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  Back to 2014 Conference Friends for Life 2014 Faculty

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Henry Anhalt, DO, is the Senior Medical Director, US Medical Affairs, Medical Diabetes, at Sanofi. He came to Sanofi with five years of experience at Johnson and Johnson's Diabetes Care Franchise and over 20 years in clinical practice. Henry was Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director of the Artificial Pancreas Program for Animas Corporation. He served on the Management Board and directed the company’s medical and clinical activities. Henry’s primary area of focus was on the development and commercialization of the first generation Artificial Pancreas. He managed the strategic alliance of this uniquely co-funded project with JDRF. While he was there, he led two successful feasibility studies. Henry was also a critical driver in launching Animas' first integrated continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump combination in Europe. Prior to Johnson and Johnson, Henry was the Director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center and co-director of its Healthy L.I.F.E. program, a family-centered, behaviorally based multi-disciplinary program for overweight children and their families. Prior to that appointment he was Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Maimonides Children’s Hospital and was responsible for developing and running the State University of New York Downstate Medical School’s fellowship training program in pediatric endocrinology where he holds an Associate Professorship of Clinical Pediatrics. In keeping with his passion for children with diabetes, Henry is a trustee and Medical Director of camp Nejeda, a diabetes camp for children in Stillwater, NJ. He continues to maintain a part-time clinical pediatric endocrinology practice in New Jersey.

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Natalie Bellini, BSN, 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 university part time in order to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Natalie works at Novo Nordisk and is mom to Erin.

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Born in Cleveland, Ohio during the time of the burning of the great Cuyahoga River, Neil Benchell, JD, loves to make children laugh. After having spent years on the sideline as the "spouse" of one of the faculty members, Neil decided it was time to get involved. As one of the Teen Staff members, Neil is always in the thick of it trying to make the conferences a memorable experience for all. In his spare time, Neil tries his hand at patent litigation.

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Ric Bonnell, MD, has always had a passion for helping children. In 1990, after his wife was killed in a car accident, he decided to pursue that passion through medicine. He completed his fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas, and worked for many years in the ER at Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth. During this time he remarried, and helped start Ruth's Place, a free clinic for indigent patients. Dr. Bonnell first came to Haiti in 2007 on a medical mission trip with a friend from medical school. "Two days after arriving," reminisces Dr. Bonnell, "I called my wife and said this was where we were supposed to dedicate our lives. We started bringing our children twice a year (spring break and summer vacation), and I would come an additional 2 or 3 times on my own." After the earthquake, Dr. Bonnell became even more involved in Haiti, coordinating surgical teams at Pierre Payen Hospital, and beginning to focus on longterm care for patients with chronic diseases. His family also grew, as he and his wife adopted five Haitian children (all siblings). His oldest adopted son, Mackenson, developed type 1 diabetes months before they were able to bring him home to the US. When asked about his motivation to start Kay Mackenson (translation: Mackenson's House) Clinic, Dr. Bonnell replied, "We realized that our eldest adoptive son, Mackenson, probably would have died or had severe complications from his diabetes had it not been discovered early. I take care of a lot of diabetic kids in the US who live normal, active lives thanks to excellent medical care. I want kids in Haiti to have the same opportunity. I want Kay Mackenson to help kids with chronic diseases live normal, healthy lives in Haiti."

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Adam Brown is the Co-Managing Editor of diaTribe (www.diaTribe.org) and the Chief of Staff at Close Concerns, where he focuses on the field of diabetes technology, especially continuous glucose monitoring, insulin pumps, and the artificial pancreas. Adam graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 pursuing concentrations in marketing and health care management and policy. Adam was a Joseph Wharton and Benjamin Franklin Scholar and completed his senior thesis on the motivational and financial factors associated with optimal diabetes control. He has had type 1 diabetes since age 12 and wears an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. Adam is on the board of directors of Insulindependence and the SF branch of JDRF. He is passionate about cycling, strength training, nutrition, and wellness and spends his free time outdoors and staying active.

