Committee

Thank You to our 2020 No Limits with T1D Planning Committee

A special thanks to the following committee members who graciously volunteered their time and expertise to help plan this year’s virtual conference.

Dr. Vallis is a registered health psychologist based in Halifax, Canada. He is a Health Behaviour Change Consultant and Associate Professor in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is adult health psychology, with an emphasis on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. He spends most of his time training healthcare providers in behaviour change for chronic disease management. He regularly supervises clinical and academic students at Dalhousie and is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease. He consults nationally as well as internationally and is heavily involved in academic publications, journal editing, and clinical practice guidelines (2020 and 2006 Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Obesity and 2018, 2013, 2004 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines). He was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Canadian Diabetes Association

Dr. Michael Vallis

PhD R Psych

Dr. Panagiotopoulos is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia and Endocrinologist at BC Children’s Hospital where she also serves as the Medical Director for both the Type 2 Diabetes/Insulin Resistance and the Provincial Mental Health Metabolic Programs. As a Senior Associate Clinician Scientist at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and former Diabetes Canada-funded Clinician Scientist, her research spans both forms of childhood diabetes with a focus on vulnerable and "at-risk" populations – including Aboriginal youth, and children with mental health challenges. She is the Clinical Leader of a research team in Childhood Autoimmunity at BC Children’s Hospital, where she has developed a provincial biorepository for childhood type 1 diabetes. She also leads several projects focused on understanding the natural history of complications in type 1 diabetes (cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease).

Dr. Dina Panagiotopoulos

MD, FRCPC

Hello my name is Jane.  I have lived with Type 1 for 28 years and have been Looping for 1.5 years.  I work as a Diabetes Nurse Educator in Lethbridge, Alberta and it is the best job!  I have also had the opportunity to work at D-Camps Alberta for the past 4 years and am so thankful for the lifelong friends I have made the new people I meet each year.
I am a mom to an 8 year old boy and 6 year old girl and my husband and I are high school sweethearts.  I enjoy reading, cross stitching and watching anything Disney!  As a family we like to go camping, biking, play board games and watch movies.
I’m excited to be a part of No Limits with T1D this year!  Another great opportunity from Diabetes Canada.

Jane Cresswell

RN BN CDE

Dr. Anastasia Pimenova has had a life-long passion for improving health and standards of care for Type 1 patients. She was diagnosed at the age of one in Moscow, Russia, where access to even expired insulin and test strips was limited at the time.  Drawn to the health sciences from an early age, Dr. Pimenova ultimately decided to pursue the Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Toronto. She became a licensed pharmacist in 2019 and continues to practice in the community where she focuses on optimizing diabetes therapy, while also working in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.  In her spare time, she practices heavy weight lifting, trains her Australian Shepherd and is an avid reader of sci-fi. 

Dr. Anastasia Pimenova

PharmD, RPh

Lara Abramson was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1985 at the age of 6. She attended Camp Lion Maxwell two years later at the urging of her physician at the time, Dr. Bruce Moton, and has been hooked ever since. She has spent the last 30+ years serving the needs of those living and affected by type 1 diabetes through her work with various diabetes charities, including JDRF, the Diabetes Education & Camping Association, and the Barton Center for Diabetes Education. She has been the General Manager for Diabetes Canada's, D-Camps for the past 7 years.

Lara Abramson

General Manager, Diabetes Canadas D-Camps

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 14, in 1993. I have pursued high level athletics and academics since my diagnosis. I received a Honours Bsc. in Human Biology at the University of Toronto in 2002, and went on to receive my medical degree from U of T in 2006, graduating top 6% in my class. I then completed both a residency in Internal Medicine (2009) and a fellowship in Medical Oncology (2011). Finally, I completed an additional fellowship at St. Michael’s Hospital (2012) to gain more expertise in Breast and GI cancers.
Currently, I practice as a Medical Oncologist in Kelowna, and am the provincial lead of multiple choice exams for the undergraduate medical program. My other passion is competitive running, and I have represented Canada numerous times, highlighted by three medals at the World Masters Games (2013, 2017), and a top six finish at the World Masters Track and Field Championships (2016). Currently, I am looking forward to competing in the World Masters Games in Japan in 2021.
Despite its challenges, living with Type 1 Diabetes does not have to limit your dreams, goals, and accomplishments!

Dr. Delilah Topic

MD

Karen is an active Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Insulin Pump Trainer in her community. She has a Masters of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition and has experience in various clinical and population healthcare settings. She has worked with a wide variety of patient populations including chronic disease management of all types of diabetes, kidney disease and heart health, among others. She has shared her nutrition knowledge as a healthcare provider and educator. She has provided one-on-one counselling, cooking classes, group education classes, and grocery tours to diverse patient populations. Additionally, she has conducted and disseminated clinical nutrition research on sarcopenia in the aging population at an international conference. She aims to empower clients to optimize their health through nutrition and is passionate about working the Type 1 Diabetes population.

Karen Sevong

MScFN RD CDE

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator passionate about empowering and improving the lives of those living with Type 1 Diabetes. She found her calling in this field when her brother was diagnosed with T1D at age 10. She was inspired by the outstanding care her family received by his diabetes team while adjusting to life with diabetes. Fifteen years later she is working at LMC Diabetes and Endocrinology in Toronto as a CDE and supporting T1D techies as a certified pump trainer. Her goal with every patient is for them to feel heard, empowered and not like 'just another number'. She has a special interest in Type 1 tech and helping those with diabetes foster a healthy relationship with food and their body. 
She spends her extra quarantine time baking sourdough bread and keeping active training for OCR!

