Katie Bowles is a freelance writer and social media consultant hailing from Luray, Virginia. After graduating from James Madison University in 2011, Katie relocated to the D.C. area, where she worked with multiple local, regional, and national organizations – she's managed social media for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations and has been published in print and online publications such as Northern Virginia Magazine, On Tap Magazine, D.C. Music Download, and 1stdibs' The Study. Katie became involved in the diabetes field in 2016, when she joined the national American Diabetes Association team full-time as Social Media Manager and Copywriter. During her time at the ADA, Katie grew deeply interested in public health and diabetes advocacy while working on national marketing campaigns such as American Diabetes Month and Alert Day. She looks forward to bringing this passion and energy to the diaTribe brand. Katie is currently based in Los Angeles, where she enjoys hiking, attending concerts, playing trumpet and piano, and exploring her new home on the West Coast.
Senior Manager of Advocacy and Policy, The diaTribe Foundation
Emily Fitts joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2017 after graduating cum laude from Amherst with a degree in Psychology and a certificate in Culture, Health, and Science. She was previously a Summer Associate for Close Concerns in 2016. Emily completed a senior honors thesis that investigated the social norms surrounding stress, sleep, and related-disclosure and the influence of perfectionism on misperception of such norms. During her time at Amherst, she pursued her passion for public health by serving on the Executive Board of GlobeMed, a global health group that seeks to promote health, raise awareness, and foster partnership on campus and within the global community. Emily worked as the Head Tour Guide for her junior and senior year, where she expressed her love of Amherst to prospective families and managed 70+ tour guides to ensure a positive visitor experience. To engage with the local community, Emily worked as a Reading Mentor for Reader to Reader, which provided her an opportunity to share her love of reading with students from low-income schools. Prior to her summer internship with Close Concerns, she worked for The Union for International Cancer Control in Geneva, Switzerland, where she explored the business side of a public health nonprofit organization as the Business Development and External Relations intern. Emily was an avid member of the Rowing Team at Amherst and looks forward to continuing spending her free time outside with friends.
Senior Associate, The diaTribe Foundation
Divya Gopisetty started as a summer intern at Close Concerns in 2017, and joined The diaTribe Foundation as a full-time associate in 2018 after graduating from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology. Divya’s younger sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 11 years ago. Her sister’s resilience has inspired Divya to work in the diabetes space for the last four years in a variety of roles, including clinical research, patient advocacy, and community engagement. During her senior year, she co-directed a novel design challenge, Disrupt Diabetes, which created a new framework for patient-driven innovation. At diaTribe, she is co-leading diaTribe’s d19, an Executive Innovation Lab that strives to tackle the type 2 diabetes epidemic from a systems approach. Divya is passionate about the intersection of medicine and social justice, using diaTribe’s advocacy efforts to highlight diverse patient voices. In the future, she hopes to have a diabetes clinical practice, while also working to prevent chronic disease in vulnerable populations.
James S. Hirsch
James S. Hirsch, a former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, is a best-selling author whose most recent book is “WILLIE MAYS: The Life, the Legend”, the first biography of Mays written with his cooperation. Hirsch has also written "CHEATING DESTINY: Living With Diabetes”, “HURRICANE: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter”, "RIOT AND REMEMBRANCE: America's Worst Race Riot and Its Legacy," and "TWO SOULS INDIVISIBLE: The Friendship That Saved Two POWs in Vietnam." Hirsch has an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a graduate degree from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Sheryl, and their children, Amanda and Garrett. Jim has worked as an editor and contributor to Close Concerns since 2004 and as senior editor and columnist for diaTribe since 2006, where he has contributed dozens of Logbook columns since diaTribe’s inception.
Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.
Associate, The diaTribe Foundation
Eliza Skoler joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2019, after graduating from Carleton College with a degree in Biology. Her undergraduate studies focused on human biology and neuroscience, and she wrote a senior thesis on the relationship between the gut microbiome and the respiratory antiviral immune system. During college, Eliza spent a summer working at a community health clinic in South Africa, where she became passionate about health literacy as a way of empowering patients to engage with their physical well being. Eliza has taught people around the world about healthy living, from aerobics classes and nutrition workshops to CPR courses and HIV management practices. At Carleton, Eliza managed health and safety for the club sports department and competed on Carleton’s nationally-ranked Division I ultimate frisbee team.
Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986, diagnosed at the age of seven. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.”
Kerri is an internationally recognized diabetes advocate. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, established in 2005 and one of the most widely-read and long running diabetes patient blogs. Kerri is also a highly-rated speaker and has presented the patient perspective to audiences around the world. She works to raise awareness for diabetes, patient advocacy, and the influence of social media on health outcomes. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), looks at type 1 diabetes in the context of “real life.” Her next series of books will be published in Spring 2019.
Associate, The diaTribe Foundation
Karena Yan joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2019 after graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelors in Biology and Global Health and Environment. As an undergrad, she was held an executive position in WashU's First Year Center, striving to make first year students' transition to WashU as comfortable and seamless as possible. Karena also spent two summers at the Stanley Center of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, working on project to discover biomarkers and treatments of schizophrenia. She is passionate about minority and underserved communities' access to healthcare, serving over two hundred hours as a volunteer at Barnes Jewish Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, and Affinia Healthcare. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, reading, and traveling.