Back to Friends for Life Falls Church 2018 Friends for Life Falls Church 2018 Faculty


Christel Marchand Aprigliano was diagnosed in 1983 with type 1 diabetes and spent her early years wishing it would simply "go away." She now devotes her efforts to many diabetes advocacy and peer support initiatives as the CEO of Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the diabetes voice on federal and state policies; Founder of The Diabetes Collective, Inc., which produces The DiabetesUnConference; a member of Florida's Diabetes Advisory Council, and as a consultant for healthcare companies. You can find her thoughts on life with diabetes on her popular personal blog,


Diagnosed at age eight, Sam Billetdeaux has always been determined not to let diabetes get in the way of his ambitions. While those ambitions have changed over the years, the determination hasn’t. Sam, now 28, lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend and enjoys the proximity of many CWD friends for life. He enjoys biking with friends, going to the dog park, and seeking out the best pizza/ramen/coffee/brunch in New York! Sam is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Institute of Culinary Education.


Lauren Clary, PhD, is the clinical psychologist for the Division of Endocrinology & Diabetes at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC. Dr. Clary works with parents and children ranging from young children through young adults experiencing a wide range of challenges including difficulties adjusting to their diabetes diagnosis or to completing daily diabetes management tasks. Dr. Clary also participates in an active clinical research program at the hospital and has authored scientific papers on parents and children impacted by childhood illness.


Edward Damiano, PhD, is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His educational training is in the areas of biomedical and mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. Over the years, his lab has been engaged in basic scientific research that combine aspects of fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and intravital microscopy to study the biomechanics of the inner ear and blood flow in the microcirculation. In addition to his basic science research, he has also committed himself to building a bionic pancreas for type 1 diabetes. Ever since his 17-year-old son, David, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11 months of age, he has set his sights on creating and integrating blood-glucose control technologies with a vision of building a bihormonal (insulin and glucagon) bionic pancreas that David could take to college. He and his engineering team at BU began conducting experiments testing an early version of their bionic pancreas running on a laptop computer in diabetic swine in 2005 and then progressed with their clinical collaborators at the Massachusetts General Hospital through in-patient trials in adults and adolescents with T1D from 2008–2012. From 2013–2016, his team at BU and clinical collaborators conducted seven outpatient clinical trials in adults and children with type 1 diabetes testing a mobile version of their bionic pancreas, which ran on an iPhone. With $2.5MM in donations from over 1,000 gifts from the T1D community, his engineering team at BU along with their contract manufacturers, have recently built the first fully integrated biohormonal bionic pancreas that does not rely upon smartphone technology. They call their device the iLet, in homage to the pancreatic islets of Langerhans. They recently received FDA approval to begin clinical trials testing the iLet in the outpatient setting. Their goal is to begin clinical testing of the iLet in the middle of 2017 and to conduct the final pivotal trial testing the insulin-only configuration of the iLet in the first half of 2018. He recently co-founded Beta Bionics, Inc., a Massachusetts Public Benefit Corporation, for the purpose of commercializing the iLet for people living with type 1 diabetes.


Leigh Davis Fickling, MEd, MS, JD, is the Executive Director of the Disability Management System at Duke University. With over 19 years of experience in Higher Education Administration, Leigh has served in a variety of executive leadership roles including Dean of Students and Dean of Campus Life. Leigh's area of expertise is disability law and the implementation of reasonable accommodations in the classroom and the workplace. Leigh and her husband Jimmy are the proud parents to eight-year-old twins, Ava and Davis. Ava was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three in 2013. With Ava's diagnosis and the need for accommodations in elementary school, Leigh's work life and home life have merged.


Julie Gettings, PhD, is the clinical psychologist within the Division of Endocrinology & Diabetes at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Gettings works with youth and their families on improving adherence to diabetes management tasks, coping with chronic illness, improving family functioning surrounding illness management, and treating symptoms of mental health disorders. Prior to the current position, Dr. Gettings was the diabetes psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and served in a similar role. Dr. Gettings is involved in clinical research with a particular focus on mental health screening for youth with chronic illness.


