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  Back to La Jolla 2009 Conference La Jolla 2009 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 sophomore in college.

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Steven V. Edelman, MD is the founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 diabetes education organization founded in 1995. He is committed to promoting education, motivation and self-advocacy for people living with diabetes. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Dr. Edelman currently serves as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of California at San Diego and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System of San Diego. He is the Director of the Diabetes Care Clinic VA Medical Center and the Editor of the journals Insulin and Diabetes, Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome. His research and publication history is extensive with over 200 articles and 5 books. In 2009, the American Diabetes Association recognized Dr. Edelman with the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award. Dr. Edelman graduated as the valedictorian from the University of California at Davis Medical School. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at UCLA and Clinical Fellowships in Diabetes and Metabolism at the Joslin and Lahey Clinics in Boston, as well as a research fellowship at the University of California at San Diego.

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Crystal Jackson is Associate Director of Legal Advocacy at the American Diabetes Association (ADA)'s National 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 and another parent advocate teamed up 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 model for safe and effective diabetes care. Crystal is a former litigation paralegal with the Philadelphia law firm of Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel. She is 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 was most recently appointed to Novo Nordisk's U. S. DAWN Youth Study Advisory Board. She resides in Loudoun County, VA with her family.

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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 15, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 13 ... 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 is 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 an investment banking firm as a researcher.

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Michelle Rago is a CWD mom and active member of the parents' list. She graduated from Harvard University (magna cum laude) where she received the Ben Teel Memorial Prize for Public Service. She graduated from Columbia University School of Law, where she represented children in foster care and received a Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship for public service. Michelle's son Trent was diagnosed in 2000 at age 4. Due to the diagnosis, Trent's daycare would not accept him back. Since then, Michelle has become well versed in the changing laws with relation to diabetes and school, insurance coverage, and discrimination on account of diabetes. She is active with the American Diabetes Association Legal Advocacy group. Michelle has recently become an expert on monogenic diabetes, after it was discovered that her adopted daughter Maya had monogenic, not Type 1, diabetes. (Michelle's family adopted Maya from foster care after hearing about her at a CWD conference.) Michelle is also mom to Michela and husband to Tim, both of whom actively participate in diabetes care at home. For her work with CWD families, Michelle was awarded the Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

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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 with his wife Gayle and his daughter Allyson.

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Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, was President of InBalance Healthcare, a counseling and education service for health care professionals and adults and children with diabetes, for over 10 years. For the past 3 years he worked for the Animas Corporation as Clinical Manager of Counseling & Presentations. In this capacity, he presented nationally on The Family Approach, saw patients and their families in key accounts as well as providing training and supervision for clinicians interested in learning about The Family Approach. Most recently he was invited to be on the faculty at the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute and transitioned over to LifeScan, working with the Global Strategic Affairs Group. A healthcare professional who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 40 years, Mr. Solowiejczyk has been able to translate his personal experience into patient care. As a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist, he specializes in assessing how family dynamics impact management of diabetes and designing interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal metabolic control.


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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.

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John Walsh, PA, CDE is a Physician Assistant and Diabetes Clinical Specialist who has provided clinical care for patients with diabetes for 25 years. He specializes in diabetes care for people on pumps. He is co-author of Pumping Insulin, now in its fourth edition, Using Insulin, STOP the Rollercoaster, and The Pocket Pancreas. President of Diabetes Mall, he is also webmaster of diabetesnet.com, a highly trafficked source of diabetes information and technology visited by 6,000 people a day. John is a consultant for medical corporations and a frequent speaker on pump therapy, diabetes therapy, intensive diabetes management, and the future of smart pumps, meters and continuous monitors. John has worn a wide variety of insulin pumps for the last 23 years.

Teen Faculty

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Dana Dignard, RD, CDE, has had type 1 diabetes for 24 years. She has 16 years of experience as a dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator working as a paediatric and adult educator at Centenary Health Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Two years ago, Dana had the exciting opportunity to begin working with Animas Canada as a Territory Manager in Ontario Central. She loves her new role with Animas and is looking forward to being part of the CWD family. Dana is also a busy mom to her two children Mathieu and Cassia and has all the help in the world from her husband Dan.

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Libby Nordstrom graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Journalism and is currently pursuing a second degree in accounting so she can become a CPA. Her involvement with diabetes started in 2001 when her grandniece, Saylor, was diagnosed two months short of her third birthday. She attended her first CWD conference, on pumping, in San Diego in 2005 where she learned so much - and met so many fantastic people - that she decided to make CWD a part of her life and the annual CWD Friends For Life conference a not-to-be-missed event!

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Heather Speer is a CWD mom and CDE who has worked tirelessly for the last 18 years with thousands of families who have children with type 1 diabetes. She has served as coordinator of the PADRE Foundation's Fashion Show, Golf Tournament, Teen Surf and Snowboard Camps and Family Social events. She has developed education and support programs for kids with diabetes and their families. Heather instituted an emergency kit program for all newly diagnosed children at Children's Hospital Orange County when her daughter Stephanie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 3 in 1990. Heather joined the CWD Ask the Diabetes Team in 1996. She lives with her husband Steve in Newport Beach, California and continues to work with children and families at CHOC.

