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 is currently a Territory Manager with Animas Corporation. Natalie believes in truth in education and that knowledge is power. She enjoys working with children and teens, and has a second full-time job as mom of her own teen, Erin.
Betty Brackenridge, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., Patient and Professional Education, Phoenix, AZ Author of Diabetes 101 and Sweet Kids, books for people living with diabetes, and of numerous professional publications, Ms. Brackenridge is a powerful and entertaining speaker on both the human and medical aspects of living with and caring for diabetes.
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.
Kim Kelly, Pharm. D., is the Director of Diabetes Programs at LifeScan, Inc., in Milpitas, California. Dr. Kelly has a lengthy and distinguished career involving both patient care and administrative roles, including President of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. His research and experience have included a number of publications, participation on editorial boards and review panels of several journals, involvement in medical curriculum development, and various committees of professional organizations. Currently, his activities center around developing diabetes health management and educational programs for various health care providers and provider organizations. Delighted to work with children and teens alike, Dr. Kelly has participated as a volunteer in both the Friends for Life conference (Orlando) and the recent Baltimore conference, Focus on Fitness and Nutrition. He joins us as 'regular faculty' in San Antonio!
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.
Steve Ponder MD, CDE is a pediatric endocrinologist practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He's been personally dealing with the highs and lows of type 1 diabetes for over 37 years. While his life has been shaped by his diabetes, it is not defined by it. He hopes for the day that diabetes will be a thing of the past, but realizes this is still a few years away for everyone. His greatest achievement is his family, which includes a lovely wife, Patsy and three children, Charlotte, Rachel and Jack, all of whom keep him very busy when not taking care of children with diabetes and endocrine problems. He is now facing the greatest challenge of his career: the epidemic of children with type 2 diabetes across South Texas.
Melissa Ringley, R.N., C.D.E., Manager of Clinical Services at Animas Corporation, is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing-Wise Virginia, and has been involved in diabetes education for over 12 years. When her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes 12 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 hundreds of 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.
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.
Lianna Stroster is a 13 year old CWD International Diabetes Youth Ambassador. She has type 1 diabetes and doesn't let anything stop her from achieving her goals. Lianna has been playing basketball for 6 years. During the summer of 2002, she participated in the Switzerland Invitational basketball tournament. She has attended both the 2002 Focus on Technology and the Friends For Life 2003 conferences. Lianna has had diabetes for two years and used an insulin pump for one. She has managed to fit diabetes into her busy, active lifestyle.
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