Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Wendy L. Bennett, MD, MPH is a general internist and Assistant Professor of Medicine in The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Core Faculty in the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research and has joint appointments in The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Departments of Epidemiology and Population, Family and Reproductive Health. She is a core faculty member in the Johns Hopkins Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center and has directed the interdisciplinary Johns Hopkins Women’s Health Research Group since 2007. Her research is focused on obesity management and the treatment and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in women.  She has projects aimed at improving women’s preventive health services, especially in the postpartum period among women with pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes or hypertension. She also conducts research on the management of obesity in primary care settings. In addition to her research, she teaches medical students, residents and public health students, and clinically she maintains a continuity practices at the Johns Hopkins Community Physicians at Bayview Medical Center. 

Helene D. Clayton-Jeter, OD is a Patient and Health Professional Liaison in the Office of Health and Constituent Affairs (OHCA), Office of External Affairs in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  She assists in planning, developing, and evaluating FDA policies and programs related to patients and health care professionals. The office also manages FDA’s MedWatch, Patient Representative and Patient Network Programs.   Dr. Clayton-Jeter has been a healthcare provider and advocate for patients in the community as a representative of Medical Care for Children Partnerships and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of Prevent Blindness America. In her role at OHCA, she serves as a channel through which health professional and patient issues and viewpoints can be brought to the attention of FDA medical and regulatory staff. She also works with health professionals, health professional organizations, patients and patient advocacy groups on issues related to the FDA drug approval process, clinical trials and access to investigational therapies.  Providing FDA representation at scientific and policy meetings related to life-threatening diseases and other special health concerns is another aspect of her role at OHCA. Dr. Clayton-Jeter manages the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Endocrine Liaison Program, web page and Diabetes Monitor subscriber email.  She serves as the OHCA subject-matter-expert in the optometry/ophthalmology arena, is a liaison to the Center for Device and Radiological Health and sits on the Department of Health and Human Services Health Disparities Council. She has published ophthalmic-related and patient-centered articles.  Dr. Clayton-Jeter has given presentations to a variety of audiences on various issues, including diabetes, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, and health disparity related topics. Dr. Clayton-Jeter has an O.D. (Doctor of Optometry) degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry at SalusUniversity and holds a B.S. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She practiced clinical optometry in a variety of healthcare settings for 21 years prior to joining the staff at the Office of Health and Constituent Affairs.

Claudia Graham, PhD, MPH joined Dexcom as its Vice President of Marketing in September 2008 and led the successful launches of the Seven Plus and the G4 PLATINUM CGM systems. Globally recognized as a thought leader in access to diabetes technologies, Claudia became Vice President of Global Access in early 2013, and is responsible for strategic reimbursement, health economics, government relations and advocacy – focused on improving access to CGM for patients and physicians both domestically and internationally. She received her PhD from the University of Southern California and her Masters of Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to Dexcom, she was Vice President of Marketing & Product Development at MiniMed, and subsequently served as Vice President of Global Access Therapy at Medtronic. Before her work began in the medical device sector, she was a Director of Marketing for Warner Lambert (Parke-Davis).   She has served on various national and local advisory boards serving the medical community including the national board of the Medical Marketing Association of America, the community board of directors for the Northridge Hospital Medical Center and the San Diego and Los Angeles chapters of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She has been professionally active in the diabetes community for many years, having presented and published articles at scientific conferences of the ADA, EASD and others.

John Buse, MD, PhD is a former President of the Medicine & Science Division of the American Diabetes Association (2008).  He is also the Chief of the Endocrinology Division of the Department of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Buse is a former Associate Editor of Diabetes Care and Clinical Diabetes. He is also the Vice-Chair of the National Health institute's (NIH's) largest diabetes study ever called the ACCORD Trial.  Also an active clnician with a UNC-based diabetes practice in Chapel Hill, NC, he is a Founding Board Member of DiabetesSisters.


