Community Health Leaders
Last updated: September 2023
In order to stay up to date on the best recipes, latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to manage type 2 diabetes everyday Type2Diabetes.com brings you frequent articles, blogs, points of view and advice from leading nutritionists, certified diabetes educators, health leaders and professional medical experts.
Current health leaders
Corinna Cornejo is a diabetes patient advocate and patient-centered health and healthcare content writer. Diagnosed in 2009, Corinna blogs about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while living with type 2 diabetes at Type 2 Musings. Read more.
I was Diagnosed in 2017 with Type 2 Diabetes after passing out from heat exhaustion and dehydration while working. After changing my eating and being told I couldn’t have kids, I now run around the house chasing my toddler son with my wife of 10 years. Read more.
Phyllisa Deroze is a prominent online patient advocate for type 2 diabetes and a professor of American Literature with interest in feminism, disability studies, drama, and foodways. Read more.
Michael Donohoe has lived with type 2 diabetes for over 25 years. He deals with complications with his eyes, hands, and feet, as well as cardiovascular and kidney disease. Yet, those items may slow him down, but he never stops. Michael has focused on advocacy to those who are at risk, and who live with type 2, as well as type 1 diabetes. Read more.
Katherine Gutwald, RD
Katie is a dietitian with experience teaching people to manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in all stages of life including childhood, pregnancy and adulthood. She has a passion for healthy eating and creating good balance. Read More.
Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RDN, CDE
Melissa Halas-Liang, founder of SuperKidsNutrition.com is a nationally recognized nutrition educator, wellness expert and spokesperson for the California’s Dietetic Association (CDA). Recently awarded the CDA Excellence in Community Dietetics award, Melissa has over 15 years of diverse experience in nutrition education/curriculum, clinical/critical care, nutrition management, counseling, media, and writing. Read more.
Jeanne Hecht, MPA, PMP
Jeanne Hecht is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Site and Patient Networks at Quintiles, a position she was appointed to in October 2014. In this role, Jeanne is responsible for leading, implementing, and driving a site and patient network-centric global strategy that leverages leading-edge technology. Read more.
Liz was diagnosed with Stage III-b bladder cancer with a T4 Tumor in August 2016 just 3 months short of turning 41. After having a radical cystectomy with urostomy placement and chemo, she began to put the pieces of her life back together. Read more.
Kim Hill graduated from Florida State with two degrees in Criminology. While not solving crimes in her head, she currently works as a freelance writer and a marketing manager. She has two published books - Abandoned Northwest Florida and Abandoned After the Storm: Hurricane Michael. Read more.
I am all about family and love spending as much time with them as possible. My 2nd passion is bringing awareness to Type 2 diabetes. It is near and dear to my heart. Since being diagnosed I have lost 100 pounds. Read more
Meryl Krochmal, MS, RD, CDCES
I have worked as a registered dietitian (RD) for the last eight years and have been certified in diabetes education (CDE) for over five years. I have experience with inpatient and outpatient care, and help people of all ages manage their diabetes throughout their life’s span. While diabetes education has always been a passion, I also hold specialty certifications in pediatric nutrition and nutrition support (CSP and CNSC). Read more.
I have been happily married to my husband for 25 years. We have two amazing young adult children: a daughter, 24, who is a teacher and a son, 22, finishing up University. Where does the time go? The same can be said about my diabetic journey that began with gestational diabetes in 1995 with my last pregnancy. Read more.
Megan Munoz, RN, MSN, CMSRN, CDCES
Nikki is a Caregiver, Content Creator, and living with Type 2 Diabetes since 2017. With over ten years of experience caring for her mother with diabetes and dementia, Nikki now manages her own journey living with diabetes. Read more.
Jen Picicci, MHS
Jen Picicci is a health writer and blogger, certified life coach, certified intuitive eating counselor, and holds a Master of Health Sciences with a concentration in health education. She writes and coaches on a variety of health and wellness topics, including how to not let food make you crazy and how to stop the diet and binge cycle. Read more.
