DTC Medical Team
Matthew Corcoran, MD
Diabetes Training Camp Foundation, Founder & President Diabetes Training Camp, Founder
Dr. Matthew Corcoran is Founder and President of Diabetes Training Camp Foundation, a unique clinical resource entirely devoted to providing general fitness and multi-sport camps and services for teens and adults with diabetes. The mission of the Diabetes Training Camp Foundation is to inspire, motivate and educate by delivering unique and customized programs and coaching that empower the community of people with diabetes to thrive.
Dr. Corcoran earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine before moving to the University of Chicago Hospitals and completing his internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism. Dr. Corcoran is board certified in diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism and currently serves as Medical Director for Shore Physicians Group diabetes and endocrinology practice in South Jersey.
Corcoran’s commitment to improving the lives of those with diabetes extends to his work as a member of the Board of Directors for both the South Jersey Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Diabetes Training Camp Foundation.
Dr. Corcoran is recognized nationally and internationally in diabetes, exercise and sports and speaks nationally on the topic. Corcoran has worked extensively with recreational and endurance athletes with diabetes and has consulted with high school, collegiate, Olympic and professional athletes with Type 1 diabetes. He was recently honored for his work as a physician and educator by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as one of twelve diabetes "Game Changers" in their 2016 People to Know edition of their Diabetes Forecast publication.
Additional experience in national leadership roles includes his role on the faculty of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) PEAK program that is committed to educating healthcare providers and patients regarding the management of diabetes and exercise. Corcoran also serves on the research and writing group for the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine (AMSSM) Scientific Statement on Diabetes and Exercise in the Active Individual and was a member of the research and writing committee for the National Athletic Trainer Association (NATA) Position Statement: Management of the Athlete with Type 1 diabetes Mellitus. He is also a member of the ADA Council on Exercise.
Throughout his career, Dr. Corcoran has worked with persons with diabetes in reaching their fitness and athletic goals. His clinical experience has made him keenly aware of the needs of those with diabetes when it comes to counsel on diabetes, exercise and sports. Dr. Corcoran has taken that experience and applied it in his daily practice, as well as in his previous consulting roles with amateur, collegiate and Olympic athletes with diabetes and his work as an adjunct faculty member with the world-renowned Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas.
An athlete himself, Dr. Corcoran is a gifted speaker and teacher committed to advocacy for people with diabetes. He and his wife Jody and their sons Brennan and Finn currently call Margate City, New Jersey, home and love spending time together being active outdoors
“I have been privileged through my work with the Diabetes Training Camp to meet an amazing array of inspirational people with diabetes who challenge it on a daily basis. By bringing medicine and exercise science together, we can make it easier for everyone with diabetes to stay on top of their game."
JJ Linder, MD
JJ was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in his last year of college, just a couple of months before starting medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. He first attended DTC as a camper in 2009 and has since joined the staff as Medical Lead. He is thrilled to join the DTC staff because he had so much fun at camp, made lifelong friendships with staff and other campers and learned so much sustainable and valuable information about managing his diabetes that he wanted to be at camp every single year.
JJ has worked as an emergency medicine physician for over 20 years and is currently working in the emergency rooms at Chandler Regional Medical Center and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, both in suburban Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, he is also the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Arizona General Hospital - Mesa.
JJ’s wife Nina and children Kara and Luke are the center of his life. He loves being with his family, RV camping, traveling to his kids’ fencing tournaments, woodworking, learning to weld, cycling and short triathlons. He also makes a point to say that he loves
the DTC community because they have been life changing and have been a great support network of motivated successful people with diabetes.
Fun Fact about JJ: When he retires, he wants to raise alfalfa hay and travel in a motor home just exploring America and collecting stories.
Robert Powell, PHD, CDCES, CSCS, ACSM-CEP
Robert Powell joined the DTC team in 2013. He is Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology and Director of the Diabetes Exercise Center at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He is also Faculty Coordinator/Coach of the Marshall University Cycling Club to promote both recreational riding and collegiate racing.
Prior to his time at Marshall, Rob worked ten years at the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute (UPDI) as a manager and researcher for community-based programs involving diabetes, obesity and physical activity. During the latter part of his time there, he worked as a diabetes educator in the primary care setting. Rob received both his Master of Science and PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and holds the credentials of Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), ACSM-Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-CEP) and NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is a licensed USA cycling coach.
Rob’s professional ambition is to enhance the promotion of exercise as a therapeutic modality to the diabetes population and to educate both students and healthcare professionals on the role of exercise in diabetes management. Rob also provides coaching services for health/fitness and sports performance in those with and without diabetes.
Rob has a personal passion for exercise. In the warmer months, you can usually find him road cycling, mountain biking, running (mostly trail) or kayaking. When snow falls, he likes to strap on the skis and snowshoes. However, when he is not working or playing solo, he dedicates his time with his wonderful boys Preston and Evan.
