Adrenal Insufficiency United

Meet our speakers & Break out Leaders

Confirmed Speakers and Break out Leaders 

Dr. Eliza Geer * Dr. Mitchell Geffner * Anessa Powell * Kim Sherman * Deanna Pomfret * Dr. Craig Cooley * Scott Sell * Irina Bancos M.D.

Darleen Shelton * Mark Kennedy * Christine Yedinak M.N., F.N.P, D.N.P * Dr. Elizabeth Regan * Dr. Mimi Kim, endocrinologist * Joy Marshall * LaTasha Holt Phd * Erica Callum

Confirmed Speakers: Bios coming soon

* Dr. Richard Auchus, endocrinologist * Dr. Juan Carlos Fernandez-Miranda, Neurosurgeon * Dr. Maria Fleseriu, Endocrinologist * Dr. Sabrina Hickle, Neuropsychologist 

Eliza Geer MD

Dr. Geer is an endocrinologist who specializes in caring for people with pituitary and neuroendocrine diseases. She is the Medical Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Multidisciplinary Pituitary & Skull Base Tumor Center, located at Memorial Hospital in Manhattan. She is currently an associate professor of medicine and an active member of the Endocrine Society and the Pituitary Society.

Dr Mitchell Geffner

Dr. Geffner is Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the Ron Burkle Chair in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Co-director of the Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Center of Medical and Surgical Excellence at CHLA, and former Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at CHLA. He is also a Past-President of the Pediatric Endocrine Society. Dr. Geffner is a pediatric endocrinology co-editor for UpToDate and co-editor of the textbook, “Pediatric Endocrinology: Principles and Practice” (McGraw-Hill).

Anessa Powell

Anessa Powell began her career as an Event Planner with Marriott International after graduating from Auburn University. Since being diagnosed in 2013 with Addison’s Disease (Primary Adrenal Insufficiency), a rare Autoimmune Disease, Anessa has been dedicated to raising awareness that disabilities come in many forms. Anessa began sharing her experiences in 2016 and launched her social media outreach through the former pages of Addison’s Disease with Grace.

 In 2019, her speaking platform was launched and was formed.  As the pandemic changed lives in so many ways and employers began to recognize jobs can be done from home (and done well!), Anessa along with her husband, Bill, created AllAbility Recruiting where they strive to Leave No Ability Behind through disability employment and training.  Anessa lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two kids.  She is a huge Auburn fan (War Eagle!) and wishes daily she was at the beach.

Kim Sherman, JD, PhD

Kim brings nearly 35 years of experience as a mom and a 30 year career in all levels of special education to her law practice. She has been a respite care provider, a volunteer/intern in Hawai'i's state institutions for persons with disabilities as the State pivoted to community-based programs, a special education teacher in Pre-K through 8th grades, and was the architect of the first fully inclusive middle school in Hawai'i.

Kim and her family moved to Oregon on Christmas Day, 1996, with beach sand still in their hair from that morning’s ocean swim. In Oregon, Kim worked as an education specialist at the Oregon Department of Eduction, as a school district special education administrator, and as an instructor in a university teacher preparation program. After earning her PhD from the University of Oregon in 2007, Kim moved to Eugene to serve as the assistant director of the UO Administrative Licensure Program and to also work with Dr. Jerry Tindal as the project manager for the State of Alaska’s Alternate Assessment for students with significant disabilities. In 2013, Kim entered Willamette University College of Law, graduating in 2017.

Kim’s law practice focuses on supporting parents, families, and children as they advocate for their children with disabilities. Kim’s focus is on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Deanna Pomfret, M.S.

Professor, Nutrition and Public Health Deanna’s area of expertise is health education with a primary focus on food and nutrition, physical activity, public health and promotion. Deanna teaches full-time for the Department of Nutrition and Public Health in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Merrimack College. Deanna also volunteers in the local sports and medical communities. She is a presenter at Harvard University Medical School for their endocrine clinics and homeostasis lectures. She also presents for clubs, hospitals and symposiums on the science and art of coaching specifically in the areas of nutrition and fitness. Before becoming a teacher Deanna created Athletic Pursuits LLC a company that promoted endurance sports and the great outdoors. Since 2005 Deanna has helped adults with personalized coaching and training for general fitness and for special events like triathlons, marathons and anything her athletes dream up. Deanna has primary adrenal insufficiency and enjoys being a resource for others with similar challenges.


Dr. Cooley has worked in EMS for nearly 30 years and practiced emergency medicine for over 20 years. He is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Program Director for the EMS Fellowship Program in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. He is also one of the Deputy Medical Directors for the San Antonio Fire Department and is active in disaster response as a Medical Director for the Emergency Medical Task Force of Texas and has responded to events throughout the state, including providing medical care during Hurricane Harvey and the delta surge of COVID-19.

