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Conference Faculty

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Jen Block, FNP, RN, CDE, CDTC, pursued a career in diabetes education, clinical research, and diabetes clinical care after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 19 years ago. Jen has recently joined the team at Bigfoot Biomedical, Inc. where she works as the Director of Clinical Innovation. She enjoys participating in Friends for Life conferences, and is looking forward to FFL Anaheim.

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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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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 14 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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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 VP of Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the diabetes voice on federal and state policies; CEO of The Diabetes Collective, Inc., which produces The DiabetesUnConference; a member of Florida's Diabetes Advisory Council, and 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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Diana M. Naranjo, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. 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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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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Anne L. Peters, MD, is currently a professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the Director of the USC Clinical Diabetes Programs. She runs two diabetes centers, one in Beverly Hills and one in underserved East Los Angeles. Dr. Peters has been a principal investigator on multiple clinical trials focusing on diabetes and diabetes prevention. She has received multiple NIH and foundation grants. She has been an invited speaker at over 300 national and international medical conferences. Dr. Peters has authored three books on diabetes and over 100 articles appearing in multiple peer-reviewed medical journals. She has served on the ABIM Endocrine Board and the Board of the ADA. Dr. Peters received the ADA Outstanding Physician Clinician Award in 2008.

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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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Brad Slaight is a Los Angeles based actor, writer, comedian and type 1 ... in that order. His many acting credits include Parks and Recreation, two years co-starring on The Young and the Restless, Hellbent, The 1 Minute News Hour, and NBC’s Funny people. As a writer, he has written for dozens of major TV shows and is a world renowned playwright. Brad is the co-creator of The Diabetes Hero Squad, an animated team of diabetes heroes whose mission is to “educate, enlighten, and entertain people with diabetes of all ages” and they encourage PWD to be their own personal diabetes hero!


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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.

CWD Staff

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Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, webmaster and president of Children with Diabetes. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff worked in high tech and traveled the world, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. He worked in defense related industries until 1995, when he started a small Internet company and launched Children with Diabetes. He subsequently worked at LEXIS-NEXIS and Pearson plc on Internet initiatives, and now works full time bringing Children with Diabetes to you.

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A finicky connoisseur of hotel meeting space, cappuccino, and kid-friendly cheese and fruit platters, Laura Billetdeaux is CWD's VP of Education and Programs. Since 2000, Laura has organized every single CWD conference, always keeping in mind the true purpose of CWD - education and support of families with type 1, and always keeping in mind why it all works – the efforts of so many dedicated individuals. Laura lives in Manchester, Michigan with husband Neal, who graciously and energetically assists with the conference teen programs. They are parents of Sam and Carolyn who both serve as youth faculty at CWD conferences as time allows.

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Rob Freund is a career EMS lieutenant/paramedic for the Baltimore County Fire Department. He has also been in the field of emergency medical care for almost 20 years as an ER nurse. He attended his first Friends for Life Orlando conference in 2012 and was greatly impressed with the educational programs offered. Rob is excited to join Dr. Ben's team and be a part of CWD.

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Brenda Hitchcock is mom to Marissa (dx'd at 24 months), Kathryn, and Tim. She's worked side by side with her husband Jeff on Children with Diabetes since it began in 1995. Brenda brings a mom's perspective to diabetes care, is editor of the "Ask the Diabetes Team" section of the CWD web site, helps to manage the CWD Forums, and helps out in countless ways at CWD's conferences.

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Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two adult children, Alyssa and Chad. Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when his son, Chad, then age 2 was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were residing in Bahrain in the Middle East. The World Wide Web had just arrived in Bahrain and it brought to the Kyllo's the safety of the CWD family. Two years later, when life was becoming somewhat comfortable and routine, Alyssa, then age 7, was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Chad was also diagnosed with celiac disease in 2001. The family attended their first Friends For Life conference in 2002. Getting to meet the CWDers in person was like Christmas in July! Scott is a Chief Information Officer by day and an Aircraft Engineer by night maintaining a Piper Cherokee and a Mooney. These skills and his "Macgyver" qualities keep him running at the CWD conferences as our Information Technology and Audio Visual support person. He is a strong advocate of CWD conferences and believes anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one ... although warns that the conferences are much like potato chips ... it's hard to stop at just one!

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Julia Mattingly is mom to 20 year old Hannah and 18 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and started pumping when he was 3. Julia, Ed, and the kids have been to every Friends for Life conference and most of the regionals as well. Julia coordinates registration at each conference, and you can always find her when you need a smile and a "Hi Y'All!" Julia loves coordinating registration and being able to meet and talk to everyone who walks in the door. Her best CWD memory is from 2000 when she met all of her CWD email moms in Orlando for the first time. She also loves to see the smiles on her children's faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.

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Harold Sanco, CPT, is a former National Aerobic Champion and two time bronze medalist at the National Step Challenge Competition. He has been voted Washington, DC's "Best Instructor" by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post. With more than 20 years of experience in youth physical education and coaching, he is an internationally acclaimed instructor and trainer who teaches across the United States, Canada and 15 countries for some of the top fitness conferences in the world. His popular "Urban Funk" class has been featured in People, Allure and W magazines. He is AFAA certified and a Master Trainer for Lebert Training Systems. Currently he serves as the Director of Group Fitness for the award-winning Results Gym in Washington, DC and the Director of Fitness for two National Youth groups "Children with Diabetes" and "Workout4Kids."

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Kristen Seiz, MS, RD, CLC, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. Inspired at a young age by her diabetes, she pursued a career to become a dietitian and studied for her Masters degree at D'Youville College in Buffalo, NY. She lives and works in Buffalo as a Nutritionist at a Catholic Charities WIC Office. Upon attending her first CWD Conference in 2011, she fell in love with the people and relationships she formed and was determined to become a part of it. She is looking forward to working with the kids, seeing old friends and meeting many more!

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Joanne Stroud, MHA, FACHE, is first and foremost a CWD Mom. Her son Ben was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of ten and CWD quickly became their lifeline. She attended her first conference in 2003 and instantly became hooked, telling Laura she'd do anything (within reason of course!) she could to assist CWD. Both Ben and his brother James are now 'giving back' as CWD staff. When not hanging with her FFLs, Joanne is a Training Specialist for Kinnser Software. She and Jim, a CRNA, have one other son, Kyle who lives in Portland, with his wife Sarah.

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Jim Stroud, CRNA, MSNA, is first and foremost a servant of his wife, Joanne. He is also Dad to Ben, diagnosed at age 10 in 1998. Jim was thrilled to coach the CWD Western Hemisphere Soccer Team on its tour of Italy in 2004. When not doing whatever Joanne, Jeff, Laura, and everyone else listed above tell him to do, Jim gives anesthesia and is an adjunct professor of Nurse Anesthesia in San Diego, California.

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Chris Tull became involved with CWD shortly after his son's diagnosis in 2002. He has served as a Legislative Chair for his local JDRF chapter and has been involved with Teen Program and security matters for CWD since his first conference. His son, Trevor, moved through the CWD teen program and is now a successful adult managing his own diabetes. Chris credits CWD with helping his son and his family better manage and live with his diagnosis. Chris is a police sergeant in Virginia Beach and a former Marine.



  Friends for Life Anaheim 2016 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Registration - Sponsors  
  Faculty and Staff - Youth Staff - Nightscout Faculty - Program - Youth Program  
  Floor Plan - Childcare Form - Exhibitor Application  
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Last Updated: Tuesday August 23, 2016 17:03:59
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