult can do anything they set their mind to.

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Richard Wood is the founder and CEO of dQ&A Market Research, a company focused on bridging the communication gap between diabetes patients and the companies that serve them. At dQ&A, he has built up a panel of 10,000 patients who since 2009 have been answering comprehensive quarterly surveys their experience managing and living with diabetes. dQ&A's research amongst patients is widely used across the diabetes industry, and has been the basis for several presentations at The American Diabetes Association's annual meetings. dQ&A is a sister company to Close Concerns, the diabetes information company led by Kelly Close. Richard was previously VP of Consumer Insights at The Nielsen Company, where he led large-scale market consumer research programs for the mobile telecommunications industry in the USA, Europe and Asia. He has extensive experience from a 20-year career in consumer and social research, industry research, technology and publishing, and holds an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

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Crystal Crismond Woodward is the Director of the American Diabetes Association (ADA)'s Safe at School initiative based at its Home Office in Alexandria, Virginia. Crystal is considered a national authority on the rights of students with diabetes and has spoken at conferences and forums throughout the United States and internationally on how to effectively advocate on behalf of students with diabetes, training hundreds of parent advocates, attorneys, and health care professionals. A parent of a child with diabetes, Crystal began her advocacy as a volunteer for ADA when she successfully led the effort to pass the first state diabetes school legislation in the country providing comprehensive coverage for students with diabetes in Virginia and has since worked tirelessly to pass Safe at School legislation in 30 states including the District of Columbia. Crystal is a contributor to many diabetes publications, is a member of the Virginia Diabetes Council and serves on a number of other diabetes and youth advisory boards and committees.

  Friends for Life Orlando 2017 Conference  
  Introduction - Registration - Sponsors - Exhibitors - Convention Center Map - FAQs  
  InformaciĂłn en Español - Registro para la Conferencia - Facultad Sesiones Español - Programa  
  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  
  Reports from 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  



                 
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