In addition,
Dr. Cooley works through the global health program in his department and travels to Vietnam
and Nepal providing education and system with the development of EMS and Emergency
Medicine in development to these growing systems.
Dr. Cooley grew up in the Texas Panhandle and graduated from Austin College followed by
medical school at Texas Tech in Lubbock/El Paso. Dr. Cooley then completed his residency in
Emergency Medicine, followed by a two-year fellowship in EMS medicine in Buffalo, NY.
During his total of 10 years spent in Buffalo, he taught emergency medicine and EMS and served
as the Medical Director for the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness for Erie
County. Throughout his time in New York and continuing now in Texas, Dr. Cooley has worked
with multiple EMS system, providing medical oversight, EMS education and protocol
Dr. Cooley was diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia as a young child and brings a
unique perspective as both an Emergency and EMS Physician as well as a patient with adrenal
insufficiency. By living in both of these worlds, he provides a medical insider’s look at how to
navigate interactions with emergency providers as well as ways to coordinate with the different
aspects of the EMS system to maximize care for patients with adrenal insufficiency.

Scott Sell

Scott Sell is a disability attorney who helps disabled people obtain benefits from the Social Security Administration and private insurers. He is a partner at Thomas Coon Newton and Frost, a law firm that exclusively represents sick and injured people. In addition to his work at TCNF, Scott serves a Special Assistant Attorney General representing disabled foster children on behalf of the Oregon Department of Justice.
Scott also served as the Senior Clerk for the Honorable James C. Egan, former Chief Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals. He is a co-author the Oregon State Bar’s legal treatise Insurance Law in Oregon. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the Federal Bar for the District of Oregon, and he is admitted to practice before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He represents disabled people throughout the pacific northwest.

Darleen Shelton

After her first grandson was unexpectedly diagnosed with severe Hemophilia B and through the family’s efforts to assure his protection they discovered protocols prohibiting paramedics/ER doctors from administering patient carried, specialty medications. Realizing the danger, they stepped into action creating the Danny’s Dose Alliance and embarked on making change. Starting in Missouri working with the EMS Association, they realized the problem pertains to all people with special medical needs for treatment or medications with the issue being conflicting protocols, fear of liability and needed education. These became the 3 main goals: A. Change existing, outdated Protocols across the US B. Assist with creating Paramedic/ER disease specific Treatment Guidelines with education C. Provide families education in Emergency Preparedness for their own protection

To date, they have successfully passed EMS Protocol legislation in Missouri , Minnesota & Arkansas with State Scope of Practice changes in Louisiana and
Colorado. In 2023, work on Federal Legislation is resuming, plans are being made for the first 5 “Disease Specific Treatment Guidelines” with Education, several states are reviewing their standing protocols & regulations so several more states are expected tohave changes or legislation if needed by year end and they are planning to hold 3
“Family Fun & Education Events in TX, IL and LA.
Darlene works closely with several rare and chronic disease organizations; as well as state and national EMS Associations. She serves on the Missouri EMS for Children Board and is participating in the newly developed Pediatric Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Network established by HRSA to remain a constant voice for the people living with specialized emergency care needs.

Mark Kennedy

My Name is Mark Kennedy I was born in Seattle Washington. A couple weeks after my birth I was diagnosed with SWCAH. I have now reached my mid 50's and have lived a full life with two children. I have been a part of two different drug studies and been active in many medical research platforms regarding CAH. I continue to work with the medical field in promoting new treatments. I now live in Couer D' Alene Idaho.

Erica Callum

Hello my name is Erica. I have had AI since birth. I have done road work for 26 years. I love to play with my puppy, hike, boat kayak and hang with Family and friends.

Irina Bancos, MD

Associate Professor Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, Diabetes and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, USA Joint appointment Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA Dr Irina Bancos is the Associate Professor of Medicine and works in the Pituitary-Adrenal-Gonadal subdivision of Endocrinology division at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA. She also serves as the Associate Program Director for the Endocrine Fellowship. Dr Bancos received her M.D. from the Iuliu Hatieganu Medical University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She has completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Danbury Hospital in CT, USA and Endocrinology Fellowship at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. In addition, Dr Bancos completed a two-year research fellowship (Mayo Foundation Scholarship) at the University of Birmingham, UK where she received training in steroid profiling and adrenal disorders. In 2015 she returned to Mayo Clinic, where her clinical and research interests include adrenal and pituitary tumors, pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma, primary aldosteronism, adrenal insufficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing syndrome, and mechanisms of steroid regulation of health and disease.

Between 2015 and 2018, Dr Bancos was the Principal Investigator and Leader of the Transform the Adrenal Practice team at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Bancos is currently leading a longitudinal observational study at Mayo Clinic with the goals to characterize clinical course, glucocorticoid withdrawal, quality of life, and metabolic outcomes in patients with mild and overt hypercortisolism. Dr. Bancos holds several grants in the field of adrenal disorders and is funded by the National Institute of Health, NIDDK and NIA and by several internal, benefactor, and industry awards. Dr Bancos has published more than 180 scientific articles. She served on several editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and Endocrine practice and currently serves as Associate Adrenal Editor for the European Journal of Endocrinology. Dr. Bancos is passionate about translating research findings into actionable interventions for patients with adrenal disorders and mentoring the future generation of adrenal endocrinologists.