Fran Damian, MS, RN NEA-B
Fran has lived north of Boston her entire life. She received her master’s degree in nursing administration from Northeastern University and has held a number of nursing leadership positions at Boston Children’s Hospital including the director role in the Emergency Department and most recently the nurse manager role in the Outpatient Multispecialty Clinic setting.
Fran was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her early 30s. About ten years after that, her father died from complications of T1D. In an effort to honor her father and support diabetes research, she began participating in fundraising events with the American Diabetes Association (ADA). She participated in two full- and six half-marathons to benefit diabetes research. A few years later, she developed a passion for cycling and has participated in the ADA New England Classic 150-mile, two-day bike ride for five consecutive years to support research and to financially assist families of children with T1D to attend Camp Carefree in New Hampshire.
Fran was a camper at DTC twice before joining the staff on the medical team. She has found each camp experience to enrich her life through education, access to expert resources and lasting relationships developed with campers and staff. She enjoys all kinds of exercise and learning about new ways to enhance health and wellness.
Liz Maxwell-Schmidt, MS, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Liz graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in human biology and a Master of Science in biology and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified in emergency medicine and has practiced for 30 years. At age 53, Liz was diagnosed as new onset Type 1 diabetic. An insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor were crucial in her continuation as a successful emergency medicine doctor.
Searching for how to live daily with diabetes, Liz found the information and experience as a DTC camper mind opening and truly transformational. At DTC, Liz started in the Couch to 5K program and has since run in 5Ks and 10Ks and completed a 100-mile Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) bicycle ride. Liz encourages participants to think of DTC as going to University where “you get to figure you out.” She thanks her husband Steve and son Charles for their everyday support.
Ann McCarthy, RN, MS
Ann has been active all her life playing volleyball, basketball and running. With her first two pregnancies, she was diagnosed with diet-controlled gestational diabetes. In her third pregnancy, she became insulin-dependent and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after her delivery. The irony is that she is a nurse-midwife and had been providing prenatal, labor and delivery, postpartum and gynecological care for over a decade before her diagnosis and had never seen someone with diabetes in pregnancy progress to Type 1.
Knowing only one person with Type 1, a childhood friend, she reached out to ask how to keep up her active lifestyle while managing this imposing chronic illness. As one of the very first campers, her friend whole-heartedly recommended DTC. Ann attended DTC in 2018 and with her new found diabetes tribe and expanded knowledge, she trained for and completed her first sprint triathlon and first full marathon. She was so excited to return to camp as a staff member! When not catching babies, working in the office or exercising, she’s off running around with her three very active children, husband and Bernese mountain dog in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kimber Simmons, MD, MS
Kimber is a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist at the Barbara Davis Center in Aurora, Colorado. Prior to medical training, her educational focus was learning how nutrition and activity affect how the body works, and she completed a Master of Science in exercise physiology where she studied the effect of diet and exercise training on cardiovascular and blood vessel health.
As a former collegiate athlete and person living with Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years and overall recreation enthusiast, she has a passion for helping her patients achieve their fitness and athletic goals and has become a local expert on exercise and diabetes. She is a strong patient advocate and is frequently asked to provide education to other medical professionals both locally and internationally. She loves helping her patients work through the complex challenges that T1D introduces in their lives, but she ultimately hopes for a T1D prevention and cure! Therefore, she is actively engaged in research to screen children for T1D before they get sick and to better understand why people get diabetes. As part of the Barbara Davis Center Prevention Team, she leads clinical trials that aim to prevent T1D or help people make insulin for longer.
She wakes up early to exercise because she believes that getting her heart pumping is key for her mental health among the chaos of everyday life. She is a coffee aficionado and has perfected the art of pour over coffee and lattes. She loves hiking and exploring the world with her husband and two children and looks forward to summiting as many Colorado 14ners as possible with her family!
Anita N. Swamy, MD
Anita Swamy, MD, Medical Director and Program Co-Director of the Chicago Children’s Diabetes Center’s is a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist and is recognized as one of Chicago’s leading pediatric diabetes care physicians. As Medical Director, Dr. Swamy oversees care delivered to patients as well as physician outreach activities such as “Dinner with your Doc.
A board-certified endocrinologist and associate clinician at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Dr. Swamy is a passionate advocate for pediatric diabetes and a highly sought speaker who frequently trains volunteers in Chicago public schools as part of a state mandate. The daughter of a father with diabetes, Dr. Swamy knows education is a vital tool in the fight against this complex disease.
Dr. Swamy completed a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at institutions known for their pediatric diabetes programs: University of Texas Health Science Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals. She completed a pediatric residency at the University of Virginia in 2005 after earning a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Hahnemann University, in 2002. Dr. Swamy sees patients at La Rabida’s main campus in Chicago, as well as facilities in New Lenox and Northwest Indiana. She is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine as well as Vice President, Medical Staff, at La Rabida Children’s Hospital.
