Twenty Inspiring Women with Diabetes Selected to Attend DiabetesSisters’ Leadership Institute in Raleigh, NC on April 24-26, 2015

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DiabetesSisters has selected twenty women throughout the United States to participate in its inaugural Leadership Institute on April 24-26 in Raleigh, NC.

DiabetesSisters, a national 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of women with diabetes, has selected twenty women throughout the United States to participate in its inaugural Leadership Institute on April 24-26 in Raleigh, NC. Each woman chosen is a diabetes leader in her community, prominent volunteer of DiabetesSisters and hosts a monthly DiabetesSisters’-sponsored support group meeting, known as a PODS Meetup, in her local area.

The purpose of this weekend event is to provide additional training, in-depth diabetes education and reinforce the leadership skills of these carefully selected PODS Meetup Leaders. Each attendee of the Leadership Institute was carefully selected based on an application process and criteria such as a demonstrated passion for improving the lives of women with diabetes, a record of dependability, the length of commitment to the organization, and the growth and vitality of the PODS Meetup program in their area.

The outstanding women selected to participate in the weekend’s activities are:

  •     Barbara Hunt, DiabetesSisters of Reno, NV
  •     Cele Flanary, DiabetesSisters of West Lafayette, IN
  •     Cindy Campaniello, DiabetesSisters of Rochester, NY
  •     Connie Hanham-Cain, DiabetesSisters of Schenectady, NY
  •     Daphene Kimball, DiabetesSisters of Keysville, GA
  •     Diana Bajalia, DiabetesSisters of Jacksonville, FL
  •     Erika Armani, DiabetesSisters of Denver, CO
  •     Gail Nurnberg, DiabetesSisters of East Greenbush, NY
  •     Gayle McKenna, DiabetesSisters of Ventura County/San Fernando Valley, CA
  •     Jane Dyson, DiabetesSisters of Durham, NC
  •     Jo-Nette Boyd, DiabetesSisters of UNC, Durham, NC
  •     Julie Willson, DiabetesSisters of Rochester, NY
  •     Karen Graffeo, Stratford, CT, Virtual PODS
  •     Karen Rose Tank,, DiabetesSisters of Princeton, NJ
  •     Kelli Turner, DiabetesSisters of Raleigh, NC
  •     Libby Brown, DiabetesSisters of Greensboro, NC
  •     Lori Renee, DiabetesSisters of Kern County, CA
  •     Robin Wright, DiabetesSisters of Princeton, NJ
  •     Sarah MacLeod, DiabetesSisters of Boston, MA
  •     Sondra Bennett, DiabetesSisters of Yorktown, VA

During the weekend, PODS Meetup leaders will have the opportunity to participate in a mixture of group discussions, PODS Leader led roundtables, social events and speaker-led presentations. Faculty members include Donna Rice, MBA, RN, CDE, FAADE, Diana Naranjo, PhD, Sue Kirkman, MD, and Clara Schneider, MS, RD, RN, CDE, LDN. Their sessions will focus on leadership building, group facilitation skills, and moderating, as well as exploration on diabetes innovations and intimacy and relationships.

A signature program of DiabetesSisters, the PODS (Part of DiabetesSisters) Meetup Program was started in Raleigh, NC in 2010 and has grown to support 32 monthly meetings throughout the US. The program offers monthly peer support and education to women with diabetes and serves over 1,000 women annually.

DiabetesSisters recognizes The Helmsley Charitable Trust and Novo Nordisk as the sponsors of this year’s event. DiabetesSisters’ founder and CEO Brandy Barnes said, “We are humbled by the transformative investment from The Helmsley Charitable Trust in the future of DiabetesSisters. The Leadership Institute provides an important way for us to thank our key volunteers for their hard work and afford them valuable opportunities to strengthen their leadership skills and diabetes knowledge.”

About DiabetesSisters:
A 510c3 nonprofit, DiabetesSisters is the only organization worldwide focusing exclusively on women with diabetes. Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women with diabetes and those at risk of developing diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf. DiabetesSisters has a 10,000-member peer network that unites women with diabetes for the purpose of support, education and advocacy. Signature programs include monthly small group meetings (PODS Meetups); DiabetesSisters’ Conferences throughout the U.S.; and the Life Class Webinar Series and online blogs, forums, and expert resources. For more information, visit

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Brandy Barnes
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