Canadian Pharmacist, BscPharm
Canadian Pharmacist is a pharmacist working in the field of specialty medicines and community pharmacy. She received her Bachelor of Science, English and Pharmacy degrees from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. Read more
Christina is a food columnist, blogger and nutritionist. She holds a BS in Nutrition and Food Sciences, loves cooking, rock climbing and the outdoors. Christina has worked at a diabetic camp for children and teens for the past three summers and enjoys creating recipes to accommodate individuals’ needs. Read more.
My name is Tammie Snowden and I am your favorite type 2 diabetic on a budget. I’m an avid reader, horror/sci-fi movie buff (ask me anything) and true crime podcast fan. Read more.
Trinette Stanford, LLC, RN, FNP-C, CDCES
Trinette Stanford is the CEO and Founder of Totally About Diabetes, which is an online education, support, and coaching program for people with diabetes. Read more.
Diane is a blogger, patient advocate for many organizations and on several advisory boards. She got diagnosis with Type II diabetes at the age of thirty. Her mom was thirty-eight when she passed of type II diabetes. She went into a diabetic coma. Diane never understood what this meant until much later in life and how this would affect her. Read more.
Lindsey Verano, MPH, RD, LDN, CDCES
Lindsey Verano is a registered dietitian and diabetes educator. She has spent over 9 years working in the healthcare field, and has always had a strong passion for helping others improve their health. Read more.
CJ’s diabetes journey began in March 2019 when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after a routine doctor’s appointment and blood work. Although she was non-symptomatic, CJ had a deep family history of diabetes, a sibling being diagnosed a week earlier, and gestational diabetes with two of her three pregnancies. Read more.
Former health leaders
Ward Alper, THE Decadent Diabetic
Ward Alper, The Decadent Diabetic is a type 2 diabetic and chef who lives and eats DECADENTLY in Portland, Maine. Ward has been working in the restaurant kitchen (beginning with peeling those high carbohydrate potatoes) since he was 8 years old. He has been a chef, manager, and consultant in New York City and Boston. His food service career has spanned the gamut of establishments from Kiss My Cookies to fine cuisine. Since his diagnosis more than six years ago, he has refocused his recipes and eating to support his diabetes health. Read more.
Connie Burns, MS/RDN, MEd has 25 years of experience as a clinical and community-based Registered Dietitian. She currently is a Health Education Coordinator in the state of Minnesota. She has also worked as a University Extension Educator, Worksite Wellness Dietitian, and RD team member for several American Diabetes Association Recognized Programs and diabetes prevention programs in the Upper Midwest, and as an online faculty/instructor. Read more.
Ginny is a retired young 62 year old woman who has type 2 diabetes, along with her husband Ron. She was diagnosed in her mid-40’s after her divorce. Read more.
Lizmari M. Collazo
Lizmari M. Collazo is a person living with type 2 diabetes. She was diagnosed in 2009, after a couple of years of escalating symptoms, and the loss of her professional job in Human Resources. Sobered by the reality of her diagnosis, and her late father’s battle with the disease, she immediately took to the internet to learn as much as she could about the condition. Today, she is a much healthier person, and dedicates her time to help advocate and educate about this disease. Read More.
Kate Cornell was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in June of 2005. Diabetes education wasn’t offered to her so she set out to find her own answers via the Internet. Navigating through the vast amount of available, and sometimes incorrect, information was daunting but she eventually discovered what works for her. Read more.
Rachel Foster has been living with type 2 diabetes since 2005, shortly before her 29th birthday. She manages the condition with diet, exercise, and metformin along with a healthy dose of the online diabetes community. Read more.
Erica Franklin, In April of 2014 Erica was starting a new job closer to home with great benefits and better pay. Erica and her 2 children had recently moved into a new place. She was really feeling like things were looking up for them. Later that same year Erica was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at age 37. Read more.
Christopher Gehrke was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about a year ago. While being put on multiple non-insulin medications, he has recently begun a quest to control his diabetes through diet and exercise. Read more.