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Dr. Robert Bulgarelli is the Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine for Main Line Health and a Board Certified cardiologist at Riddle Hospital in Media. He serves on the Main Line Health Healthy Workforce Council and chairs Riddle's Medical Nutrition committee, amongst others. Dr. Bob, as his patients call him, is Co-Founder of Whole Life Health, a Behavioral Health company whose mission is the transformation of Health Care Delivery in the world. Dr. Bulgarelli's main area of interest and expertise is in the growing field of Mind / Body Spirit medicine and the emphasis on healthy behaviors and choices as the key to vitality and longevity. His company is a leader in the training of Health Coaches and he utilizes their expertise in his practice of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine. He is a skilled practitioner and teacher of meditation and is a Board Certified Medical Acupuncturist. In 2002, Dr. Bulgarelli was the 1st Cardiologist in the world to complete the two-year long Associate Fellowship in Integrative Medicine with Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. Dr. Bob remains a faculty member with the Associate Fellowship, consulting on and moderating the cardiology and cardiovascular nutrition curriculum. He has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6ABC and CN8. He has been published and quoted in many local and national magazines, including Main Line Today, Men's Health and Shape. A graduate of Philadelphia College of Medicine in 1990, Dr. Bulgarelli completed his medical internship at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Darby, PA and his medical residency and cardiology fellowship at Lankenau Medical Center. Dr Bulgarelli has been a part of Main Line Health his entire clinical career that now spans over 20 years.

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Paula Clinton, RD, CDE, has been a Clinical Researcher at Stanford University Medical Center in the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology for 12 years. As a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and published researcher, she specializes in new diabetes technologies including continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. She is currently conducting several research studies utilizing a closed loop system. Paula has been the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute Program Facilitator and Faculty member since the Institutes inception in 2008. She worked for 5 years at the Diabetes Society of Santa Clara Valley, a non-profit, outpatient diabetes education center and camping organization. She has attended diabetes camp as part of the medical team for 17 years and has conducted closed loop research at camp for the past 2 years.


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Kelly L. Close is president of Close Concerns, Inc., a healthcare information firm exclusively focused on the businesses of diabetes and obesity. The mission of Close Concerns is to improve patient outcomes by getting the best information on the state of the fields available globally to whoever needs it – companies, healthcare professionals, patients, and families. Kelly is editor-in-chief of diaTribe, a free online newsletter focused on new research and products for people with diabetes (diaTribe.us) that has over 20,000 subscribers. Additionally, she is active in dQ&A, Close Concerns’ sister company, a market research business that surveys over five thousand people with diabetes each quarter. She is a longtime diabetes advocate, and on the boards of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and the Behavioral Diabetes Institute. Before starting Close Concerns in 2002, Kelly was an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch in medical technology; prior to this, she worked at McKinsey & Company. Kelly is a graduate of Amherst College, magna cum laude, and of the Harvard Business School. She has had type 1 diabetes for over 25 years.


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Kevin Covais is an actor, singer, and diabetes advocate. He is most recognized as a Top 12 Finalist on the fifth season of "American Idol", which aired in 2006. On the show, Kevin was mentored by several award-winning recording artists including Stevie Wonder and Barry Manilow, and he placed 11th overall. Since his "Idol" days, Kevin has transitioned into acting. His credits include a lead role in the 2008 MGM comedy, "College", a supporting role in the family film, "Touchback", starring Kurt Russell, as well as a role in 2014's summer blockbuster, "Transformers: Age of Extinction". Kevin has also made several television appearances including a guest star credit on the FOX show, "Raising Hope". Disney Channel fans know Kevin best as Victor Deleseur on the hit show, "Good Luck Charlie". Kevin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 11 and has worked with the Diabetes Research Institute for many years. He is thrilled to be a part of Children with Diabetes again after making his first CWD appearance in 2006.

