Back to Activities Chicago 2009 Conference

Children with Diabetes: Focus on Technology

A Regional Conference and Expo
April 24-26, 2009
Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel in Chicago, Illinois

This Conference is Sold Out

CWD teens like Kara embrace the latest in diabetes technology, like the OmniPod

Kenny uses a DexCom sensor ...

... and Monica uses a FreeStyle Navigator

CWD kids proudly wear their insulin pumps on their belt and some wear their infusion sets in their arm

Even elementary kids learn about the latest technology while having fun on the Scavenger Hunt

Why Focus on Technology?

Try an Insulin Pump

Come to the conference and try a pump! Several pump companies will be offering this great opportunity for potential would-be pumpers to try a pump using saline. Anyone interested in wearing a pump (with saline) may do so Friday, Saturday, or Sunday at the conference. A prescription from your physician is required and must include the wording "insulin pump trial with saline."

This opportunity is by appointment only. Appointments will fill up quickly. For more information and to schedule an appointment with a specific pump company, contact the following individuals:

Val Valentino at 1-877-YES PUMP, extension 1225 or via e-mail at

Disetronic Medical Systems Inc/Roche Diagnostics
Sharilyn DeCrastos at 317-521-0268 or

Medtronic MiniMed
Julie Sweidan at 1-800-999-9859 x 4514 or via e-mail at

Diabetes technology changes in the blink of an eye. Every day, it seems there is something new to read and learn about. How can one possibly stay on top of the information? And how can a parent decide what new technology is important enough to add to an already tried and true diabetes management regimen? What technology should a newly-diagnosed person consider? How will the new insulin pumps and continuous glucose sensors work?

We hope that the Focus on Technology conference will help you and your family gain a better understanding of the technology currently available to people with type 1 diabetes, as well as technology which may be coming shortly down the road. You can also try an insulin pump or a continuous glucose sensor, thanks to our generous partners and sponsors.

Some very exciting faculty will be joining us! Pediatric endocrinologist Bruce Buckingham will open the conference with an exploration of "Pumps and Sensors: Why Do We Use Them?" He will continue on Sunday morning with "The Artificial Pancreas." Gary Scheiner, author of Think Like A Pancreas, will cover three areas of great concern to people with type 1 diabetes: "Kids, Sports, Pumps, and Sensors," "Making Sense of Sensor Data," and "Using Advanced Pump Features."

CWD Founder and President Jeff Hitchcock will walk newly-diagnosed families through an exploration of diabetes technology in ‘Technology 101.’ After lunch, mountain-climber and adventurer Sebastien Sasseville will talk to parents and kids about how he used that technology to summit Mt. Everest last year!

Confused by all the insulin pump infusion sets on the market? And how do you know which one will work best for your child or yourself? How does a person wear both a sensor and an infusion set? Diabetes Educator Natalie Bellini can help you figure this out in a fun and hands-on session. Also, the pump companies will have their infusion sets available for you to look at and ask questions about during the conference in the exhibit area -- it's a great opportunity to compare, gather information, and decide what is best for you!

Feeling stressed out by all the technology – or simply by 'life with diabetes' in general? Join psychologist and veteran CWD presenter Richard Rubin for a discussion about "Technology Overwhelmus." On Sunday, join psychologist Jill Weissberg-Benchell for a discussion about transitioning care from teens to young adults.

Dietitians Mike Schurig and Dana Dignard will examine various pumps and their capabilities to manage carb-counting on a daily basis. This can be an extremely useful tool for people of any age in successful diabetes management.

ADA's Crystal Jackson will talk with parents about how to make diabetes technology management in school a positive and healthy experience for kids, families, and the school professionals. It may seem like an easy thing to accomplish, but there are so many pieces involved with successfully using diabetes technology in a school environment, that it is really helpful to walk through the steps with Crystal. Also by appointment, Crystal will work on specific problem-solving with families who are currently experiencing challenges with pumping in their school districts.

Finally, don’t miss Sunday afternoon’s Moms Discussion Group and Dads Discussion Group. This is a great place to ask questions, talk about what’s on your mind, share ideas, and go home with a final dose of CWD support!

