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  Back to Seattle 2011 Conference Seattle 2011 Faculty and Staff

Conference Faculty

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Bruce Buckingham, M.D., 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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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 studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to Erin, who is now a senior in college.

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Dr. Irl Hirsch is a professor of medicine and holds the Diabetes Treatment and Teaching Chair at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Dr. Hirsch has been interested in new technologies for the treatment of diabetes, particularly those involved in the use of insulin therapy. He has also been interested in the mechanisms of how insulin co-modulates inflammation with glucose and how this results in improvements in outcomes, particularly of hospitalized patients. The management of hyperglycemia in the hospital has been an interest of Dr. Hirsch for over 20 years. He is involved in numerous clinical research trials, including two completed trials on continuous sensor technology in type 1 diabetes. He also is interested in the use of computers in diabetes data management, and how pattern recognition can be used to improve diabetes control, in addition to how glycemic variability noted on glucose meter downloads may be an independent risk for microvascular complications. He has a very active clinical practice of which 80% of patients have type 1 diabetes. He has authored over 120 papers including a review of insulin in the New England Journal of Medicine, 40 editorials, numerous book chapters, and four books both for patients and physicians. He is the past editor-in-chief of DOC News and Clinical Diabetes.


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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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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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Scott and Heather Kyllo live in British Columbia, Canada with their two children, Alyssa (20) and Chad (18). Their path along the diabetes road started in 1996 when their 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 CWD'ers 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. Heather works at the local curling club as Office Manager. The Kyllo's are extensively involved in curling during the winter months. Their summers are spent enjoying the Sunny Okanagan on Shuswap Lake. They are strong advocates of the CWD conferences and believe anyone with a connection to diabetes should attend at least one ... although warn that the conferences are much like potato chips ... hard to stop at just one.

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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 is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Exercise Physiologist who has had type 1 diabetes for 25 years. He owns and operates Integrated Diabetes Services, a private practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy for children and adults with Type-1 diabetes. He and his staff of diabetes educators provide consultations throughout the world via phone and internet. Gary earned a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master of Science from Benedictine University. He received his diabetes training with the Joslin Diabetes Center. In addition to serving on the Children With Diabetes faculty, Gary serves on the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association and is an active volunteer for the ADA, JDRF and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has written four books and dozens of articles on various topics in intensive diabetes management. He has received several awards for his teaching tools and techniques, and speaks regularly at regional, national and international conferences. A husband, father of four and avid sports fan, Gary has been a pump user since 1994, and a CGM and Symlin user since 2006.

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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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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 studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is a senior territory manager with Animas Corporation and mom to Erin, who is now a senior in college.

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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 NYU with a degree in international business and Spanish and currently works as a sustainability consultant. She is older sister to Sam, who has had diabetes for over 13 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 and works in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Adam enjoys sports of all kinds with a particular interest in baseball. Adam's fiance has had type 1 diabetes for over 22 years.

Elementary Faculty

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Sunshine Abel, LVN, is the mother of two beautiful girls, Sierra and Sailor. She attended her first CWD conference with her family in 2002, after Sailor 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 Sailor. 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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Michelle Rago is a CWD Mom of two children with diabetes 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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Georgia Spiropoulos is Alexa's Mom. Alexa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 14 months old. Over the past 12 years, Georgia and her husband have watched the diabetes at every developmental stage of Alexa's life. Their most important lesson in this journey was realizing "Alexa will learn how to deal with her diabetes from you." That light bulb moment changed their lives and their advocacy work began. Georgia's volunteer efforts include JDRF fundraising, government advocacy and outreach. She volunteers at the local children's hospital helping newly diagnosed children and their families understand the road ahead. She created outreach programs of support and information sharing within the community. Georgia states, "the feeling of isolation can be overwhelming and that is what I am trying to help families minimize. We love this Friends for Life conference; this will be our third year. This is the week Alexa feels normal and does not have to explain to anyone why she is poking her finger."


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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Mark Chambers, PhC is happy to be involved as a newcomer to the CWD team. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University in Halifax and is currently working as a community pharmacist in Kelowna, British Columbia. Mark has always enjoyed getting involved and volunteering in many diabetes related events as his wife has type 1. He is thrilled to be working in childcare and looks forward to ensuring that each CWD conference is both fun and memorable for your children!

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Grace Grande-Cassell is a senior at the University of Michigan, studying English and Art History. She hopes to work in the fashion industry after college and is spending the summer interning at Interview Magazine in New York City. Grace has grown up with a connection to type 1 diabetes because of her grandfather who was diagnosed at age 14. This is her first Friends for Life conference, and she is very excited to be joining the Children With Diabetes community.

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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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.



Seattle 2011: Focus on Technology
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Introduction - Registration - Faculty and Staff - Sponsors
Program - Youth Program



                 
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Last Updated: Tuesday November 01, 2011 12:13:48
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