Back to 2003 Conference 2003 Conference Faculty

The Conference Faculty

Natalie Bellini, R.N., C.D.E., has had diabetes since she was a young child and within a year of finishing nursing school started to care for people with diabetes, first focusing on high risk pregnancy and then pediatrics and insulin-requiring adults. She has lectured extensively to clinicians, patients and their families about diabetes, the psychological effect of the disease and how to keep going on the hardest of days. Natalie has worked with children and adults of all ages and has assisted in initiating and expanding pump programs at numerous hospitals and private practices. She believes in truth in education and that knowledge is power.

Marc H. Blatstein has had Type 1 diabetes since age 10 and he is now 52 years young. Marc has spent the last 16 years traveling the U.S. and Israel teaching the Can Do attitude of winning with diabetes. He is the past president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Philadelphia, and serves on the State of Pennsylvania Diabetes Control Panel. Marc has been a follower of progressive diabetes and other therapies as long as he can remember. He has worn an insulin pump for the past 9 years and has followed alternative medicine since the mid 1980's. Marc is president of a 25 year old Alternative Medicine non profit foundation. His hobby is TaeKwon Do. He competed in an international TaeKwon Do tournament last November in Mar Del Plata, Argentina and took 3rd place against men 10 years his junior. Marc not only speaks about "Winning and the Can Do's of Diabetes," he lives it!

Dr. Steve Edelman is a professor of medicine in the division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at University of California, San Diego and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr Edelman is a proponentof patient education, motivation and self advocacy among patients with diabetes as he has been living with the disease since the age of 15. He is founder and executive director of Taking Control Your Diabetes, a non profit organization that produces a national series of educational events and health fairs. The mission of TCOYD is to empower patients to take an active role in their condition, working with their caregivers in order to prevent and delay the complications of diabetes. He also serves as Director of the Endocrine Fellowship Training Program. Over the past 10 years, he has become a local, national and international leader in diabetes treatment, research, and education.

Elizabeth Fenjves, Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami and the Director of Gene Therapy at the Diabetes Research Institute. Dr. Fenjves' research over the last 10 years has been focused on exploring the potential of viral vectors as vehicles for gene transfer. Since joining the Diabetes Research Institute, she has concentrated her efforts on engineering islet cells in such a way as to prevent their damage and ensure successful transplantation. As such, her work is part of the collaborative effort to optimize islet transplantation as a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Fenjves is also involved in the University of Miami's Office of Technology Transfer, where she is the scientific liaison between the scientific community and the corporations interested in funding their research.

Satish Garg, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes (BDC) in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Garg initiated that Young Adult Clinic at the BDC and also currently follows over 300 patients on insulin pumps. He has had over 100 original peer-reviewed research articles published in national and international journals and has participated in World Health Organization and American Diabetes Association sponsored lectures. A scholar as well as physician and researcher, Dr. Garg has mentored numerous national and international students, and participates in nationwide Endocrine/Medical Grand Rounds. Dr. Garg has conducted extensive research on new insulins, pulmonary and oral insulin delivery systems, diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy, and on glucose sensor studies. Although he enjoys working with all age groups, Dr. Garg is joining our 2003 faculty specifically to present information relating to the young adults participating in the conference.

Ragnar Hanas, M.D., is a consultant pediatric diabetologist at Uddevalla Hospital in Sweden. His research interests include injection pain and intensive insulin therapy. He is a member of the Endocrine and Diabetes Section of the Swedish Pediatric Association and was previously on the steering committee. He has taken part in writing national guidelines for diabetes care and has written a comprehensive manual for the management of diabetes care in children and adolescents and young adults, which has been translated into several languages. He has taken part in writing the ISPAD (International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes) Consensus Guidelines for diabetes care in children and adolescents. He is responsible for ISPAD's IT program and is co-opted to the Advisory Council.

