The members of the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) act as trusted spokespeople in all of DPAC’s advocacy efforts, promote DPAC’s mission within their communities, share their policy training skills, and much more.
2020 DPAC Patient Advisory Council
Erin hails from the great state of Michigan. She is a wife, mother, and lover of music, nature, and Michigan football. Her son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of five. Since then, she has immersed herself in learning all she can about this disease and how it impacts people. Erin has heard so many heart-wrenching stories that scream for change in the diabetes community. She has a passion to make these stories known and affect change. Erin currently volunteers on the Patient Advisory Counsel at her local hospital and enjoys connecting patients, caregivers, providers, and staff to help make Diabetes care a positive experience for all involved.
Rachel Gartner Clark
Rachel Gartner Clark has been living with type 1 diabetes for almost 16 years. She is proud to have participated in DPAC’s first ever PTM and is proud to be a DPAC Champion. Rachel also serves on the Community Leadership Board of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in Washington, DC and is a lead advocate for those living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes across the nation’s capital. Rachel has participated in ADA’s Call to Congress on Capitol Hill for the past 5 years. Rachel has been fortunate to bridge her passion with her career. She brings more than ten years of healthcare communications experience and currently works as an Account Director for Weber Shandwick/Powell Tate where she represents global biotech and pharmaceutical companies, specializing in stakeholder and patient advocacy work.
Daphne Ferdinand, Ph.D, RN
Dr. Daphne P. Ferdinand is the Executive Director of the Healthy Heart Community Prevention Project, a non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote heart health and to eliminate disparities associated with cardiovascular disease in vulnerable communities. Dr. Ferdinand has over 30 years of community service, advocating for cardiovascular health with the provision of heart healthy educational programs in the greater New Orleans area and beyond. Her organization was a community site for the NHLBI We Can! Program, educating parents and caregivers about maintaining a healthy weight. Dr. Ferdinand received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dillard University and Master of Nursing degree from LSU Health Science Center. She received her PhD in Nursing from Southern University and A & M College School of Nursing in Baton Rouge, LA.
Jennifer Hamm knew little about diabetes before one of her identical twins was diagnosed 5 years ago. Those 5 years have felt like a lifetime. Not only has she learned volumes about living with and managing diabetes, she also found a community of parents of diabetics and adults living with diabetes who offered support, advice, and a shoulder to lean on. Although diabetes can be scary and challenging, becoming part of this community has changed her whole family for the better. Jennifer is proud to join DPAC to effect positive change for her daughter’s future, ensuring patient rights and access to affordable, quality care for all people living with diabetes. Jennifer is also a Business Analyst with the Department of Veterans Affairs and lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and 3 children.
Laurel Garrison, Co-Chair
Laurel is an epidemiologist by training and became involved in diabetes advocacy when her daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 16 months old. Her experience includes working for and with governmental agencies, using scientific evidence to form national public health policy, creating health education materials, and writing and responding to legislators. She is passionate about advocating for diabetes research funding as well as healthcare coverage and affordability. She lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati, OH.
Moira McCarthy Stanford
Moira McCarthy has been an active advocate in the diabetes space since shortly after her then six-year- old daughter, Lauren Stanford, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1997. Since they she has served as National Chair of Grass Roots Advocacy for JDRF, ChairMom of JDRF’s Children’s Congress, and was named JDRF International Volunteer of the Year in 2007, much for her work on Capitol Hill. She has also served on the board of the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, the Diabetes Education Camp Association, and as Chairman of the Board of the Diabetes Scholars Foundation. She speaks nationally and internationally on family diabetes topics, and is the author of numerous books on the topic. She lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband, Sean, and is an avid skier, tennis player, runner and grandmother.
Bob Parant has 46 years of first-hand knowledge with T1D after he was diagnosed while away at college. He has been affiliated with the JDRF Long Island Chapter since 2010 as a Research Information Volunteer (RIV), Gala Chair, Kids School Program, Speaker, Mentor Program and USA Certified Cycling Coach. In 2012, Bob was granted the Spirit Award and Intrepid Award for his work with JDRF New York City Chapter’s Ride program. Professionally, Bob has held numerous leadership roles in both the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. These roles consisted of coordinating all sales, marketing strategy, product knowledge, operations, training and team building for Aetna, Health Net and Ayerst Laboratories. Additionally, he has received a number of regional and national accolades as Vice President of Sales. Bob is married to Marcia and have 2 sons, 2 terrific daughters in law and 2 granddaughters. Bob lives in Westbury, NY.
Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1973, at age 19, Mike has led what can only be called an extremely normal life with variations. Married to Lucia Ratrie in 2014, Mike is a husband and father to a grown daughter, Anna, father in-law to her husband John, grandfather to two boys, Connor and Finn, step-dad to Lucia’s four grown children, Jason, Steven, Chad and Heather, and servant to 3 cats and 1 dog. His ever-ready smile, silly humor and positivity have been a part of numerous adventures. These include 5 years on his own sailboat, ranging from Maine to Aruba, pedaling just under 6,000 miles with Lucia on an unsupported cross-country bike trip, and a second 2,000 mile trip from Vancouver Island, BC to Los Angeles, CA. A non-blogging member of the DOC since 2008, Mike started insulin pumping in 1999 and CGM’ing in late 2014. Mike is looking forward to moving beyond raising awareness to creating actions that lead to change.
Martin J. Drilling was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in April of 1953. He is very active in clinical research: he was a participant in a 1974 NIH story of effectiveness of laser surgery to prevent blindness due to diabetes, a 2008 artificial pancreas study testing the effectiveness of CGM, and is in a 50-year medalist study being conducted at the Joslin Center in Boston. He also volunteers by speaking to groups on living successfully with diabetes. Martin earned a bachelor’s degree at Fordham University in 1970 and a JD at the Boston College Law School in 1974. He was a solo practitioner in Plymouth, Massachusetts before he retired in 2017. He has been married to wife Maureen for 45 years, and has two children and four grandchildren.
Andrea Herndon has been living with diabetes for 14 years. She was originally diagnosed as type 2, but five years ago realized that she is LADA type 1.5 at a TCOYD conference. Upon returning home, she had a C-Peptide test done and the LADA diagnosis was official. Her experience taught her that knowledge is power and the importance of being her own advocate.Since her corrected diagnosis, Andrea has been an advocate for the American Diabetes Association and recently attended her second Call to Congress. She also leads a support group through Diabetes Sisters.
David is currently a school psychologist with the Riverside County Office of Education providing psychoeducational support and services for the students in special education programs. He has over 30 years of experience advocating for children with disabilities as a school psychologist, program specialist and special education director, in both rural and urban settings. He was diagnosed in 2014 with Type 2 Diabetes. David’s professional interests include crisis counseling, supporting students with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, supporting students who are deaf or are hard-of hearing, and meeting children’s mental/behavioral needs. David has a Doctorate in Education from the University of La Verne and a BA and MA in psychology from California State University, Northridge.
Lucy grew up outside Chicago, Il. and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 15. She has been on an insulin pump ever since, which has made a huge difference in her management. Since her diagnosis, Lucy’s passion has become helping people through adversity. She has volunteered in homeless shelters and with children in the foster care system. Her career has been in volunteer management for non-profits. Lucy loves to read, write, paint, and go on hikes with her dog. She is looking forward to using her experience and knowledge to help those who also have diabetes.