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Edward Damiano, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His educational training is in the areas of biomedical and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. His lab is engaged in basic scientific research that uses fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and intravital microscopy to study blood flow in the microcirculation and to elucidate mechanisms by which the lining of blood vessels can determine vascular health and disease. In addition to this research, he is also committed to creating and integrating technologies to build a bionic endocrine pancreas. His interest in a bionic pancreas is quite personal, and began when his 15-year-old son, David, developed type 1 diabetes before the age of one. His goal is to have the mathematical control algorithms that he developed with one of his postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Firas El-Khatib, hard at work closing the loop for his son and others with diabetes before David goes off to college.

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Bennet Dunlap 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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Jessica Dunne, PhD, is the senior scientist and program lead for JDRF's Prevention Program, the portion of JDRF's research portfolio aimed at slowing or halting the progression of T1D before symptomatic onset, and eventually eliminating the development of disease at all stages. In her role, Dr. Dunne develops and implements research programs that address key scientific and program gaps within the prevention therapies portfolio. Prior to joining JDRF in 2008, she was a senior scientist and manager of animal biology at Elusys Therapeutics, a small biotechnology company that focuses on life-threatening infectious diseases. There, she led a team of scientists performing preclinical studies in four therapeutic areas. A number of these projects were partnered with big pharmaceutical companies, and Dr. Dunne was responsible for liaising with those companies to develop programs and therapies. Dr. Dunne completed her postdoctoral training at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, where she was an integral part of the preclinical team tasked to develop a second-generation CYPHER® stent. During her postdoctoral training, she led a project in collaboration with Ethicon to develop drug and biomaterial combinations that reduce biofouling of implanted biomaterials. Dr. Dunne holds a bachelor's degree from The Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate from the University of Virginia, both in the field of biomedical engineering. Her graduate training focused on the cellular mechanics of acute inflammatory response.

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Alessio Fasano, MD, is Chief of Pediatric GI, Director of the Mucosal Biology and Immunology Lab, and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Fasano is regarded as one of the foremost authorities worldwide on celiac disease, and his epidemiological studies in the United States have changed the preconception that celiac disease is a rare disorder in our county. He will be presenting two sessions on celiac disease, which is more common in children with type 1 diabetes than the general population.

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Chris Fraker, Ph.D., is Research Assistant Professor of Surgery and Cell Transplantation and a member of the DRI's Biomedical and Tissue Engineering team. Since arriving at the DRI in 1997, Dr. Fraker, who has type 1 diabetes, has focused his research on the importance of oxygen for the survival and proliferation of insulin-producing islet cells, as well as on protecting islets from the immune system through the use of novel encapsulation strategies. He initially worked under the late Dr. Marcos Mares-Guia, a renowned Brazilian chemist, in the design of immunoisolation devices to shield islets from immune attack. Their work centered on incorporating an oxygen-binding compound, perfluorocarbon (PFC), into the device to enhance cell survival and hold a patent for this technology. He later used this same technology to incorporate PFC into a new culture device to increase proliferation of pancreatic cells in culture, called the "oxygen sandwich." The results of his research have been published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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As the Manager for Community Outreach at the T1D Exchange, Anna Floreen, MSW, looks forward to providing the type I online community (www.myglu.org) with resources and ongoing connectivity for people affected by type I diabetes. In 2009 Anna created and implemented the first American Diabetes Association’s Youth Leader Program and oversaw all youth and family programs across New England for three years. She received her Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and a bachelor of science in Psychology and Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University. Anna also serves as a faculty member for the IDF’s Young Leader’s Program. She is a Certified Product Trainer with Medtronic Diabetes and also assists as a volunteer mentor with AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad) where she has traveled to both Belize and Bermuda aiding in the production of diabetes camps and programs. Anna has had type I diabetes for over 25 years and is still a very active volunteer alumnus with the Barton Center for Diabetes Education in Massachusetts. Most recently, she participated in the Beacon Hill Bionic Pancreas Study, a clinical trial which prompted an enormous increase in online Glu membership and interest from parents and those affected by type 1 worldwide through her daily blogging describing her week-long experience as a research subject.