Disclosures: – Scientific advisory boards for Neurocrine, Diurnal, Spruce, Sparrow, Corcept, HRA Pharma, Recordati (fee to institution) – Data safety monitoring board Adrenas(fee to institution) – Funding NIH NIA, NIDDK, Recordati (investigator initiated award), Olin family benefactor award (funding to institution) – Principal investigator of trials sponsored by Corcept, Neurocrine, Spruce, Sparrow, Diurnal, Cincor, Ascendis (funding to institution) – Editor Dynamed (adrenal topics) – Writer Elsevier (adrenal topic)

Chris Yedinak

Chris Yedinak, DNP, FNP-BC, MN, Grad DipEd, RN Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, N.W. Pituitary Center. Oregon Health & Sciences University. Portland. OR Chris Yedinak is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She is an Associate Professor at the Northwest Pituitary Center, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, Oregon USA, where she has provided clinical diagnosis and management of patients with pituitary and adrenal dysfunction for the last 20 years. Dr. Yedinak completed her undergraduate training in Australia and post a Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education at University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. She completed her BSN post graduate and Doctoral Studies at Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland Oregon. Her research and publications are focused on the quality of life and clinical outcomes in the management of patients with pituitary and adrenal disorders. She is author of multiple textbook chapters and is co-editor of the first Advanced Practice in Endocrinology Nursing textbook. She has presented her research at multiple scientific meetings worldwide and collaborates globally with patient advocacy organizations. Dr. Yedinak is President of the Endocrine Nurses Association (USA), the Federation of International Nurses in Endocrinology (F.I.N.E.), a past board member of the European Society of Endocrinology Nurse Committee and a medical advisor for the World Association of Pituitary Organizations (WAPO).

Elizabeth Regan

Dr. Elizabeth Regan is a physician, clinical researcher and Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver. Her research interests include smoking-related diseases, health disparities in COPD, as well as osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions in lung disease. For the past fifteen years she has been the Associate Director of the COPDGene study, a longitudinal cohort study of 10,000 smokers funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). She is also the principal investigator for the MyAI patient registry and longitudinal cohort. She is a member of the National Adrenal Diseases Foundation Board of Directors and has a strong interest in patient-centered outcomes research for Adrenal insufficiency and other adrenal diseases. As a person with adrenal insufficiency, she has been shocked and dismayed at the limited understanding of adrenal insufficiency within the health care community, and the ongoing carnage of deaths, poor quality of life and mis-information that results from less-than-optimal treatment and the absence of patient voices in the adrenal research world. She would like to adopt a slogan for adrenal insufficiency research from the world of disability advocacy, “Nothing About Us, Without Us”, to emphasize the critical importance of patient input in defining care guidelines, treatment regimens and all aspects of AI care.

Dr. Mimi Kim

Mimi Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Her research interest is in the area of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), with two ongoing clinical studies at CHLA. She is working with a multidisciplinary team to examine cardiovascular disease risk in teenagers and young adults with CAH. Dr Kim is certified with the Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology: American Board of Pediatrics. She is a member of the Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Donnell Society for Pediatric Scientists, Androgen Excess and PCOS Society, Association for Patient-Oriented Research. She has been awarded with the CARES Foundation Pioneer Award (2018), Top Doctors Los Angeles (2018), The James H. Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund Individual Research Award (2015-2016), The Saban Research Institute Innovative Pilot Award (2012-2013) SC-CTSI KL2 Scholar (2011-2014), The Saban Research Institute & CHLA CRACDA Awardee (2009-2011), and Women in Endocrinology Young Investigator Award (2009)

LaTasha Holt Ph.d

Dr. Holt is the mother of three daughters, one with adrenal insufficiency. After their family faced many difficult years without a diagnosis, Dr. Holt made it her mission to share their story and continually advocate for others who face this rare condition. Besides being a mom, Dr. Holt is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Assessment Coordinator for the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She received her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University. She holds a M.S in reading, special education, and English as a second language as well as a B.S. in early childhood education. For the past sixteen years, she has worked with children and families, teachers, preservice teachers, and other members of the educational community to promote education. In this role, Dr. Holt works to bridge parents, children with exceptional needs, and education. Dr. Holt’s mission is to teach, research, and serve in the field of education bridging theory and practice, promoting culturally responsive teaching, and advocating for the whole child.

Joy Marshall

Joy Marshall is the State Organizing Director of Stand for Children, a statewide citizens’ organization that advocates for excellent public education and equity for every Oregon child.
Joy has been with Stand for Children for 21 years. She and Stand volunteers have lead numerous successful efforts for better school funding, racial justice, Career and Technical Education, and more. Before Stand for Children, Joy was a community organizer for 15 years, and a middle school teacher for 2 years. She has helped run over 25 political campaigns. She lives in Eugene with her husband who is a teaching assistant in Special Education. They have two grown daughters.

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