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  Back to Cincinnati 2011 Conference Cincinnati 2011 Faculty and Staff

Conference Faculty

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Natalie Bellini, RN, CDE, has had Type 1 diabetes since she was a young child. Within a year of finishing nursing school, she started to care for people with diabetes, focusing first on diabetes in pregnancy then pediatrics and insulin requiring adults. She has worked on the medical side of camps for children and teens in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She has spoken nationally and internationally as an expert in both working with teens and their parents with diabetes as well as infusion set choice, usage and maintenance. Her fundamental goal when developing the teenage curriculum for Children with Diabetes conferences is that each and every teen that attends finds a passion in life and pursues it. She is currently attending Drexel University part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to her own teen, Erin, who is now a junior in college.

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Michael Heile, MD, is a board certified Family Practice physician who has been practicing for over 11 years now currently with The Family Medical Group in Cincinnati Ohio. He has experience with intensive control of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes especially with the use of insulin, and has lectured on these topics extensively. He is a board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Cincinnati Ohio, and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has participated on many advisory boards for various pump and pharmaceutical companies especially related to diabetes. He wrote the forward for a book titled 28 Days To Diabetes Control by Lance Porter, Editor of Diabetes Positive Magazine, 1999. He is type 1 diabetic himself for 20 years now. He has run six marathons and is considered to be an exercise enthusiast. His passion is to help patients and diabetics to live the quality life that he feels so blessed to live.


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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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Korey Hood, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Staff Psychologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Dr. Hood 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. He also serves on several national committees for the ADA and is on editorial boards for Diabetes Care and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Hood is the author of a recent book entitled Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life with Diabetes. 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 a decade managing 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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Andrea R Hulke, MSW, is Director of National Outreach for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation headquartered in New York. Prior to joining the National staff of JDRF, Andrea worked for over 5 years in JDRF's chapters, first as a chapter volunteer then as staff in Saint Louis and later in Piedmont Triad, North Carolina Chapters. Andrea was JDRF's very first Chapter Outreach Manager in the country, starting the program in just two chapters and now managing the local programs in all 110 JDRF Chapters and branches. In addition, Andrea manages the development and implementation of JDRF's National type 1 patient resources and support programs. Her goal is to provide information and resources about type 1 diabetes, diabetes research, and how best to manage and cope with this disease during each new phase of life. Andrea is committed to providing personalized support and resources to families, adults and their caregivers; to ultimately improve lives for those living with type 1, specifically her father and brother who live the disease.

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Crystal Crismond Jackson is Associate Director of Legal Advocacy at the American Diabetes Association (ADA)'s Home Office in Alexandria, Virginia. Her primary responsibility is managing the Association's Safe at School Campaign. 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 which provides comprehensive coverage for students with diabetes in Virginia. Simultaneously she pursued a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education resulting in a settlement that is a nationwide model for safe and effective school diabetes care. Crystal is a former litigation paralegal and a contributor to many diabetes publications including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Diabetes Education Program's school guide entitled "Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel" and the ADA's treatise on school issues: "Legal Rights of Students with Diabetes." Crystal is a member of the Virginia Diabetes Council, serves on a number of other diabetes and youth advisory boards and committees.

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Harold Sanco is the 1998 United States National Master's 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. He is an internationally acclaimed instructor having taught in seven countries. His "Urban Funk" aerobics class has been highlighted in People, Allure and "W" magazines. At CWD conference, Harold helps kids and adults learn that exercising can be fun.

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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, having had type 1 diabetes since 1985 and working as a Certified Diabetes Educator since 1993, knows the latest and best techniques for achieving optimal diabetes control. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Gary has authored a book and dozens of articles, and speaks at local and national meetings on diabetes, fitness and motivation. Gary received the 1997 William Martin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Patient Activities by the American Diabetes Association, as well as the 1998 Allene Van Son Award for the development of effective diabetes teaching tools by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. In 2002, he was granted the Novo Nordisk Diabetes Education Research award for the study of basal insulin levels in pump users. Gary owns and operates Integrated Diabetes Services, a private practice located just outside of Philadelphia, specializing in intensive blood glucose control and lifestyle intervention for people with diabetes.