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Terrance H. Gregg is CEO of Dexcom, Inc., first joining the Dexcom Board of Directors in 2005 and subsequently appointed President and CEO in 2007 and CEO in 2011. In 2002 he retired as President of Medtronic MiniMed, a world leader in diabetes management systems. He became President and Chief Operating Officer of MiniMed, Inc. in 1996 and was instrumental in Medtronic's $3.4 billion acquisition of MiniMed in 2001. He also served in executive positions with Smith and Nephew and Allergan, Inc. Mr. Gregg served as the 2003-2004 Chair of the Research Foundation Board of the American Diabetes Association. In 2010, Mr. Gregg and his wife were recognized by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) with one of it's highest honors, the 2010 Angel Award. Most recently, Mr. Gregg was honored as one of the San Diego regional finalists for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 and named by MassDevice.com, one of 28 chief executives whom exemplify cutting-edge leadership and innovative thinking in the medical device industry, as its inaugural CEO Class of 2011. Mr. Gregg currently serves on several advisory boards, including the Scripps Translational Science Institute. Mr. Gregg received a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University in 1971.

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Manny Hernandez was diagnosed with diabetes in 2002. In 2007, Manny and Andreina Davila, his wife, established two online communities for people touched by diabetes: TuDiabetes.org (in English) and EsTuDiabetes.org (in Spanish). A year later they co-founded the Diabetes Hands Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that connects and mobilizes the diabetes community. As President of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, Manny is responsible for program strategy, fundraising, and partnership development. Born in Venezuela and trained as an engineer, Manny is a nonprofit leader and social media author who passionately advocates for all people living with diabetes. He currently serves as a member of the National Advocacy Committee at ADA, and as an advisor for IDF’s Life for a Child Program and other groups. His contributions to the diabetes community have been recognized with a Community Spirit Award from the American Diabetes Association and a DSMA Salutes Award from Diabetes Social Media Advocates.

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Marisa E. Hilliard, PhD, is a behavioral scientist and clinical psychologist with nearly 10 years of experience in clinical care and research with young people with type 1 diabetes and their families. Her passion is promoting resilience, and her research focuses on how youth and families overcome the challenges of diabetes to adhere to treatment recommendations, experience good quality of life, and have optimal diabetes control. She is especially interested in transitional times in diabetes management, such as how family diabetes management shifts between childhood and adolescence, and how teenagers prepare to manage their diabetes as young adults. Dr. Hilliard is currently an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in the Psychology Section of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas.

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Korey K. Hood, PhD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Staff Psychologist at UCSF's Madison Center for Pediatric Diabetes. 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 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. 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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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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Scott K. Johnson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. He has been writing about his struggles and successes with diabetes since late 2004. Currently blogging at Scott's Diabetes (scottsdiabetes.com), working as the Communications Lead, USA for mySugr, and contributing to many other diabetes related projects, Scott stays busy connecting with others living with diabetes. Scott works full time as a freelance writer and diabetes consultant, and says, "I'm your average guy living with type 1 diabetes. I don't have it all figured out, and sharing my struggles with diabetes helps by showing people that it is okay to still be trying to get it right, even after almost 35 years." Scott lives with his family near the Minneapolis, MN area.

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Tom Karlya, Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, is commonly known throughout the diabetes community as Diabetes Dad, used virtually everywhere, including his monthly column which appears at www.dLife.com/diabetesdad. He's been active since his daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed in 1992 at the age of two. In 2009, his son Rob was also diagnosed, at age 13. Tom has been introduced to the NY State Capitol, testified in Washington, D.C., appeared at diabetes-related events at the United Nations and has lectured across the US about being a Diabetes Dad. He received numerous commendations for his work in the Katrina efforts where he was instrumental in organizing aid to over 10,000 people with diabetes. Tom was awarded The Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award from CWD in 2008 among many other awards from groups and organizations. For 12 years as an actor, he starred in the New York Production of Tony 'N Tina's Wedding, with the original Company and also at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., in Summer of the 17th Doll. His film, lbs., was at the Sundance Film Festival, and appeared in Unsolved Mysteries, Spin City, The Cosby Show, NYPD Blue, Law and Order, America's Most Wanted, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and more as well as numerous commercials. He won 13 Telly Awards, a FREDDIE Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award while Executive Producer of dLife on CNBC. Tom will tell you that above everything else, he's just a CWD Dad.

