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Winthrop University Hospital

Department of External Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Courtney Allison
Publications Specialist
(516) 663-2234


(L-r) Robert Levine, MD, Ph.D. Pediatric Endocrinologist; Susan Ruggerio, RN, MS, CDE Diabetes Educator; Amy Canterella, MS, RD Nutritionist; Lori Martin, BS, MPH Pediatric Coordinator; Colleen Farley-Cornell, MS, RD, CDN, CDE Nutritionist, Diabetes Educator; Sheila Dennehy, RN, MSN, CDE Diabetes Educator; Jean Corrigan, RN, MA, CDE, Program Director, Pediatric Diabetes Program, Diabetes Educator; Siham Accacha, MD, Chief, Pediatric Diabetes Program; John Clark, BA, LMSW, Social Worker.

(L-r) Linda Sweeny, Pediatric Development Manager at the Children’s Medical Center; Mary Kolkhorst, Event Chair; and 2013 Honorees Marlene and Larry Wald.
On November 14, 2013, Winthrop-University Hospital’s Pediatric Diabetes Program hosted its Fourth Annual Bite of Hope Dinner at the Inn at New Hyde Park. The event honored the special achievements of Plainview residents Marlene and Larry Wald and William Simpson and raised more than $50,000 to benefit the Program and its multifaceted approach to treating diabetes. Since these services are offered free to patients and are not reimbursed by insurance, they rely on voluntary contributions to thrive.

Recognized as one of the top 50 Children’s Hospitals in Diabetes and Endocrinology by U.S. News & World Report, the Pediatric Diabetes Program was established in 2002 and continues to rank at the forefront of groundbreaking education, treatment and care for children, adolescents and young adults with diabetes in the tri-state region.

The evening was emceed by NBC News personality Greg Cergol, with entertainment provided by Maximilian Sisalli. Program Director Jean Corrigin, RN, MSN, applauded Marlene and Larry Wald for enriching the Pediatric Diabetes Program with their generosity and personal commitment to its comprehensive education and medical care. “I’ve watched this remarkable couple rally around their daughter as she faced the rigors of childhood diabetes. They surrounded her with love and encouraged her to follow her dreams, no matter what. They’re leading by example, and are living the challenge together,” she said.

Ms. Corrigan gratefully acknowledged the tireless efforts of event Chairperson Mary Kolkhorst, Pediatric Development Manager Linda Sweeney and Pediatric Coordinator, Lori Martin. Joseph Lannig introduced Youth Achievement Award winner William Simpson and praised him for “never faltering… Even when his diabetes became especially challenging, William focused on helping others… speaking to newly diagnosed families and helping put their fears to rest.”

Until a cure is found, the Pediatric Diabetes Program’s mission is independent self-care for patients as they move from childhood to young adulthood. Children are encouraged to embrace their situation with a positive philosophy as they learn to successfully manage this chronic, life-threatening illness. For more information about Winthrop’s Diabetes Program, visit or call 1-866-WINTHROP.

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