Speakers’ full biography

Lorraine Anderson, RD, CDE, CPT

Diabetes Educator

Lorraine is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and is the Regional Clinical Manager for Canada with Tandem Diabetes Care.

She has had the privilege of presenting lectures and workshops across Canada to both health care professionals and families who live with type 1 diabetes. Her areas of interest include: the real-life utilization of advanced diabetes technologies, nutritional considerations in type 1 diabetes and enhancing models of care delivery in type 1 diabetes self-management education.

When not at work, she is a busy mom and stepmom to six “young adults” and two golden retrievers. With over 30 years of lived experience, Lorraine understands firsthand the ups and downs of daily life with type 1 diabetes.

Alanna Chambers

Alanna Chambers, RD, CDE

Independent Insulin Pump Trainer & Diabetes Educator

Alanna Chambers is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator from Kelowna, BC who brings passion to her work in the type 1 diabetes space.

She is currently focusing her time on community insulin pump and sensor trainings, while also working casually at the Central Okanagan Diabetes Centre. She has been enjoying tackling the ‘ins-and-outs’ of the latest technology advances in diabetes. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years working in the insulin pump industry and also enjoyed volunteer work at Diabetes Summer Camps, and being on staff with numerous Children with Diabetes conferences. She enjoys blending her professional and personal experiences in type 1 diabetes to try to make a difference. She has 3 young girls who keep her on her toes at home!

Alice Cheng, MD, FRCPC

Endocrinologist
Credit Valley Hospital and St. Michael’s Hospital
Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Dr. Cheng is a member of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She completed medical school, internal medicine and Endocrinology training at the University of Toronto and has completed the Master Teacher Program offered through the Department of Medicine. She has served on the Expert Committee for the 2003 Diabetes Canada clinical practice guidelines, the Steering and Expert Committees for the 2008 revision and served as Chair of the 2013 Diabetes Canada clinical practice guidelines. She is currently the Chair of the Professional Section of Diabetes Canada and an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Diabetes. She is Past-Chair of the Guidelines Committee for the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism. She has received a Certificate of Recognition from the Ontario College of Family Physicians, the national Charles H. Best Award and the Gerald S. Wong Service Award from Diabetes Canada in recognition of her contributions.

Jeremy Gilbert, MD, FRCPC

Associate Professor, University of Toronto
Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON

Dr. Jeremy Gilbert completed his medical degree, internal medicine training and endocrinology residency at the University of Toronto. He was a clinical associate at the University Health Network for 18 months before becoming an active staff member of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He attends on the clinical teaching unit for internal medicine 3 months per year. He also attends on the endocrinology consulting service and has a growing outpatient practice. He is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.

Jeremy is on the executive committee of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Department of Medicine Practice Plan and Medical-Dental-Midwifery Staff Association. He is the faculty advisor for the residents’ council for the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is an executive member of The Banting and Best Diabetes Care and Education Committee and Toronto Diabetes Association. He has just been appointed the new endocrinology lead for the Toronto Central Regional Coordination Centre as part of the Ontario Diabetes Strategy.

Jeremy shows great enthusiasm for teaching. His area of academic interest is undergraduate and postgraduate education in general internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism. He is the education site director for endocrinology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. Jeremy is on the residency training committee for the department of medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and is on the postgraduate endocrinology education committee at the University of Toronto. He has completed the Master Teacher program at the University of Toronto. He is the recipient of the 2010 Young Teacher Award through the department of medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and the 2011 George Frum Award for postgraduate endocrinology teaching at the University of Toronto.

He has a special clinical interest in patients with diabetes and its complications as well as diabetes in pregnancy. His passion for teaching is making Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre a popular place for endocrinology training. His collaboration with other medicine services, such as cardiology, nephrology and cardiovascular surgery is making a positive impact on diabetes care at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Ilana J Halperin, MD, FRCPC

Endocrinologist
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
University of Toronto

Ilana Halperin MD, MSc, FRCPC is a staff physician at Sunnybrook hospital and assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Halperin completed her MD at the University of Western Ontario, and her internal medicine and endocrinology training as well as an MSc in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the University of Toronto.

As the Quality and Innovation lead for the division of endocrinology she leads a group of physicians committed to improving quality and safety for inpatients and outpatients with diabetes and other endocrine diseases. Dr. Halperin has a large T1D practice and believes strongly in the potential for continuous glucose monitoring to improve diabetes-related outcomes and the experience of living with diabetes.

Akshay Jain, MD, FRCPC, FACE, CCD, ECNU, DABIM, DABOM

Endocrinologist, Fraser River Endocrinology, Surrey, BC

Dr. Akshay Jain is the first Canadian physician to be triple board-certified by the American Boards in Endocrinology, Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine.