Jeff Hitchcock is the creator, editor, and webmaster of Children with Diabetes. After earning a degree in computational mathematics in 1981, Jeff traveled the world with the US Government, meeting Brenda, who would become his wife, in Africa. After leaving government service in 1988, he worked in the defense industry 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.

Crystal C. Jackson is a Paralegal/Legal Advocate of the American Diabetes Association's National Office in Alexandria, Virginia. Crystal is one of the Association's valuable resources on civil rights and anti-discrimination laws as they apply to individuals with diabetes. She advocates for individuals who face discrimination by their school or employer because of their diabetes. Crystal is also the parent of a child with diabetes and was instrumental in the successful passage of school diabetes care legislation in Virginia and a procurer of an agreement between the Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Education) and her daughter's school district that resulted in improved standards for the care of students with diabetes by public school systems. Crystal is a panel member of the National Diabetes Education Program School Initiative and the Virginia Diabetes Council. She is also the Health Chair for Hunt District Virginia PTA.

Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choereographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (The Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker being one of her favorites) as well as works choreographed specifically for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Today Miss Karz stages Balanchine ballets all over the world coaching and teaching dance. She still performs, mostly for diabetes related events, as well as speaking and working with kids and young adults. Miss Karz has juvenile diabetes.

Rick Philbin, M.Ed., A.T.C., C.S.C.S., is a regional manager for Animas Corporation, an athletic trainer, and an individual with type 1 diabetes. Prior to joining Animas, he managed a comprehensive sports medicine center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Rick is a presenter for Fitness in Today's Times On-site Corporate Wellness Program and is very active in diabetes as it relates to exercise. He has spearheaded an effort to bring a chapter of the Diabetes, Exercise, and Sports Association (DESA) to the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area and lectures frequently on exercise through DESA. He is currently the chapter president and a national board member. Rick's professional experience also includes working as an Athletic Trainer for a Philadelphia-based sports medicine center, where he worked with professional athletes from the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers. He believes education is paramount for good diabetes management. As an avid exercise enthusiast with Type 1 diabetes, Rick practices tight management of his diabetes while on an insulin pump.

William Quick, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., C.D.E., is Associate Director for Pharmacovigilance, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Bridgewater, NJ, with responsibility for drug safety for their insulins and other diabetes products. Dr. Quick serves as Medical Director of Children with Diabetes and Diabetes123. A nationally-recognized expert in diabetes education, Dr. Quick is a past president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and has been involved with computers since he purchased his first Apple II in 1979. He has been a specialist in diabetes care and endocrinology for over 25 years.

Melissa Ringley, R.N., C.D.E., is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing-Wise Virginia, and has been involved in diabetes education for over 11 years. When her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes 11 years ago, Melissa dedicated herself to learning about diabetes and giving back that learning to patients and the medical community alike. Melissa has presented to numerous groups of patients with diabetes as well as health care practitioners, and has worked with over 400 insulin pump patients with all types of diabetes and from all walks of life. Melissa is known for her caring attitude and genuine concern for all her patients, and for her active involvement in the diabetes community.

Richard Rubin, Ph.D., C.D.E., Psychologist, and Associate Professor in Medicine and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Author of Psyching Out Diabetes and Sweet Kids, Optimal Pumping, and 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes. Dr. Rubin is Stefan Rubin's father. Stefan is also on the conference faculty and is a coauthor of Optimal Pumping and 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes. Dr. Rubin is a sought after speaker for both professionals and people living with diabetes. He speaks with authority and warmth on the human side of diabetes.

Stefan Rubin was diagnosed type 1 in 1979, at the age of seven and began insulin pump therapy three years later. He considers his experience an invaluable exercise and education that continue to prepare him for any hurdles that diabetes-and-life place in his path. Long a source of inspiration for his father, Dr. Richard R. Rubin, Stefan is co-author of two books, including 101 Tips for Coping with Diabetes, published in 2003 by the American Diabetes Association. Stefan also speaks locally and nationally in an ongoing attempt to share his outlook on living well with diabetes. Stefan and his wife Christine, live, work and play with their son Brooks in Baltimore, Maryland.