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Yishai Knobel is co-founder and CEO of HelpAround, the mobile safety net and peer support platform for chronic patients. Knobel also founded and runs Health 2.0 Tel-Aviv chapter, a group that brings together innovators and stakeholders in the healthcare space. Most recently, Yishai built the mobile-health business at Boston-based AgaMatrix, maker of iBGStar iPhone glucose monitor which is marketed today worldwide by Sanofi. Before Agamatrix Yishai worked at Ray Ozzie's Microsoft Startup Labs and prior to that he served eight years in R&D leadership roles in the Israeli Defense Forces, where he achieved the rank of Captain. He has a BA in psychology and Computer Science, and MBA from the MIT Sloan school.

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Scott Kyllo lives in British Columbia, Canada. He has two children, Alyssa (23) and Chad (20). 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. Scott 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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Lauren Lanning is mom of Monica, 20, dx 8/96 and Sarah, 18. Lauren became involved with CWD shortly after her daughter was diagnosed in 1996. She has been involved in the 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. She serves on the boards of the Diabetes Scholars Foundation and CWD Foundation. Back home in Denver she is an IT consultant.

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Howard Look is founder, President and CEO of Tidepool, a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit building an open data platform and applications that reduce the burden of Type 1 Diabetes. Previously, Howard was on the founder's team at TiVo where he was VP of Software and User Experience. He was also VP of Software at Pixar, where he led the team developing Pixar's proprietary film-making system, and at Amazon where he ran a secret project to develop devices that leverage cloud services. Howard has a BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Howard's 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with T1D at age 11.

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Paul Madden, MEd, has served as Friends for Life faculty for the past 14 years. Paul is an accomplished author and speaker serving in numerous leadership roles on national and international boards including the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association, the International Diabetes Federation, the American Diabetes Association, the Joslin Diabetes Center, the Young Leaders in Diabetes/IDF, and the JDRF. Paul developed and served in numerous new leadership roles at Joslin Diabetes Center a Harvard Medical School Affiliate including Special Assistant to the President, behavioral medicine, corporate development, advocacy, exercise, and camp administrator/director. Creating new winning solutions that create value and growth for organizations and the people being served is what Paul does best. He empowers, educates and inspires people to explore and adopt healthier lifestyles. Paul touches the soul of the people he works with enabling them to address the challenges of life more fully and positively! Paul is the Global Senior Advisor for Diabetes and Non Communicable Diseases with Project HOPE. Paul has had type 1 diabetes for over 50 years.


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Before her young daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997, Moira McCarthy had accomplished quite a bit as a nationally-competitive freestyle skier, award-winning crime reporter (she was once almost sent to jail for refusing to reveal a source and also helped solve a serial murder), author of books on golf and skiing, and one of the world's best-known ski and adventure writers. But her daughter's diagnosis presented her with the ultimate challenge: how to raise a healthy – but still active and happy child -- and how to make a difference in the diabetes world. Author of the best-selling books Raising Teens With Diabetes: A Parent Survival Guide and The Everything Parents Guide to Juvenile Diabetes, and creator of the blog Despitediabetes, McCarthy is a well-known national diabetes advocate and speaker, and was JDRF's International Volunteer of the Year in 2007. She and her daughter have been guests on CNN Live, Larry King Live, FOX morning News, Good Morning America and on the front page of the New York Times. Her daughter, who graduated from college this year and settled in Washington DC (500 miles from mom!) is thriving. Their mantra: despite diabetes, you need to get busy living.