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Mike Schurig, MS, RD, LD, CDE, serves as Conferences and Content Manager for Children With Diabetes. As a diabetes educator, registered dietitian and person with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12, Mike has had extensive experience in diabetes education with kids and parents. Mike is active with local ADA activities, regional diabetes educator groups, and the CWD website. His interests are insulin pump education and technical advances in diabetes. Mike enjoys visiting the nearby theme parks and enjoying Central Florida.

Teen Faculty

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Marissa Hitchcock, BSN, RN, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 24 months old. She completed her bachelor of science in nursing in 2009 and works as a nurse in Tampa, Florida. She loves working with kids who have diabetes. Marissa brings her experiences as a diabetes camp counselor, nurse, and young adult with diabetes as she works with kids and teens at CWD's conferences.

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Chris Tull is first and foremost Trevor's dad and Bernadette's husband. Since Trevor's diagnosis in late 2002, Chris served as a Legislative Chair and Diabetes Advocate, lobbying in his local districts and on Capitol Hill for diabetes funding and awareness. After attending his first CWD conference in 2003, Chris became very involved with CWD conferences, serving as staff for the teen program and overseeing all security matters for each and every conference. His diabetes claim to fame? In his eagerness to remove the air bubbles from Trevor's syringe the first time he gave a shot, he flicked it so hard that he bent the needle, causing his son to proclaim, "Oh, Dad's going to be good at this!" Chris is a police officer in Virginia Beach, and a former Marine.

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Jim Vail was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19 while he was a sophomore at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Jim graduated with a degree in Media Communications and was a producer for CNBC Business news in Washington, D.C., for nine years all the while wrestling with the unpredictability of NPH and Regular insulin. After finally going on a pump in October of 2001 and 'getting his life back,' Jim pursued Animas Corporation, the maker of his insulin pump, for a job and a chance to reach others with diabetes. Jim made the jump from CNBC and has been with Animas Corporation since April 2002.

Tween Faculty

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Justin Abel attended his first CWD conference in 2002 after his daughter Saylor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in December 2001. Once he started attending more CWD conferences, his wife Sunshine did not have to twist his arm for him to realize he wanted to get more involved. He is also dad to Sierra, who is a teen volunteer with CWD.


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Carolyn Billetdeaux graduated from college with a degree in international business and Spanish. She is older sister to Sam, who has had diabetes for almost twelve years. Carolyn presents type 1 diabetes as a family disease: it affects everyone. She was a founding member of IDYA and founded the Supplies branch of the Children with Diabetes Foundation in 2003. She loves traveling and meeting other CWD families.

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Adam Town, BSN, RN, graduated from the University of Cincinnati's nursing program in 2009. Adam enjoys working with all children and is interested in pediatric nursing. He lives in Tampa and works at Tampa General Hospital. Adam enjoys sports of all kinds with a particular interest in baseball. Adam has a family history of diabetes but does not have diabetes himself.

Elementary Faculty

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Sunshine Abel, LVN, is the mother of two beautiful girls, Sierra and Saylor. She attended her first CWD conference with her family in 2002, after Saylor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Ever since then, Sunshine knew she had found a new family and a new home where kids were experiencing the same thing as Saylor. She then made it her mission to involve her whole family, including her Aunt Libby. Sunshine, husband Justin, and Aunt Libby all have volunteered for several years at Friends for Life conferences.


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Sam Billetdeaux, diagnosed at age 8, is determined that diabetes will never get in the way of his life dreams. Sam is an active member of the CWD Young Adult program and has traveled to Denmark, Italy, the UK, and all across the United States to exchange ideas with other CWD teens, young adults, and their families. Sam is an avid athlete and enjoys running and working out with friends. He is in college studying Spanish and the environment.

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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 17, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 15 ... her CWD "sig line." Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the CWD diabetes conferences since the very first gathering in Orlando in 2000, where she volunteered to make name badges. Lauren now coordinates the Elementary Programming for every CWD conference. Back home in Denver, she has served on the boards of the JDRF and CWD Foundation. She and her husband Steve have chaired and coached her local JDRF Ride team for many years. Lauren has worked as an elementary school computer teacher and now works at The Children's Diabetes Foundation at Denver as the IT Manager.

