Hello! I’m writing to share how very excited I am to join ConnecT1D as your new Executive Director. The fantastic Board of Directors here has spent the last few weeks getting me up to speed on the programs and people that make this community so great. I can’t wait to meet the rest of you at future ConnecT1D events.
A little background on me: My career in autoimmune chronic disease support began at University of Washington where I spent 6 years in Multiple Sclerosis research, counseling, and community outreach. Here I became inspired by the resilience of persons living with chronic conditions, and got involved in developing evidence-based counseling interventions to support individuals in living their lives to the fullest in the face of health challenges. Additionally, I have spent many years in service of families of young children, most recently as an Associate Faculty member at Shoreline Community College teaching parent education and community-based parent/child classes, as well as through counseling and support groups at my private practice Nurtureways.
As a parent of a young child with Type1 Diabetes myself, I first crossed paths with ConnecT1D a few months after my son’s diagnosis. With no history of T1D in our family, the learning curve for daily management was steep and our questions were endless. Attending Family Camp opened our eyes to a whole supportive community of families who really understood the highs and lows of our new normal. Camp also gave my son a chance to make some wonderful diabetes friends and meet inspiring T1D teens and adults who showed him that no beta cells are required to pursue his dreams.
Coming aboard at ConnecT1D, I’m amazed by the phenomenal work that’s been done by hardworking volunteers to create the organization that it is today. I see great opportunities ahead to build upon this strong foundation in expanding our reach for local meetups, increasing access for to resources and information, and growing partnerships with other folks doing awesome things in the T1D world. In the coming months I’m eager to learn from you all about what you love about ConnecT1D and what else our team can do to further support, celebrate and grow our T1D community.
Jamie Elzea, MSW, MPH, LICSW
More about our new ED: Jamie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Whitman College and Masters degrees in both Public Health and Social Work from University of Michigan, and is a licensed clinical social worker. She has volunteered with and served in board leadership for several local area non-profit boards focused on family support and education. She enjoys gardening, playing table top games and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2 pups and three boys ages 1, 5, & 11.