George Huntley is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Theoris Group, Inc., a professional services and software company based in Indianapolis, IN with offices throughout the US and Europe. He has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1983 and has been an active volunteer in the fight against diabetes since 1986. George has held many leadership roles with the American Diabetes Association including Chair of the National Board of Directors. George is a founding member and current officer of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council, a 501c3 organization dedicated to patient advocacy to improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes. George also serves on the board of Children With Diabetes.


Dana Lewis was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002 as a freshman in high school and is now most known for building her own DIY “artificial pancreas” (automated insulin delivery system, or hybrid closed loop) and founding the open source artificial pancreas movement. She is working with the OpenAPS community to make safe and effective artificial pancreas technology available (sooner) for people with diabetes around the world. She is now a Principal Investigator (PI) for a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded grant project to work to scale patient-led innovation and scientific discovery in more patient communities. Dana is also the author of an illustrated children's book, Carolyn's Robot Relative, to help explain diabetes devices to kids like her nieces and nephews.


Leyla Mansour-Cole, Esq., is a lawyer living and working near Washington, D.C as the Community & Policy Manager of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC). She attended American University's Washington College of Law, where she was a lead attorney in the Disability Rights Law Clinic, a managing editor of the Health Law and Policy Brief, and a co-symposium director of the Health Law and Justice Society. She also completed internships with the D.C. Board of Medicine and the Children's Law Center's Healthy Together program. Since graduating, she has worked for the government in a policy position. She was also a national organizer for the March for Health, a protest march in support of the Affordable Care Act, which occurred in Washington, D.C. and fourteen other cities across the country. Leyla has been living with type 1 diabetes since her diagnosis in 1995.


Maureen Monaghan, PhD, CDE, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Health at Children’s National Health System and George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. A licensed clinical psychologist and a certified diabetes educator, Dr. Monaghan has worked for over a decade providing behavioral health care as part of the Child and Adolescent Diabetes Program at Children’s National. Her clinical and research work focuses on helping youth with diabetes and their parents adjust and adapt to new settings and manage their daily medical regimen, while also promoting optimal quality of life. Dr. Monaghan is particularly in working with adolescents and young adults and their diabetes care providers to facilitate a smooth transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care.


Kristen O'Dell, MS, RD, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. Managing this untamable disease initiated a career in healthcare for her. She earned her Masters degree in Dietetics at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Kristen’s first CWD conference was in 2011. She fell in love with the people and relationships she formed. In 2015, Kristen became the dietitian for the conferences and has loved it ever since. Between menu planning, carbohydrate counting and allergy accommodations, she is looking forward to tasting all the food, working with the kids, seeing old friends and making many more!


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 seven 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 He is currently Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State University College of Medicine and Associate Chief Medical Officer at Penn State Hershey. 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. Dr. Oser also is active in diabetes research, examining the role of social media in peer-to-peer support.


Tamara Oser, MD, is Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Residency Research Director for Penn State Hershey Family and Community 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. Dr. Oser is a Physician Scientist whose research focuses on supporting newly diagnosed T1D families, T1D peer-to-peer support through social media, exercise in Adults with T1D, and the unique experience of raising a child with both T1D and autism. She is wife to Sean Oser, MD, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 25 years, and is mom to twins Courtney and Jessica (age 16). 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


R. Stewart Perry grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. Since 1983 he has been the co-owner of Perry & Perry State Farm Insurance, one of the largest State Farm Insurance agencies in the state of Kentucky and is a Diabetes Consultant and Advocate. Stewart’s family has been dramatically affected by diabetes. His son has type 1 diabetes, both parents, and sister have all had diabetes during their lifetime. He has lost an uncle, grandfather and great grandmother to complications of diabetes. Stewart was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1990. Since that time, he has been actively involved in the American Diabetes Association. Stewart was the Chairman of the National Board of Directors and Chair of the National Advocacy Committee for five years, He was Chair Bluegrass Chapter for a number of years and helped organize many of the fundraising events still in existence. He served as the Kentucky Affiliate Board of Vice-Chair and was Chair-Elect when it became a part of the Southern Region where he served as the Chair of the Southern Region. He also is a former member of the National Board of Directors. He is the State of Kentucky State Advocacy Chair for ADA. Stewart is a member of the Kentucky Diabetes Network and a founding member of the Fayette County Diabetes Collation. Stewart was appointed by two different Governors of Kentucky to the GET FIT KY Board and The Diabetes Research Trust Fund Board where he currently still serves. Stewart is one of the founders of the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council and currently serves as an officer of that organization. Where he has been instrumental in passing Diabetes Action Plan legislation in 18 states over the past four years. Stewart serves on the board of Children with Diabetes.


