TypeOneNation: Meet the Panelists

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We are officially days away from the return of TypeOneNation Summit, this time to Colorado Springs!

On the evening of Thursday, February 15, we invite all individuals living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), and their families and friends, to join us at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame for an opportunity to learn more about who JDRF is and how we serve the greater T1D community. No matter if you’ve lived with T1D for 10 minutes or 10 years, TypeOneNation is a chance to meet and mingle with the people who just “get it.”

Guests will have a chance to meet with pharma partners and partner organizations that work with JDRF to support the everyday lives of those with T1D. JDRF volunteers will also be in attendance to talk about some of the programs and resources available to the T1D community.

Our program will feature a Q&A panel with participation from local community members and leaders with various experiences with life with T1D and with JDRF.

So who are the panelists?

Austin Burns

Austin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at 2 years old. He and his family have volunteered with JDRF for as long as they can remember.

Austin is now in his third year of medical school and is passionate about helping others with T1D get the healthcare that they deserve. All the while, he also serves as an Outreach Ambassador for the JDRF Mountain West Chapter, supporting newly diagnosed individuals and families on their new journey.

What does Austin hope you walk away with after TypeOneNation? “I hope you come away from this event knowing that you are not alone. Like anything else in life, T1D is an adjustment. It will get easier to manage; just do your best to surround yourself with a good support network and you will be okay!”

Kristin Greiner

Kristin is currently a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), working for the largest tele-nutrition company in the country, Foodsmart, to help her clients manage varying chronic conditions, such as diabetes, through nutrition. She also became a type 1 diabetes (T1D) mom when her son, who is now 8 years old, was diagnosed as a baby.

Kristin is currently working towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), believing that nutrition plays a very important role in the successful management of T1D. She also volunteers her time as the Outreach Ambassador Chair for the JDRF Mountain West Chapter, helping to advance the mission of delivering cures for T1D by offering support to newly diagnosed individuals and families.

When Kristin isn’t working or volunteering, you’ll find her enjoying some of her favorite hobbies, such as reading, snowboarding, trying a new recipe, or spending time with her family.

What does Kristin hope you walk away with after TypeOneNation? “I hope you leave knowing that there are communities of people from all walks of life surrounding you who can help you navigate the T1D world. I also hope you leave with answers to many of the questions that you may have when they arrive. I remember being newly diagnosed and I appreciated ANY feedback from anyone I could get! I want you to leave reassured that there is life after a T1D diagnosis and that kiddos can lead perfectly wonderful childhoods!”

Viridiana (Virdi) Hernandez

Viridiana (Virdi) Hernandez is currently a Family Health Navigator at Children’s Hospital Colorado, serving type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients in Colorado Springs. Her job involves helping families find resources in the community that can assist them with physical and social needs.

Virdi graduated from Colorado Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, along with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She is very passionate about her job and wants to ensure that all patients have their needs met, so they can succeed in their diabetes management.

What does Virdi hope you walk away with after TypeOneNation? “I hope you will see that you are not alone in this new process. There are many people out there that are willing to help, and there are so many resources to help families with some of their most basic needs. I know that not having basic needs met, can cause a realm of other issues, especially with a new diagnosis.”

Andrea Houk

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 13, and after struggling for years with knowing how to manage everything, Andrea realized the importance of being well-educated about diabetes and having the tools needed to live well with this complex disease.

Because of this realization, Andrea became a Registered Nurse (RN) and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), and since 2004, has worked as a personal coach to help people of all ages and in all stages of diabetes and prediabetes to manage their health in practical ways.

Currently she operates a small private diabetes consultation service in the Southern Colorado region and is the Executive Director of the Diabetes Resource Nurses of Colorado, Inc., a program whose mission is to ensure safe, evidence-based care for children with diabetes in Colorado schools and childcare settings.

In addition to educating people about diabetes, she also enjoys mountain biking with her husband, amateur photography, and participating in various church ministries.

What does Andrea hope you walk away with after TypeOneNation? “Colorado has a unique and robust program that helps equip and train school nurses, admin, staff, and childcare coordinators to provide safe and evidence-based care for children with diabetes in the school and childcare settings.”

So how do I secure my spot?

You can keep up-to-date on our programming details and register for your (free!) spot on our event page.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Andrea at asantoyo@jdrf.org.