Jessica Drummond

RD CDE

A violinist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth became involved with the diabetes community when her son Miles was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age twelve months. Miles is now thirteen years old, and has attended camp Briardale from the age of seven. Six years of D-Camp experience has inspired Miles in his efforts to raise $10,000 over the last four years through his Put a Squeeze on Diabetes lemonade stands - funds that will enable other children living with Type 1 to share in that same experience.
As the “champion family” for Manitoba, Elizabeth and Miles have worked closely with Diabetes Canada to bring awareness and involvement to more families across the province with this important fundraiser.
Elizabeth is a grateful and proud member of the DIY looping and Nightscout community, and believes all Canadians with type 1 should have access to the latest technology in diabetes care.

Elizabeth Dyer 

Violinist & Mom of Child with T1D

Teri has lived with T1D for 30 years and used an insulin pump since 1999. She has become a pump trainer since then. Teri has also been a CDE since 1995. She has experience with T1D, T2D, Gestational and Pediatric Diabetes. She has also been a camp nurse for 17 years with last 3 years as Head nurse at D-Camp Camp K in BC; she has been honored to receive both the National and Regional Camp awards over the years and has been involved with T1D Expo since it started in BC

Teri Currie

RN CDE

Hi folks! I’m Ross Kinney, reporting from beautiful Fredericton, New Brunswick. I live downtown near the Wolastoq River, and I work at the provincial Legislature. I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years and have been involved with Diabetes Canada since 2015. I am currently the Regional Volunteer Chair for New Brunswick with a focus on advocacy and fundraising. I love to read and buy too many books, and I enjoy exploring the outdoors throughout all the seasons. I am excited to be working with this team to provide a meaningful conference! It’s nice to meet you!

Ross Kinney

Regional Volunteer Chair for NB

Diana Provenzano a chartered accountant provides financial and tax planning services to individuals and owner-managers. As a volunteer of Diabetes Canada she is passionate about her past involvement with D-Camps, being a patient representative on the 2013 and 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines, co-chairing the first Type 1 Expo of Learning and Empowerment in Toronto, and has served a Diabetes Canada Board Member for the past 7 years. She received the 2016 National Bold and Audacious Achievement Award for her passion to initiate the type 1 forum for adults. She loves to travel, explore the outdoors, hike, and cycle with her husband and son and knows life is not limited, by having type 1 diabetes, currently for 39 years.  

Diana Provenzano

CPA CA

Sharleen Herrmann is a Diabetes Nurse Educator at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. She has a passion for youth and is very interested in transition, diabetes technology and encouraging self-management skills. She has been Head Nurse at Diabetes Camp Kakhamela on the Sunshine Coast for the past 21 years. She has been the recipient of Diabetes Canada’s Camp Award, Practical Diabetes Award and recently the Public Service Volunteer Award. Sharleen has worked closely with Child Health BC, Nursing Support Services, Diabetes Canada, and the Canadian Pediatric Society to establish policies, guidelines and training materials, both provincially and nationally, for children with diabetes in the school setting. In her off time, she enjoys being outdoors and “off grid” from emails.

Sharleen Herrmann

RN, BSN, CDE

Barb Chaput is the Diabetes Canada Regional Volunteer Chair for the Manitoba/Nunavut Region. She is in her second term of assuming this role. She has been volunteering for Diabetes Canada since 2010, taking on numerous roles such as presenter for the “Let’s Talk Diabetes” program, active in advocacy campaigns, webinars, support groups for those living with Type 1, health fairs as well as a committee member and participant for the Lace-Up for Diabetes Run.
Barb Chaput is a University of Manitoba Civil Engineering graduate who just recently retired from running her engineering consulting business to spend more time with her family.
Barb is a wife and mother of 2 boys aged 11 and 14. She now dedicates her time to her family whether it is at sporting events, spending time outdoors, or volunteering at their school or for Diabetes Canada.
Barb was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 35 and volunteering allows her to stay connected as a person living with diabetes and allows her to help others understand diabetes and its management.

Barb Chaput

Regional Volunteer Chair for MB/NT

Lorraine is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She has had the privilege of presenting workshops across Canada to both health care professionals and people who live with type 1 diabetes. Her primary area of interest is to support people in using diabetes technology to optimize management and minimize the daily burden of life with type 1. When not at work, she is a busy mom and stepmom to six young adults and two golden retrievers. Lorraine celebrated her 32 year “diaversary” in March of last year and understands firsthand the ups and downs of daily life with diabetes.

Lorraine Anderson Earle

RD, CDE

Bruce Verchere PhD is a Professor in the UBC Depts of Surgery and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, acting head of the Canucks for Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories at BC Children’s Hospital, and Director of the UBC Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics. He holds the Irving K Barber Chair in Diabetes Research, and leads the recently created BC Diabetes Research Network. His research aims to develop therapeutic approaches for enhancing survival and function of insulin-producing beta cells in diabetes and following transplantation. He was awarded the Diabetes Canada Young Scientist Award in 2006 and a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for diabetes research and service in 2012. He has served on the Diabetes Canada Board of Directors and National Research Council and the Institute Advisory Board for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes.

Bruce Verchere

PhD