Barb Schreiner, R.N., M.N., C.D.E., is a clinical nurse specialist and the associate director of the Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. She has worked with children and families with type 1 diabetes for over 25 years and is a popular speaker on issues related to children with diabetes. Barb loves finding new ways to teach families about diabetes and its care. She has 20 years experience working with diabetes camps, support groups, and family retreats. Her interactions with children and parents are fact-based and whimsical, interactive and touching.

Mike Schurig, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.D.E., is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who has had Type 1 diabetes since age 12. He currently is employed at Florida Hospital Celebration Health as a certified diabetes educator in Celebration, FL (the Disney created suburb located close to Walt Disney World). Mike has had experience in diabetes education with kids and adults. 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 11 year old daughter Allyson.

Stephanie Schwartz, R.N., M.P.H., C.D.E., Clinical Nurse Specialist, Diabetes123, Hillsborough, New Jersey. A specialist in diabetes care and education for many years, Ms. Schwartz is the Associate Editor of Children with Diabetes, and coordinates the publication of questions sent to the Diabetes Team for Diabetes123 and Children with Diabetes. She has been an officer and member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and has been a member of the Committee on Education Program Recognition of the American Diabetes Association.

John Walsh, P.A., C.D.E., is a Physician Assistant and Diabetes Clinical Specialist who has provided clinical care to thousands of people with diabetes. John is well-known for his best-selling books on type 1 diabetes, Pumping Insulin: Everything You Need For Success With An Insulin Pump (3rd Edition) and Stop The Rollercoaster. An insulin pump wearer for 18 years, John has started and followed over 400 people on pumps. He is a popular presenter on a wide variety of diabetes topics and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV programs. His interests include identifying and providing clinical care for patients at risk of developing diabetes complications, stabilizing and reversing those complications, and enhancing blood sugar control through innovative methods.

Hope Warshaw, M.M.Sc., R.D., C.D.E., currently applies nearly twenty five years of work in the diabetes and nutrition fields to her work as a diabetes educator, insulin pump trainer, diabetes and nutrition consultant and freelance writer. Hope is the author of five consumer books, four of which are published by the American Diabetes Association. Several are: Complete Guide to Carb Counting (ADA), Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating (ADA), The Diabetes Food and Nutrition Bible, and Eat Out, Eat Right (Surrey Books). Hope has also gained credibility and become widely recognized through her professional publications and volunteer professional activities which includes terms as chair of The Diabetes Care and Education group of American Dietetic Association and Public Affairs Committee for American Association of Diabetes Educators.

The Teen Faculty

Carolyn and Sam Billetdeaux are a brother-sister duo with a single purpose: to beat diabetes. Sam, diagnosed five years ago at age 8, is determined that diabetes will never get in the way of his life dreams. Carolyn, age 15, does not have diabetes; she presents type 1 diabetes as a family disease. It affects everyone. For the past two years, Sam and Carolyn have been speaking out on the importance of teen advocacy and taking control of your life. They are founding members of CWD's International Diabetes Youth Ambassador program (IDYA) and recently traveled to Denmark to meet with Danish teens as part of a diabetes advocacy exchange.

Sixteen year old Clare Rosenfeld was 7 when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and 7 when she gave her first speech. And she hasn't stopped talking about it since. She is the consummate diabetes advocate, a tremendous role model for teens and kids with diabetes, and one of the most 'can-do' people you will ever meet. Clare is the Founder of CWD's International Diabetes Youth Ambassadors (IDYA), and she frequently travels and speaks on their behalf. She also is the youngest person with type 1 diabetes ever to be SCUBA certified. Clare states, "I think diabetes advocacy is important because I have diabetes, that's a fact. Why should I expect someone else to speak up on my behalf? What I have to say is important and people should listen to me and all young people with this disease. By joining together and telling the world we want a cure for this condition, we are the heart of what advocacy is all about! I believe the youth of the world will be a driving force in finding a cure for diabetes. I know I can make a difference."