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Marwa Odeh completed her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree in 2009 and now is a practicing RN. On the side, she helps interpret for Spanish, Arabic, and German patients at the hospital where she is employed. Marwa is pursuing her Masters in Nursing, specializing in family practice. She has volunteered as staff with the elementary program at several Children With Diabetes conferences, and she enjoys this very much!

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Cindy Webb, aka Grandma Cindy, attended her first CWD conference in July 2003. Just three months prior, in March 2003, her oldest granddaughter, Ashley, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three. When a friend emailed her the CWD website, Cindy and family immediately registered for the 2003 Orlando conference and took the opportunity to connect with other CWD families. Their goal was to meet others who were going through what they were, while learning all they could about diabetes and how to deal with all the areas of life and family it affects. They have been to every Friends for Life conference and many CWD regional events since 2003. As secondary caregiver for Ashley, Grandma Cindy is directly involved with Ashley's medical care and diabetes management. An accountant by trade, Grandma Cindy has always been interested in the medical field and is currently taking pre-Nursing courses.

Childcare

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Mary Babin, RN, BSN, CDE is one of the first clinical employees at Animas Corporation and the first coordinator of childcare for the little ones at the CWD conferences. Mary leads a team of certified diabetes educators providing childcare in a safe environment for kids under age six with and without diabetes. Providing this service alleviates the concerns of many parents of kids with diabetes – allowing them to attend the sessions with peace of mind knowing that their children are cared for by skilled professionals. This supports Mary's belief that education is the key to successful blood glucose management. As National Director of Clinical Services at Animas Corporation, she is responsible for overseeing diabetes and pump educators throughout the US. Mary has devoted her career to the world of medicine. As a graduate of Eastern University and Presbyterian School of Nursing, Mary has been in intensive care nursing for over 25 years and a Certified Diabetes Educator for 15. This busy mom and devoted professional has been involved with CWD since 2001. You can spot her at the conferences-she’s the one with the trail of kids behind her!

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Intissar Ben Halim is mom to Maryam, Zakariyya, Abdalla, and Yaseen, and wife to Nabil. She and her family been involved with CWD conferences since 2004. She enjoys meeting other CWD parents and families and sharing stories and challenges, especially now that she has two teens. She and her family reside in King-of-Prussia, Pennsylvania.

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Lisa Pitt, a CWD mom to three girls, has been attending conferences since Ashley was diagnosed at age 3 in 2003. Thanks to CWD's thorough education, before the very next conference, Ashley was pumping at age 4. Lisa has managed Ashley's diabetes tightly since dx with adjustments to basals, timing, carb ratios and site changes, keeping A1C's lower than 7%. Lisa's two other children were tested through TrialNet study (met through CWD) and found her middle child with 1 of 3 antibodies that have been identified in diabetes. They now closely monitor her for the development of the disease. Lisa has been a cardiac night nurse for the last 10 years. She works closely with patients to manage blood sugars during illnesses including coronary artery disease, open heart surgery, lung disease and strokes. She believes constant education is key to managing a chronic illness.


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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Mike Schurig, MS, RD, LD, CDE, serves as Conferences and Content Manager for Children With Diabetes. As a diabetes educator, registered dietitian and person with type 1 diabetes since the age of 12, Mike has had extensive experience in diabetes education with kids and parents. Mike is active with local ADA activities, regional diabetes educator groups, and the CWD website. His interests are insulin pump education and technical advances in diabetes. Mike enjoys visiting the nearby theme parks and enjoying Central Florida.

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Nabil Elarbi, father of four wonderful children, resides in King of Prussia, PA. He became involved with diabetes in December 2003, when his daughter Maryam was diagnosed with diabetes at age 10. He spent his first night at the hospital searching the internet for information on his laptop and stumbled onto the CWD website. It was then that he decided that his family was going to attend the 2004 Friends for Life conference in California. The entire family has been hooked ever since and look forward to it as the highlight of their year. Nabil has always had a special touch working with youth and young adults. He enjoys reading, traveling, and promoting health education in under-served communities. Nabil owns a small Healthcare IT consulting firm.

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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, and helps out in countless ways at CWD's conferences.

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Julia Mattingly is mom to 15 year old Hannah and 13 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 single 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 2001 when she met all of her CWD email buddies 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.



Cincinnati 2011: Focus on Technology
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Last Updated: Monday February 28, 2011 12:06:30
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