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Diana M. Naranjo, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and researcher at the University of California San Francisco’s Madison Center for Pediatric Diabetes. As a trained pediatric and adult psychologist working in behavioral medicine, Dr. Naranjo focuses on the psychosocial needs of patients and families with diabetes. Currently, she is working on developing a transition program within the Madison Center for adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes as they transition from pediatric to adult health care. 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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Sean M. Oser, MD, MPH, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just before starting college. Through medical school, graduate school, and residency, as well as through marriage, parenthood, and his professional career, he has learned to make diabetes work at each step along the way. His daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 7 and, since then, he and his wife, Tamara Oser, MD, have discovered Children with Diabetes and other parent and family groups. CWD and its programs have motivated him to join the diabetes online community as well, where he blogs less frequently than he would like to at t1works.blogspot.com. He is currently Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State University College of Medicine. As medical director of Penn State Hershey’s Camp Hill primary care practice, he led that site to the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s highest level of recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home, providing patient-centered, team-based, comprehensive care. He has also helped lead Penn State Hershey’s successful efforts to develop and implement their fully functional electronic health record and to help harness the power of technology in providing high quality, longitudinal care and enhanced communication with patients.

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Tamara Oser, MD, is Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. She is active in clinical practice, teaching both medical students and residents, and in medical education research. One of her major areas of focus is the patient doctor relationship. She has ranked in the ninety-ninth percentile nationwide for patient satisfaction and was recently named to the Best Doctors® in America. She is wife to Sean Oser, MD, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 24 years, and is mom to twins Courtney and Jessica (age 10). Jessica was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. She has seen firsthand that although there are challenges, diabetes is also her husband’s and daughter’s greatest strength. She blogs her family’s life with type 1 diabetes at t1family.blogspot.com.

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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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Jeremy Pettus, MD, is an endocrinology fellow at the University of California, San Diego. After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes himself at the age of 15, Dr. Pettus has dedicated his career toward treating and educating others with the disease. In addition to his clinical work at UCSD, Dr. Pettus is also involved in basic immunology research with a focus on cure based therapies. Finally, Dr. Pettus has interests in patient empowerment through education. He is very involved with the not-for-profit organization entitled Taking Control of Your Diabetes. With this organization, Dr. Pettus speaks at patient-centered conferences around the country and heads the conference's "Type 1 Diabetes" track.

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Rick Philbin, MEd, MBA, ATC, is a consultant for medical device and diabetes companies looking to improve the lives of people with diabetes and the clinicians who treat them. Over the last two years Rick was Vice President of Sales for Asante Solutions, maker of a new insulin pump, the Snap. Prior to his leadership role at Asante, Rick worked for 12 years at Animas Corporation/J&J as a Territory Manager, Regional Manager, and East Area Field Director. His background is in Athletic Training/Sports Management and he is an individual with type 1 diabetes. Prior to joining Animas, he managed a comprehensive sports medicine center in the Washington, DC, area. Rick has been working with Children with Diabetes (CWD) for 15 years, presenting to parents, coordinating the sports programming for kids, and writing articles on the CWD website section called the Sports Corner. 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. He practices tight management of his diabetes and enjoys competitive basketball and weight training while on an insulin pump. Rick lives in the Washington, DC, area with his wife Sharon and daughter's Nicole and Andrea.

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Michelle Rago is an attorney and mom of three children with diabetes. Her son Trent was diagnosed at age 4 in 2000. Her family adopted daughter Maya -- diagnosed at one month -- from foster care in 2006. Her daughter Michela was diagnosed in November 2013 at the age of 15. Michelle is active with the American Diabetes Association Legal Advocacy group. She was awarded the Ben Teel Memorial Prize for Public Service at Harvard (where she founded a homeless shelter); the Charles Evan Hughes Fellowship for Public Service at Columbia Law School (where she represented children in foster care and worked on desegregation); and the Jeff Hitchcock Distinguished Service Award (for her work with CWD families).