Beth Wicklund, MD
Beth is an emergency room doctor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has had diabetes for over 25 years and is a DTC alumna. She likes to see patients with diabetes at work and pass on some of the advice she learned at DTC. Beth loves to travel. She has been to every continent except Australia which she hopes to cross off the list soon. She loves to visit art museums and sculpture parks all over the world. Her favorite places are Japan, India, Scandinavia and Mexico. When not at work or traveling, Beth loves to knit, garden and work out.
She has run six marathons and hopes to someday qualify for the Boston Marathon. She also likes to paddle board on Minnesota lakes and ski in the winter—both cross-country and downhill. Her greatest athletic achievement was winning an off-road triathlon consisting of paddle-boarding, trail running and mountain biking.
Teresa Andreone, MD, PhD
Teresa Andreone, MD, PhD, is medical pediatrics trained and is currently Professor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine on faculty at St. Louis University and an attending in the PICU at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. She has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and she has cloned two genes important in the regulation of blood glucose.She has also done research on an enzyme important in the death of pancreatic beta cells.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1969, she has lived well with diabetes for over 50 years. In addition, since 1996, she spends a week each August as the Medical Director of the American Diabetes Association sponsored Camp Korelitz, a week-long residential camp for 150 children and teens (8 to 16 years old) who are living with T1D. She has been exercising and cross training almost every day for all of her life and is blessed to have completed several marathons before her maniacal running left her with bone-on-bone knees. Year 2013 was her first DTC Camp and after six years as a camper, she became a part of the medical staff in 2019. She gives all of the credit to DTC coaches Rick Crawford, Grant Curry, Jon Fecik and Paul Richards for helping her to complete the Long Sprint Triathlon event with no problem.
Thomas Crassas, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CEAS
Thomas attended the University of Maryland and received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He continued his education at George Washington University where he received his Master of Science in physical therapy and went on to Shenandoah University to receive his doctorate in physical therapy. Once practicing physical therapy, he received several specialty certifications.
He is a board-certified orthopedic physical therapy specialist by the American Physical Therapy Association and a certified sports and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has consulted with clients nationally and internationally to work at creating a physical therapy program that addresses the root cause of their problem. He also became interested in understanding why patients end up with unexplained chronic pain and how nutrition can impact their pain. In order to better understand this relationship, he pursued further education through the University of Western States and became certified in human nutrition and functional medicine
Thomas works at bridging the gap between physical therapy and nutrition in order to serve each patient’s individual needs. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, doing outdoor activities, working out and volunteering in the community.
Jennifer Farestad, NP-C
Jennifer Farestad is a nurse practitioner for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Jenn is a graduate of Maryville University and has spent her nursing career taking care of the hospital’s sickest patients in the ICU. For well over 20 years, Jenn has taught lifeguarding for the American Red Cross at Jersey Swim Club in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.
Jenn has a large family of 8 children blended to perfection. In her spare time you will find her planning her next vacation adventure or playing softball.
Denyse Gallagher, APRN-BC, CDE
Denyse has more than 30 years of nursing experience and became a certified diabetes educator (CDE) in 2009. She has family members with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, so she is passionate in wanting to help others live a long and healthy life while managing their diabetes.
Denyse enjoys spending time with friends and family, she loves to cook and entertain and enjoys staying active and spending time on the beach in Margate, New Jersey, where she grew up. Denyse is part of Shore Physicians Endocrinology Group, practicing in Northfield and Mays Landing, New Jersey. She is devoted to the well-being of her patients and strives to develop long lasting relationships with them.
Carol was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over 45 years ago. She first attended Diabetes Training Camp in 2010 as a camper, and with great excitement has now joined the medical staff. Carol cherishes her first DTC experience because of the profound life lessons she learned.
Carol received her nursing degree and Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan. She currently works on the southwest side of Chicago at Mt. Sinai Health System as a certified diabetes educator (CDE). Before joining Mt. Sinai, she worked at a community health center in Chicago for 25 years wearing various hats but always with one foot in diabetes care. She considers it a true privilege to work within the communities she has worked. She practices from a strength-based, harm reduction approach.
An interesting tidbit about Carol is that she has an identical twin sister who doesn’t have diabetes. In her spare time, Carol loves to spend time with family, bike, spin and watch the University of Michigan win football games!
Ashley Juzwiak, RN
Ashley is a registered nurse at Shore Physicians Group, in the Endocrinology Department. Ashley loves where she works and works for a pretty cool doctor (Dr. Matt). Ashley’s goal is to get her certification in diabetes education. Before getting her RN, she worked as a licensed practical nurse for three years.