Tonya Hidalgo blogs at Mommy At Midlife, works in the television industry and, with the help of her husband, homeschools her children. Her life is beyond busy, and just like most people with Type 2 Diabetes, she is well aware that she needs to take better care of herself. Read more.
Christopher Hughes at the age of 36 was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with an A1C of 8.6%. This came after failing a DOT physical required to keep driving a commercial vehicle. Urinalysis came back with sugar in it which prompted a finger poke showing glucose at 306. Being a truck driver and failing this physical put him out of work until I could bring glucose back down. Diagnosis came one day after his birthday. Read more.
Kelly Kunik has turned what was once perceived as her biggest perceived weakness (her diabetes) into her greatest strength and biggest passion – Advocating for people with diabetes and helping industry better understand patients needs and thought processes via Social Media, print and video. Read more.
Diabetes touched me personally as an impressionable high school student. My older sister was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. As she began making changes in her life, at the same time I was struggling with my weight and frequent headaches. After a five hour blood test, I discovered I had Reactive Hypoglycemia – a condition once thought to be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. My headaches and irritability were caused when my blood sugar dropped low – the same symptoms my sister suffered as well. Visiting with a dietitian helped me better understand how to eat to manage my blood sugar. I lost some weight and felt much better. For me, nutrition proved to be very potent “medicine”. So powerful in fact I decided to study nutrition. Read more.
Thomas A. McAtee Jr.
Hi. My name is Thomas. I’m 65 years old at the time of writing this. I live in AZ with my wife of 46 years as of May this year. In July of 2012 I was diagnosed with type2 diabetes. I shouldn’t had been surprised but I was. Read more.
Brooke Morton is a cross-site contributor at Health Union who is based in Orlando, Florida. Brooke has written about nutrition, health and well-being for Orlando magazine and the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. Read more.
Hannah is a nutritionist, blogger and recipe creator who is passionate about empowering people to create their own nutritious and delicious food. Read more.
Larissa Saschin is a dancer and nutritionist. She holds a BS in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, loves to dance ballet, rock climb, and hike outdoors. Read more.
TK Sellman, RPSGT CCSH is a career journalist (Columbia Chicago, ’90). She was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia in 2010, which inspired her to go back to school to become a sleep technologist in 2012 and a professional sleep educator in 2014. Her IH diagnosis was later abandoned when her neurologist in Seattle confirmed RRMS was to blame for her continual fatigue, as well as other symptoms of relapse (tremor, migraine, and tinnitus). Read more.
Alexis Skelley is a licensed clinical social worker, certified diabetes educator, health education specialist, and health coach. She is founder of Diabetes and Obesity Treatment Strategies (aka DOTS) where she specializes in mental health, and behavioral and lifestyle challenges among people with diabetes, those at risk for diabetes, and weight-related issues. Read more.
Toby Smithson is a Diabetes Lifestyle Expert with EosHealth, and the founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com, an online guidance and support resource for people with diabetes. Smithson is a registered and licensed Dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association). Read more.
My name is Jenita Stubblefield. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 25. My life changed in 5 seconds at that moment. After seeing diabetes in a negative light in my family, I was devastated by the news I had just received. Read more.
Samuel is a recent graduate of Medical Anthropology and French from California State University San Marcos. He is driven by two passions: understanding the systems of foreign cultures and promoting a higher standard of health and wellbeing to his community. He has spent a lot of time in his undergraduate research studying the disparities associated with Type 2 Diabetes and how access to exercise and nutritious foods will affect a community’s susceptibility to the illness. It is his belief that authentic communication and well connected community education can help those, with less access to resources, manage their diabetes. Read more.
Ashlen is a journalism student who has also been involved in many aspects of the health and wellness world. She is a health coach and has been teaching yoga for 4 years. She wanted to explore a holistic approach to nutrition and received her Integrative Nutrition Certificate through UCSD. Read more.
Lori Zanini is a Nationally-Recognized and Award-Winning Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. Read more.
Regular contributors and moderators at Type2Diabetes.com are offered compensation for their contributions to the Type2Diabetes.com community. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.