He trained in Internal Medicine at Rochester, New York, where he became the only 4-time winner of the prestigious Rochester Academy of Medicine Award. He completed his Fellowship in Endocrinology at Harbor UCLA in Los Angeles, California. He holds the distinction of being the youngest physician to sit on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

He is currently the President of the Canadian Chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He is also a columnist for Medscape.

He is also the first North American physician to win the prestigious Etzwiler Diabetes Scholarship at the International Diabetes Center and Mayo Clinic in MN, USA.

After a 2 year sabbatical in India to study the management of endocrine disorders and diabetes in the S. Asian population, he has recently moved to Surrey BC.

He is fluent in 6 languages including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Marwari and Urdu.

Richard E. Pratley, MD

Medical Director at the AdventHealth Diabetes Institute
Senior Investigator, Diabetes Program Lead at the Translational Research Institute

Dr. Richard Pratley serves as the Samuel E. Crockett Chair in Diabetes Research, as well as Senior Investigator and Diabetes Program Lead, at the AdventHealth Translational Research Institute and Medical Director at the AdventHealth Diabetes Institute, both in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Pratley is an internationally recognized expert in diabetes and is board certified in internal medicine.

He received his MD from Wayne State University in Detroit and completed fellowships in geriatric medicine and gerontology at the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Institute on Aging. As a member of the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and The Obesity Society, Dr. Pratley continues his active involvement in the professional community.

He is on the editorial board for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, has served as a member of the editorial boards of Diabetes Care, The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology, The Journal of Diabetes and its Complications and The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and acts as an ad hoc reviewer for many other journals. Dr. Pratley regularly presents at national and international meetings, has conducted numerous research studies on the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of diabetes, and has published over 280 peer-reviewed articles on diabetes and its complications.

His current research interests include the prevention of diabetes, improving care for older persons with diabetes, developing new drugs to treat and prevent diabetes and its complications, and understanding the role of the fat cell in increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Michael Riddell , Ph.D

Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science
Muscle Health Research Centre, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada
Senior Scientist, LMC Diabetes and Manna Research, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Michael Riddell is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science and Muscle Health Research Centre at York University in Toronto Canada. He is also a Senior Scientist at LMC Diabetes and Manna Research. His research interests center on the effects of exercise and stress on diabetes and metabolism.

Dr. Riddell has a PhD in Physiology/Pharmacology from McMaster University where he conducted studies on hypoglycemia prevention during exercise in children living with type 1 diabetes. He did his post-doctoral studies at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Mladen Vranic where he conducted studies on the impact of stress hormones on diabetes-related metabolism.

Dr. Riddell has published over 190 peer-reviewed journal articles, 27 book chapters, and one patient guidebook on the metabolic and hormonal responses to exercise and stress in diabetes. He has authored several international guidelines on exercise and diabetes and he engages with numerous community-based diabetes and sports educational programs that enhance diabetes self-care behaviors in people living with type 1 diabetes.

Gabrielle Schmid, RD, CDE, CPT

Gabrielle is a diabetes educator, registered dietitian and certified pump trainer with LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology in Ottawa. She connects with families and children living with type 1 diabetes through the JDRF and volunteers with CHEO to help bridge the gap between diabetes care and youth living with type 1 diabetes. Gabrielle has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 2 decades and is ultimately passionate about driving change in the health care provider approach to help empower all people living with diabetes.

Michelle Sorensen, B.A.H, M.Ed., Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist, Founder Resiliency Clinic

Michelle Sorensen, the founder of the Resiliency Clinic, is a registered clinical psychologist with 20 years of experience providing psychological services for a wide range of personal problems. These include anxiety and depression, interpersonal issues, and coping with chronic illness. She provides therapy for adults aged 18 and over, including seniors.

Her approach to working with clients centers around a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) framework, integrating mindfulness training and self-compassion into her therapy. Michelle believes in a collaborative approach, based on her view that there are two experts in the room. She sees her role as a psychologist as being very active and takes the lead when her client needs guidance.

As a Type 1 herself, she is very involved in the diabetes community across Canada and works with clients struggling with the psychological impact of living with diabetes.

Stacy Zahanova, MD, FRCPC

General Pediatrician and Pediatric Endocrinologist, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket Ontario
Pediatric Endocrinologist, LMC Diabetes and Endocrinology, Vaughan Ontario and at Pediatric Health Experts Clinic, Newmarket Ontario

Stacy Zahanova is a pediatric endocrinologist at Southlake Regional Health Centre as well as LMC Endocrinology & Metabolism. She completed her undergraduate medical training at McMaster University, followed by pediatrics residency at the University of Toronto and pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Zahanova enjoys managing a broad variety of pediatric endocrine issues including diabetes, thyroid disease, growth and puberty issues, and overweight and obesity. She also lives with type 1 diabetes and enjoys trialing new diabetes technologies.

She loves ultimate frisbee and spending time with her husband and two kids.