The Parent Discussion Facilitators

Neal Billetdeaux, from Michigan, is learning to be a diabetes advocate from kids Carolyn and Sam. His most frequent complaint to wife, Laura, is that he doesn't have enough vacation time to make it to all the CWD conferences! When not downloading meter data, changing infusion sets, or cooking dinner, Neal is a principal in a landscape architecture firm in Ann Arbor. His CWD 'claim to fame' is that - in a sleep-deprived stupor one night - he awoke to his alarm at 2 a.m. and tried to test the dog. He's a great dad with a great sense of humor!

Kim Kaar is the mother of three children including Alexander, four years old. Since Alex's diagnosis at eighteen months old, Kim has devoted herself to raising awareness of type 1 diabetes and raising funds for a cure. A self-proclaimed "domestic engineer," Kim finds that her education and experience as a Business Manager has been helpful in juggling the many demands of daily life with diabetes. "Multi-tasking becomes matter of fact." She also believes that knowledge is power. "There is no better place to increase your knowledge of diabetes than the CWD website and conferences. I doubt that our family would be doing as well, and functioning to such an extent within the diabetes community, if not for the information, support, and hope provided by CWD." Kim would like to see every newly diagnosed family provided with access to CWD, and she blankets diabetes clinics in her area with CWD pamphlets. "No family should have to feel alone in the battle with diabetes".

Tom Karlya is the National Development Director for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and has been active in fund raising for diabetes causes since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992. He is an actor/writer by trade. For 12 years, he starred in the New York City Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. Tom has also appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and others. He has a new play reading entitled The Waiting Room in New York City in the fall, and is working on a new project on how diabetes plays a role in the entire family structure. He is a featured guest on WLIE 540 AM Talk Radio on Long Island and lives on Long Island with his wife, Jill and children TJ, Kaitlyn, and Bobby.

Kari Rosenfeld, Oregon. Take it from a mom who has "been down the road" with diabetes -- literally! Kari and her 16 year old daughter Clare have traveled over 100,000 miles sharing with kids how to take good care of their health and empowering them to get involved in finding a cure for diabetes. From raising an "over-achiever" to "making our family fair" with siblings, Kari has practical experience and down-to-earth and sometimes humorous tips on family life with diabetes.

Ellen Ullman is married to Jeffry and has two children, Zachary and Sasha. They live in Florida. Ellen works as an intellectual property paralegal. Her website is KidsRPumping.Com. Zachary was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 15 months old. Ellen's most important goal in life is to see diabetes cured. She strenuously believes it is up to the parents of children with diabetes to lead the fight and wants every parent at this conference to know that they can make a difference and help achieve that goal.

Career mom Cheri West is the proud (but tired!) mom of six-year old Shaelyn (dx 8/2000) and three-year old Kalleigh. Cheri teaches chemistry at Stroudsburg High School located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. She, husband Dana, and family members have raised over $25,000 for diabetes research in the past two years. She has done volunteer speaking on behalf of JDRF, guest presentations on diabetes awareness at Lions Clubs events, and organized the "Rufus Over Bushkill Falls" (the Niagara of Pennsylvania!) event to benefit the CWD Foundation.

  2003 Conference and Expo  
  2003 Conference - Program Overview - Faculty  
  Thursday: Parents and Adults | Teens | Kids  
  Friday: Parents and Adults | Teens | Kids  
  Social Events - Focus Groups - Fun Run Pledge Sheet  
  Sponsors - Exhibitors  
  Registration - Map of Attendees - Menus  
  Report from 2002 Conference  

  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Saturday January 17, 2004 09:03:38
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.