Dolph and Sharon von Arx have been philanthropic and service pillars of the Naples area for over thirty years.  Numerous organizations have benefitted from their generosity which in turn has enriched our community greatly.  Organizations and institutions fortunate to work closely alongside The von Arx Family are; the Naples Business Accelerator, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Youth Haven, The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, NCH Healthcare Systems where Mr. von Arx served as Board Chair for 11 years, The Community Foundation, Hodges University, The Naples Museum of Art, and The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts just to name a few.  Dolph and Sharon have been in leadership positions in almost every organizations they have lent their names to and continually strive for the betterment of our area.  Serving as co-chairs of this Second Annual Naples Diabetes Conference has raised the bar of this conference’s goals to educate diabetes treatment, preventions, and research to the entire Naples Community; and help to further established it as an annual mainstay at the Greater Naples YMCA.


Pam Eichler, RN, BSN, CDE is the director of the Out Reach Program for diabetes prevention and treatment at Physicians Regional Health Care System. She earned her bachelor's of science degree in nursing at University of Wisconsin. She specialized in diabetes while employed by the Cleveland Clinic Naples Department of Endocrinology and assisted in coordinating the Certified Diabetes program from 2000-2014. She has continued as a certified diabetes educator at Physicians Regional Medical Center, where she has been able to provide programs free to the public for education on diabetes prevention and treatments.

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Dr. Jake Kushner is a McNair Medical Institute Scholar and an Associate Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. For 6 years he served as Chief of Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. His overarching career goal is to help children, adolescents, and young adults with type 1 diabetes and other endocrine disorders to live long, healthy lives. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Kushner earned his medical doctorate from Albany Medical College followed by pediatrics residency at Brown, pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston, and a 5-year research fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center (both of Harvard Medical School). Prior to arriving at the Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Kushner was at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The overall goal of his basic science research program is to enable regeneration of the insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells as novel therapies for diabetes patients. Dr. Kushner has received numerous national honors, including a Basil O’Connor award from the March of Dimes and elected membership to the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He has also served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and other sources. Dr. Kushner serves as an advisor to Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Virta Health Inc., and the T1D Exchange. He is the current chair of DDK-B, an NIH study section that reviews training applications in diabetes research. Dr. Kushner’s clinical interests center around the care of children, adolescents, and young adults with type 1 diabetes. 

Henry Rodriguez, M.D. is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Florida (USF) and the Clinical Director of the USF Diabetes Center. His career has focused on the prevention and clinical management of type 1 diabetes, always advocating on behalf of those affected by diabetes. He has been a lead investigator in national and international collaborative type 1 diabetes (T1D) studies including the NIH-funded DPT-1 and TrialNet, and the Helmsley Charitable Trust-funded T1D Exchange, in addition to industry-partnered studies focused on expanding the number of FDA-approved medications for children with type 2 diabetes. He directs the USF TrialNet and T1D Exchange Clinical Centers and he is the immediate past chair of the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study. 

His collaborative efforts also include working with others to improve technologies to better manage diabetes and the transition of young adults from pediatric to adult diabetes care providers. Dr. Rodriguez has held numerous positions in the American Diabetes Association, including National Board and Research Grant Review Committee membership. He currently serves on the Scientific Oversight and Legal Advocacy Committees, the Safe at School Working Group, the ADA Diabetes Forecast Editorial Board and he is President of the local ADA Board. He is also a longstanding supporter of diabetes camps in the US and abroad, having recently been elected President of the Florida Camps for Children and Youth with Diabetes. He is current Chair of the Pediatric Endocrine Society Public Policy Council and co-Chair of the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance. Dr. Rodriguez’s passion is to improve the lives of those living with diabetes while pursing prevention and a cure. 


Janet Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CDE  is a licensed Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Insulin Pump & CGM Specialist with the University of South Florida Diabetes Center.  She obtained her Nursing Diploma from Jackson Memorial Hospital / University of Miami and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from San Francisco State University. Her nursing career began as staff nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital, in the pediatric intensive care unit, followed by positions in nursing management at Jackson Memorial, Children's Hospital of San Francisco, and California Pacific Medical Center. She transitioned to Quality Improvement and then to diabetes education.  Janet is a certified trainer for all insulin pump and CGM devices, providing education to pediatric and adult patients, their families, and health care professionals. She serves as clinical research nurse coordinator for trails in diabetes technologies, including hybrid-closed-loop systems. Janet has been an active supporter of diabetes camps since the 1990s, serving at camps in California, Indiana, and Florida. She staffs the Florida Diabetes Camps' Sam Fuld Sports, Family, and Adventure Camps in addition to serving a faculty at the annual Children with Diabetes, Friends for Life conference.