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Henry Rodriguez, MD, is a highly regarded pediatric diabetologist and collaborative type 1 diabetes clinical researcher who led the Indiana University (IU) DPT-1 Regional Recruitment Center and served as the highly successful IU TrialNet Clinical Center’s Clinical Director for 10 years. He joined the University of South Florida College of Medicine in 2010 as a Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Director of the USF Diabetes Center. He has led expansion of clinical, educational, and clinical research activities at USF including launch of the USF T1D Exchange Clinical Center, markedly increasing local TrialNet recruitment activities, and partnering with industry in investigating novel therapies in type 1 and pediatric type 2 diabetes. Dr. Rodriguez is the Protocol Chair for the NIH-funded TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study and serves on numerous TrialNet committees. He is a member of the ADA National Board, Professional Practice Committee and the Research Grant Review Committee and has been a longstanding volunteer with JDRF and a staunch supporter of diabetes camps. He has also been the member of working groups addressing insulin pump therapy in children and the transition of young adults from pediatric to adult diabetes care providers. His clinical and research foci are the improvement of lives impacted by diabetes while pursing prevention and a cure.

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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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Desmond Schatz, MD, is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Director of the GCRC at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid 80s and has published over 200 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several JDRF and NIH awards. He is PI on JDRF funded studies aimed at reversing Type 1 diabetes using autologous stem cells (cord blood) and is currently PI the of the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet. He serves as co-PI on a Program Project Grant looking at the immunopathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, and also serves as co-PI for the NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida. Dr.Schatz has served in numerous capacities for the American Diabetes Association and on study sections and site visits for the JDRF and NIH. He also serves on the external advisory board for the NIH- and CDC-funded SEARCH study and the TODAY study in youth with type 2 diabetes and on the JDRF-funded Australian INIT II studies. He was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award together with his colleagues, Mark Atkinson and Mike Haller as well as the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association.


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Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Exercise Physiologist who has had type 1 diabetes for more than 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 is an active volunteer for the ADA, JDRF and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has written five books (including "Think Like A Pancreas") 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 five and avid sports fan, Gary has been a pump user since 1994, and a CGM user since 2006.

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Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE is a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist who has has been working as a clinician in the diabetes field for over 35 years. In addition, he's a "person living with diabetes, type 1" for over 50 years. He is author of the recently released book "A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe" and is president and founder of A Mile In My Shoes, a consulting company that provides counseling and education to patients and their families as well as training and supervision for healthcare professionals. He is a nationally and internationally well-known public speaker and trainer, integrating his personal experiences of living with diabetes into unique and creative treatment strategies for adults and families. As a Diabetes Educator and Family Therapist he specializes in making the link between how families communicate and support each other to how children manage and take care of their diabetes, helping both children and families cope more effectively with the daily challenges of living with diabetes. He has a particular expertise in working with teens who are having difficulty with their diabetes, helping them and their families adopt more effective coping strategies.


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Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 27 years, diagnosed in 1986. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me." Kerri is a passionate advocate for all-things diabetes. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, one of the first and most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, caregivers, and industry. Outside of her blog, Kerri's work can be found at diaTribe, Animas, and in diabetes outreach like JDRF's Countdown magazine, in addition to her extensive diabetes YouTube channel. Well-versed in social media and its influence on patients, Kerri presents regularly at conferences and works full-time as a writer and consultant. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), is scheduled for release in Spring 2014. Kerri and her husband, Chris, live in Rhode Island, USA with their daughter. She can be reached by email at kerri@sixuntilme.com, or on Twitter at @sixuntilme.

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Cherie Stabler, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering & Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Director of the Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Diabetes Research Institute. Dr. Stabler’s research focuses on the design and development of various biohybrid devices and islet encapsulation techniques and evaluating how these barriers can protect the islets against the vigorous immunological and inflammatory responses of the recipient. Among her many projects, Dr. Stabler and her team have developed the sponge-like, silicone scaffold that is being used as one of the platforms for a DRI BioHub. Dr. Stabler has a background in both chemical and biomedical engineering. She received her doctoral degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University Department of Biomedical Engineering.