Prior to that, she was a swim coach for four years. Ashley started at DTC as a caregiver for the Corcoran boys and was excited to join the medical staff in 2017.
Christine Liona, RN, MS
A graduate of Boston College, Chris received her master’s degree in cardiovascular and critical care nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. Early in her career she worked in Boston and then travelled to the west coast to work in teaching hospitals in northern California; Seattle, Washington; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. After returning to California, Chris worked with a vascular surgery practice at Stanford University as a research nurse and inpatient coordinator where she cared for patients with significant peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, diabetes and other associated medical-surgical complications.
Currently Chris has been working in a recovery room in a Boston-area hospital caring for an adult and pediatric surgical patient population. She lives north of Boston with her husband Steve and two sons Justin and Connor (who you just might see helping out around DTC). As a wife and mother, Chris makes an effort to incorporate daily exercise and healthy nutrition into her family’s busy life. In addition to all of the boys’ sporting activities, the family enjoys camping, hiking, cooking and traveling with friends and family. Throughout her career as a cardiovascular nurse, Chris has worked with an adult diabetic patient population in the acute care environment. With DTC, she looks forward to this incredible opportunity: working with the campers and the staff and learning more about the challenges that they face living with diabetes daily.
Katherine “Kat” Owen, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CDCES
Kat is all about following her passions. After attending DTC in 2009, Kat had the desire to take what she had learned to her own community; however, she was told that she would not be able to make much headway without first being involved in healthcare. At a time where she and her family were already needing some change, Kat quit her insurance career of 17 years and went back to school for her nursing degree, eventually becoming a certified diabetes educator (CDE), too. She has been very active in educating children and adults with diabetes, facilitating pediatric camps as well as family events for her community.
In 2017 she felt the call to do more again. After working as a registered nurse and CDE, she returned to school to pursue her master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner. Kat graduated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020 and is now working as a nurse practitioner in an adult endocrinology office in Tallahassee, Florida.
She is happily married to husband Mike, and they have two amazing adult sons Max and Matthew. When Kat is not involved with family or work, she dabbles in rural farming projects and enjoys staying active with running, biking and the occasional swim. Working with those living with diabetes and having lived with Type 1 diabetes since 1984, she looks forward to sharing her personal and professional knowledge with others.
Jenna Stephens, MS, CEP, PA-S
Jenna joined the Diabetes Training Camp team in 2017. She is a West Virginia native and Marshall University alumna. At Marshall, she studied clinical exercise physiology with an emphasis in cardiac rehabilitation and diabetes management. Since graduating
with her Master of Science, Jenna has decided to further her education at the University of Kentucky and is pursuing a degree in physician assistant studies. In her free time, you can find her hiking, snowboarding or cuddling with her cat Bentley. She has a strong enthusiasm about health and overall wellness and always looks forward to experiencing the magic of DTC.
Lizi Sukowatey has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 30 years! She was diagnosed in her first year of college, and several years later her love of sports led her to Diabetes Training Camp. She attended her first camp in 2008 and was delighted to meet others dealing with the same daily challenges. “Seeing others deal with the high and low blood sugars helped me shed the shame I had felt and allowed me to feel better about diabetes.” She turned 40 in 2010 and celebrated by starting a fundraiser called Forty 4 Forty in which she ran, biked and swam 40 races to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. She was featured in Diabetes Forecast and Today’s Charlotte Woman.
Originally from Colorado, Lizi now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a critical care certified registered nurse. She spent over eight years working in the neuro-ICU and is currently working in the post anesthesia care unit and does triage nursing in her spare time. The way to Lizi’s heart is dogs and running trails. Therefore, she spends time every day walking, hiking, running and just plain exploring Portland with her dog Mokie.
Peter Ucciferro, DO
Peter grew up just outside West Chester, Pennsylvania. He completed his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and then his internal medicine residency in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He then completed a fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and currently is working as an adult endocrinologist. When not practicing medicine, his favorite pass times are golf and juggling. Peter is passionate about all aspects of endocrinology and enjoys helping to care for people with Type 1 diabetes.
Kenilia Ventura, MD
Kenilia was born and raised in Cuba. She moved to South Florida while attending high school and went on to study medicine at Universidad Iberoamericana in the Dominican Republic. After finishing medical school, she relocated to New Jersey where she completed her residency training in internal medicine and where she currently works as a hospitalist. Kenilia is working on completing her fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Rochester. She first attended DTC last year as part of the medical team, and the experience changed her perspective of what living with diabetes is. She fell in love with the DTC community and what it embodies.
Kenilia takes the most pride in being a mom to her six year old son Alejandro and a wife to her husband Jose. In her free time, she enjoys working out, traveling and getting to know new cultures. Kenilia always looks forward to meeting campers and getting to know their stories.