Matthew Point, MS, is a higher education professional in the greater Philadelphia area. Matt holds a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration & College Student Development. As part of his role on campus, he manages special accommodations for housing and dining plans for students with disabilities or dietary restrictions and is responsible for all on-campus emergency management. Matt began attending CWD events in 2013 to support his partner, who has type 1 diabetes. Matt's favorite parts of attending CWD events are getting to see all of the new technology, as well as reuniting with Type 1 and "Type 3" friends.


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 & Endocrinology Center. He leads a multidisciplinary team focused on the education and care of children and adults with diabetes and clinical research with a focus on T1D. He established the USF TrialNet Clinical Center and he and his team partner with industry in investigating novel therapies in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Rodriguez is the Immediate-Past Protocol Chair for the NIH-funded TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study, he is co-chair of the ADA Safe at School Working Group, a member of the ADA Legal Advocacy Subcommittee, the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance, he has been a longstanding volunteer with JDRF, and he is 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.


Janet Rodriguez, BSN, RN, CDE, a former Pediatric ICU nurse, leads the Diabetes Technology Education group at the USF Diabetes and Endocrinology Center in Tampa, FL. She is an insulin pump and CGM specialist and a certified diabetes educator, caring for pediatric and adult patients. She is a certified trainer for all commercially available insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors and she coordinates research in adoption of diabetes technologies and hybrid closed-loop insulin pump systems. She actively participates in diabetes education of school personnel and she is a longtime supporter of diabetes camps.


Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, is owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services, a practice located just outside of Philadelphia specializing in intensive insulin therapy and advanced education for children and adults. He and his staff provide consultations throughout the world via phone and the internet. Gary is a Masters-level exercise physiologist. He has been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 19 years, and served as the 2014 Diabetes Educator of the Year. He has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years and makes personal use of insulin pump therapy and CGM. Gary has written dozens of articles for diabetes trade publications and six books, including the popular Think Like A Pancreas - A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin. He lectures nationally and internationally for people with diabetes as well as professionals in the healthcare industry. In addition to serving on the faculty of Children With Diabetes and the Board of Directors for JDRF, Gary volunteers for the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Sisters, and Setebaid Diabetes Camps. Gary has been happily married for 25 years and has four wonderful kids. A fitness fanatic, he enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling and cheering on his Philadelphia sports teams.


Randi Streisand, PhD, CDE, is a clinical psychologist and certified diabetes educator and is Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington DC. She proudly works alongside talented multidisciplinary colleagues in the Diabetes Care Complex at Children’s National Medical Center. For more than 15 years, Dr. Streisand’s clinical and research efforts have focused on families living with T1D. Her program of research aims to promote adjustment and adherence in children with T1D. She has worked with young children through older teens, developing and evaluating behavioral interventions. Dr. Streisand’s current focus is on supporting parents of young children with T1D.


Crystal Crismond Woodward is the Director of the American Diabetes Association (ADA)'s Safe at School initiative based at its Home Office in Alexandria, Virginia. 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 providing comprehensive coverage for students with diabetes in Virginia and has since worked tirelessly to pass Safe at School legislation in 30 states including the District of Columbia. Crystal is a contributor to many diabetes publications, is a member of the Virginia Diabetes Council and serves on a number of other diabetes and youth advisory boards and committees.

  Denotes faculty or staff with diabetes

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