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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.

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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Melissa Ringley, R.N., C.D.E., became a registered nurse in 1991. Shortly afterward, Elizabeth, her 3 year old daughter, was diagnosed with diabetes. It became abundantly clear to Melissa that she should learn all she could to help her daughter maintain a healthy and happy life with diabetes. Melissa has dedicated her entire career to diabetes since that moment. She brings her own personal experience to CWD families and understands the many stages of development and how diabetes impacts both the patient and family. Melissa's previous career as a certified diabetes educator has included a variety of settings including diabetes education centers, multi-physician practices, and hospitals. Melissa's expertise is in insulin pump therapy in children. She has been working with Animas Corporation since 2001. At Animas, she has worked both nationally and internationally as a clinical manager and she is now a Territory Manager in Tennessee. Her daughter is now a junior in college.

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Jim Stone's son Andrew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 when he was 20 months old. Jim and his wife Julia have been involved in diabetes advocacy and outreach ever since. The Stone family enjoys all CWD conferences, especially the regional and local events. Jim is currently active in the effort to improve school diabetes care in California. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and has a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. Jim was an Army officer for 22 years, and now works as a public works manager for the City of Manteca, California. Jim is a Boy Scout leader and teaches tweens in Sunday School at his church.

Elementary Faculty

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Sunshine Abel 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. Sunshine is currently working on an RN degree.


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Lauren Lanning, mom of Monica, 15, dx 8/96, pumping 5/99, CGM 9/05, and Sarah, 13 ... 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 is 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 an investment banking firm as a researcher.

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Kelsey Martin, age 19, was diagnosed at age 12. She attended her first CWD conference two months later, and has since become an active volunteer. Kelsey has worked with first timers, tweens, and elementary-age children at CWD conferences. She is also active in her local chapter of JDRF as an ambassador and volunteer. Kelsey is a journalism major at the University of Missouri and hopes to work in public relations or advertising for a medical company in the future.


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Michelle Rago is a CWD mom and active member of the parents' list. She graduated from Harvard University (magna cum laude) where she received the Ben Teel Memorial Prize for Public Service. She graduated from Columbia University School of Law, where she represented children in foster care and received a Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship for public service. Michelle's son Trent was diagnosed in 2000 at age 4. Due to the diagnosis, Trent's daycare would not accept him back. Since then, Michelle has become well versed in the changing laws with relation to diabetes and school, insurance coverage, and discrimination on account of diabetes. She is active with the American Diabetes Association Legal Advocacy group. Michelle has recently become an expert on monogenic diabetes, after it was discovered that her adopted daughter Maya had monogenic, not Type 1, diabetes. (Michelle's family adopted Maya from foster care after hearing about her at a CWD conference.) Michelle is also mom to Michela and husband to Tim, both of whom actively participate in diabetes care at home. For her work with CWD families, Michelle was awarded the Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

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Ben Stroud, diagnosed at age 10, began attending CWD conferences in 2003 and transitioned to volunteer in 2008. As a member of the International Diabetes Youth Ambassadors (IDYA), Ben participated in IDYA/CWD Italy trip in 2004 where he was also a member of the CWD Soccer Team. In the past, Ben has worked in both Sports Central and with the Elementary group. Ben currently lives in San Diego, California and is an avid concert-goer and photographer and hopes to meld those two interests into a career one day.

Childcare

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Alanna Chambers, RD, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9, just shortly after her older sister's diagnosis. From a young age, she knew that she wanted to go into a health profession field so that she could work with other families with diabetes. She completed her dietetics degree at McGill University in Montreal and has been following her dream ever since. Alanna is a registered dietitian and now works with Animas Canada as a Territory Manager in British Columbia. She loves every opportunity she can get to work with kids including volunteering at the diabetes summer camps and at CWD. Alanna is happy to ensure that the little ones are in good care and have a great time while at CWD.


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Kara Duwe is attending Colorado State University in the fall majoring in Health and exercise sciences with an emphasis on sports medicine. She has had diabetes for 9 years and now wears an Animas insulin pump. She enjoys volunteering at a local diabetes camp every summer and being involved with Children with Diabetes. Kara enjoys photography, lacrosse and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.


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Melissa Pawlowski, age 19, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 4 years old. This is her first year at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Melissa has been attending CWD Conferences since 2003. She enjoys figure skating, softball and working with kids.


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 attend universities and 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 with his wife Gayle and his daughter Allyson.

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Julia Mattingly is mom to 13 year old Hannah and 11 year old Ethan, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10 months and who 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 being in charge of the registration area because she gets to meet 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 kids' faces when they re-connect with their CWD friends each summer.

CWD's Focus on Technology Conference in La Jolla is Sponsored By:
Abbott Diabetes Care Animas Corporation OmniPod LifeScan Novo Nordisk ACCU-CHEK sanofi-aventis


La Jolla 2009: Focus on Technology
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Introduction - Registration - Program - Youth Program
Faculty and Staff - Sponsors - Exhibitor Information



                 
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Last Updated: Monday September 14, 2009 06:33:06
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