Rhonda M. Merwin, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. She received her PhD from the University of Mississippi and completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Duke before joining the faculty in 2008. Dr. Merwin has expertise in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and specializes in the treatment of disordered eating and body image, generally and specifically in the context of diabetes. Her research on mechanisms of eating disorder development among individuals with type 1 diabetes is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  

Gloria Loring is the recording artist of the #1 hit song Friends and Lovers; co-composer of television theme songs Diff’rent Strokes and Facts Of Life; an audience favorite as “Liz Chandler” on Days Of Our Lives; spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; the author of five books benefitting people with diabetes; a keynote speaker for corporations and non-profits; and one of few artists to sing two nominated songs on theAcademy Awards. After her four-year-old son was diagnosed with diabetes, she created and self-published two volumes of the Days Of Our Lives Celebrity Cookbook which raised more than $1 million for diabetes research. She has also written Kids, Food and Diabetes, Parenting a Child with Diabetes, The Kids, Food & Diabetes Family Cookbook, and Living With Type 2 Diabetes: Moving Past the Fear. Gloria was honored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with the Lifetime Commitment Award and the Founders Award from the National Disease Research Interchange. The Miss America Organization gave her the Woman of Achievement Award, an honor she shares with past recipients Barbara Bush, Roslyn Carter, and Hillary Clinton. She is listed inWho’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women.

Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 27 years, diagnosed in 1986.  She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.” Kerri is a passionate advocate for all-things diabetes. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, one of the first and most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, caregivers, and industry.  Outside of her blog, Kerri’s work can be found at diaTribe, dLife, and in diabetes outreach like JDRF’s Countdown magazine, in addition to her extensive diabetes YouTube channel.  Well-versed in social media and its influence on patients, Kerri presents regularly at conferences and works full-time as a writer and consultant.  Her first book, Balancing Diabetes, is scheduled for release in Spring 2014.

Natalie Strand, MD is an interventional pain management physician who practices at USC Keck School of Medicine.  She was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12 in 1991.  In 2010, she gained national attention as the first competitor with diabetes on season 17 of the CBS series "The Amazing Race".  Through this national platform, she inspired and educated many about the challenges of living with diabetes and also became the first female-female team and the first person with diabetes to win the nationally televised competition.   She has appeared on CNN/HLN, "The Rachel Ray Show", "The Early Show", CNBC and CBS. She is actively involved in the diabetes community through many different avenues- as a speaker, spokesperson, contributor, and patient advocate.  A strong advocate for women with diabetes, Natalie's upcoming book, focused on managing diabetes throughout women's life stages, is scheduled for release by the American Diabetes Association in 2014.

Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN is the owner of Susan Weiner Nutrition, LLC in New York. She is the 2015 AADE Diabetes Educator of the Year and the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award from SUNY Oneonta. She was voted one of the 10 top diabetes nutrition education bloggers by

Susan is the diabetes medical advisor for and on the medical advisory board for She is a key educational advisor for Marjorie’s Fund, a type 1 diabetes global diabetes initiative, dedicated to improving the lives of people with type 1 diabetes. 

Susan's new book "The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life", Spry publishing 2013 is the first "how-to" guide on diabetes organization. She co-authored the "Medical Nutrition Therapy for Anemia" chapter for Krause's Food and the Nutrition Care Process 13th and 14th editions. Susan is the current associate editor of “On the Cutting Edge”, a peer reviewed publication for the Diabetes Care and Education group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and will be the editor for 2015-2016.

Susan is a well-respected lecturer for organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, and was the official sports nutritionist for the American Diabetes Association Walk America program. She was an adjunct professor at Queens College and taught at the Academy of Applied Personal Training Education at Hofstra University. Susan earned her Master's Degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University. She is certified in "Adult Weight Management" through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Andi K. Weiss, MPH is a pharmaceutical marketing professional at MicroMass Communications, a leader in applying behavioral science to healthcare marketing. With her background in behavioral science and focus on human health behavior, she specializes in developing practical ways to motivate people to make healthy, sustainable lifestyle changes that lead to better patient outcomes. Since 2009 Andi has helped DiabetesSisters identify ways to further engage its audience and become recognized as the premier organization for women with diabetes. Andi has a Master of Public Health in health behavior and health education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Pennsylvania.




Diana M. Naranjo, PhD is a newly hired Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford coming from UCSF where she trained as a postdoctoral scholar and early career faculty. As a pediatric and adult psychologist working in behavioral medicine, Dr. Naranjo focuses on the psychosocial needs of patients and families with chronic illness such as diabetes and cystic fibrosis. Together with the team, she aims to understand barriers and facilitators to care, what developmental demands are important as adolescent's transition to adulthood, and how to best provide services that engage young adults and their families. Furthermore, as a Latino-American and fluent in Spanish, much of her clinical work and research focuses on bridging the health-care gap for underserved ethnic minority patients with type 1 diabetes.