Please note that there are several other optional talks and activities. Saturday, when sessions are over for the day, Harold Sanco will lead a workout for all ages – make sure you wear appropriate workout clothing and tennis shoes! Dinner is for everyone that evening, and will be followed by a DJ and family-friendly dancing. This is an early night – tunes and dancing will go until approximately 9:30. Also, right after dinner, Teen Coordinator Natalie Bellini will lead a discussion group for parents of teenagers. This is informal and fun – if you’re a parent of a teen, please join in!

Registering for the Conference

Every conference participant needs to register for the conference. Pricing information is on the Registration page. Note that pricing information is provided for families and individuals, as well as for additional adults such as grandparents who might be joining a family. Registering for the conference is a separate process from making hotel reservations - please make sure that you do both (registering for the hotel only registers you for a hotel room and registering for the conference only registers you for the conference itself).

Experts Who Can Help

CWD has invited some of the top experts in the diabetes industry to share their ideas with you. In addition to the scheduled presentations, the conference faculty will be available during meals and breaks for more personalized discussion with moms and dads. Our faculty are very approachable - don't be shy about asking questions! This is a time to discuss anything on your mind relating to diabetes management. It's a great opportunity to network, share ideas, and interact with CWD's most wonderful and caring professionals!

In addition, for elementary age kids, tweens, and teens, there will be special sessions just for you all day both Saturday and Sunday. One area in the conference center is for kids ages 6-9, one area is designated for kids ages 10-12, and a third area is designated for teens. These sessions are fun and activity based - they will not focus on 'just diabetes,' so they are fine for sisters, brothers, and friends to attend! Please note that a child must be in their specific age-group; no exceptions.

Teens will start in ice-breaker and discussion groups in the morning. It is likely that they will head off-site in the afternoon on both days. Some pocket money for incidentals or snacks should be provided by parents. Any teen with diabetes going off-site must have a meter, insulin, and glucose along with them!

Please note that elementary and tween sessions are for all children, not just those with diabetes. Sessions will include games, a Scavenger Hunt, arts-n-crafts projects, pool time, and other ‘active time’ with Harold Sanco! There will be some discussion about taking care of diabetes and some discussion about insulin pumps and sensors. There will also be time with our special guests such as Sebastien Sasseville. We try to 'play it by ear' with our younger group, and follow their lead as far as what is interesting and exciting for them to do at any given time of the day.

We will have childcare for potty trained children ages 3-5. No separate child care registration is required. Mary Babin, who coordinates childcare for all CWD conferences, will once again be in charge of the youngest crowd!

Please note that all conference participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or adult guardian with them in the building during the entire conference (i.e., teens and children should not be dropped off to participate while parents go elsewhere). This is for health and liability reasons, and there will be no exceptions.

The Program

The program is designed to run 5 sessions simultaneously during most of the weekend. There will be two-day educational tracks for adults and parents of children with diabetes, school-age children (ages 6-9), tweens (ages 10-12), and teens (ages 13+). During some sessions, parents will have a choice of two speakers. Sessions will end on Sunday late afternoon. Participants who would like to continue to visit and interact with other CWD families are encouraged to stay over Sunday night and relax poolside or enjoy the many attractions that Chicago has to offer.

The Conference Venue

The Renaissance Chicago North Shore is located about 17 miles from the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Single and double room rates are $109 per night plus tax. Rollaways are extra. Each room offers wireless high speed Internet, a 2-line phone with voice mail, cable TV, and a coffee maker with complimentary coffee. In addition, the hotel has an indoor heated pool and fully-equipped fitness center. Free shuttle service is offered within a 5-mile radius.

Fun Things To Do

While the hotel is situated in the suburbs, downtown Chicago is easily accessible by car or train (the train station is a very short walk from the hotel). For those who wish to stay an extra day or so to sightsee, downtown attractions include the Navy Pier, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum, and Shedd Aquarium. Chicago also offers some great shopping. There are several malls within a short drive of the hotel. In addition, Michigan Avenue is the home of Water Tower Place (a 10 story shopping mall), Niketown, and many other famous stores. If the weather is spring-like, exploring the shore of Lake Michigan is a wonderful option.

Cancellation policy:
Cancellations prior to April 1, 2009 will be refunded minus a $50 processing fee. After April 1, no refunds are available.

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

Chicago 2009: Focus on Technology
Conference - Registration - Program - Youth program
Faculty and Staff - Sponsors

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