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Ben Stroud, age 26, has been living with diabetes for 16 years, and has been pumping for almost 10 years. Born in the northeast, and raised in the southeast and SoCal has given him an appreciation for the country and a hunger for travel. A graduate of the LA Film school, Ben has been working in the industry making both television commercials and short films. Ben has been attending FFL since 2002 and a volunteer for over six years. Ben currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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Lee Ann Thill, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, has had type 1 diabetes since 1978. She is a registered board-certified art therapist and Pennsylvania licensed professional counselor, helping people with diabetes address issues like depression, burnout, food and body issues, and family conflict through arts-based interventions and psychotherapy in her private practice in suburban Philadelphia. Lee Ann is a doctoral student at Lesley University in Boston. Her current research project, VIAL Project, is a social media website for teens and adults with type 1 diabetes and food and body issues to connect and share arts-based self-expression. She is founder and facilitator of Diabetes Art Day and the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange, author of the diabetes blog, The Butter Compartment, and Adjunct Professor of Art Therapy at Holy Family University. Lee Ann enjoys spending time with her husband, Jason, dog, Kaylee, and iguana, Darwin. She believes creative expression is a path to healing.

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Adam Town, BSN, RN, is a Registered Nurse who graduated with a Bachelors of Science in nursing from the University of Cincinnati. He currently works in a hospital where he lives in West Chester, Ohio. Adam is a husband to Marissa, who has had type 1 diabetes since she was 2, and new father to Connor. He has always enjoyed being a mentor and role model for children and loves to help the families at CWD conferences.

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Marissa Town, BSN, RN, is a Registered Nurse who graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She has had type 1 diabetes since the age of 2 and has grown up with a passion for helping families living with diabetes. In 2010, Marissa served on the American Diabetes Association's Transitions Working Group, helping to prepare the ADA's guidelines for transition from pediatric to adult care. Marissa is a new mother to Connor, who was born September 1, 2013 after a healthy pregnancy.

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Jim Vail was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986 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 9 years all the while wrestling with the unpredictability of short and intermediate acting insulin. After finally going on a pump in October of 2001 and 'getting his life back,' Jim began volunteering at CWD in the teen program where he quickly became one of the Program Coordinators. He's worn, tested or personally used virtually every product represented in the Exhibit Hall. Jim has recently accepted the position of Director of Development and Communications for CWD.

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Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D., C.D.E., Pediatric Psychologist, Associate professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 20 years and is an author of numerous research articles, and a co-author of a book on transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Dr. Weissberg-Benchell works with children, teenagers and their families to facilitate adaptation and coping with diabetes and other chronic conditions.


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Richard Wood is the founder and CEO of dQ&A Market Research, a company focused on bridging the communication gap between diabetes patients and the companies that serve them. At dQ&A, he has built up a panel of 10,000 patients who since 2009 have been answering comprehensive quarterly surveys their experience managing and living with diabetes. dQ&A's research amongst patients is widely used across the diabetes industry, and has been the basis for several presentations at The American Diabetes Association's annual meetings. dQ&A is a sister company to Close Concerns, the diabetes information company led by Kelly Close. Richard was previously VP of Consumer Insights at The Nielsen Company, where he led large-scale market consumer research programs for the mobile telecommunications industry in the USA, Europe and Asia. He has extensive experience from a 20-year career in consumer and social research, industry research, technology and publishing, and holds an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.

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Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight, Bill Woods’ personal mission is to raise diabetes awareness and provide positive encouragement for people touched by type 1 diabetes. In 2007, Bill made his first video on living with diabetes, quickly becoming one of the most recognized diabetes video bloggers. His positive and inspirational videos have received over 1 million views enabling him to found 1HappyDiabetic.com. Bill speaks nationally on diabetes social media and his participation in the Beacon Hill study of the bionic pancreas. Bill currently is the diabetes online manager at MyGlu.org. Glu is an active and diverse type 1 diabetes online community designed to accelerate research and amplify the collective voice of those living with T1D.

  Friends for Life 2014 Conference and Expo  
  Introduction - Registration - Exhibitors - Sponsors - Convention Center Map (PDF)  
  Faculty - Youth Faculty - Grandparents Faculty - CWD Staff - Sports Central Staff - Retinal Screening Staff  
  Schedule: Parents and Adults - Youth - Trials and Screenings  
  Childcare Form (PDF) - FAQs  
  Reports from 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001  



                 
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Last Updated: Monday November 17, 2014 18:03:28
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