Diabetes Special Interest Group


The Diabetes Special Interest Group promotes the use of evidenced-based approaches to assess and treat the biopsychosocial factors associated with morbidity in diabetes.

Our specific goals are to:

  1. Increase collaborative opportunities between pediatric psychologists who conduct research and provide clinical care to pediatric patients with diabetes and their families.

  2. Promote an integrated team approach to the medical management of pediatric patients with diabetes and their families.

  3. Provide assessment and treatment resources to researchers and clinicians who work with pediatric patients with diabetes and their families.

  4. Train and mentor new diabetes-focused researchers and clinicians using scientific approaches to the medical and psychological management of diabetes.


Our membership includes a diverse group of Division 54 members. These individuals include trainees, faculty members, and hospital/clinic-based practitioners. Interested in joining the D-SIG? Contact Jessica, your D-SIG Chair.


Chair: Jessica Pierce, Ph.D. (Term: April 2016 through April 2018)

Jessica is a research scientist and pediatric psychologist at Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Orlando, Florida. Her research interests are focused on transition from pediatric to adult healthcare outcomes in young adults with T1D, development of a social media resource for parents of young children with T1D, and the validation of a battery of measures of pediatric diabetes-specific routines. Clinically, she functions as the psychologist for the diabetes team at NCH and enjoys working with children, teens, and families. She earned her BS in Psychology from the University of Florida and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She completed her internship and postdoc in pediatric psychology at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. 

Email: jessica.pierce@nemours.org
Phone: 407-650-7508

Co-Chair: Ellen O'Donnell, Ph.D. (Term: April 2017 through April 2019)

Ellen is an Associate Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She has been the pediatric psychologist in the MGH for Children Pediatric Diabetes Center since 2009, providing individual, family and group behavioral health interventions to patients and consultation to the endocrine team. She is currently working on a number of clinical initiatives including the development of a Transitions Program, a multidisciplinary diabetes clinic day, and multimedia outreach programs. As part of the pediatric behavioral medicine program at MGH, she is working to expand training in pediatric psychology in diabetes. Ellen also specializes in neuropsychological assessment. Her research interests are in evaluating clinical programming and in better understanding the impact of learning disabilities such as ADHD on diabetes management. She also consults to diabetes organizations including the New England Chapter of JDRF, ADA, The College Diabetes Network, and diabetes camps Clara Barton and Camp Joslin. She earned her BA in Psychology from Boston College and her PhD in Child Clinical Psychology from Clark University in Worcester. She completed her internship and postdoc in child clinical psychology at MGH.

Secretary: Rachel Wasserman, Ph.D. (Term: April 2016 through April 2018)

Rachel Wasserman is a pediatric health psychology research post-doctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine/ Texas Children’s Hospital.  Her primary areas of interest include the role of adolescent risk-taking in diabetes management, cognitive functioning in youth with diabetes, and psychosocial screening for youth with diabetes.  Originally from Orlando, FL, she earned her BS in Psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology and her PhD from Loyola University Chicago.

Student Member At Large: Meg Nicholl, M.S. (Term: April 2014 through April 2017)

Meg is a third year clinical psychology doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University.  Currently, Meg works with an endocrinology team at a local pediatric hospital, proving psychological consults and interventions.  Meg also serves on the medical staff at a diabetes camp in the Northeast and has been involved with designing and implementing a research study to evaluate the experiences of camp counselor. Her research interests include health-related quality of life and transition to adult care in youth with type 1 diabetes as well as health-related disparities in minority youth. She looks forward to pursuing additional experiences in diabetes research and training, especially during internship and postdoctoral fellowship.

Student Member At Large: Carolyn Turek (Term: April 2017 through April 2019)

Carolyn is a fourth year clinical psychology doctoral student at DePaul University. Carolyn works within a lifespan diabetes center at a local hospital, providing consults and short-term interventions. She also enjoys working with the teen panel at the diabetes center and volunteering with her local JDRF chapter. Carolyn’s research interests include diabetes-specific distress, fear of hypoglycemia, parent-child relationships related to diabetes management, and psychosocial aspects of diabetes technology use. She is looking forward to continuing her involvement in type 1 diabetes research and clinical work, and is thrilled to be a part of the Diabetes SIG Board! Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Carolyn received her BA in psychology from the University of Notre Dame.


Student Member At Large: Sara Turner (Term: April 2017 through April 2019)

As a doctoral student in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Utah, Sara’s research and clinical work focus on family management of type 1 diabetes. 



Dissemination Committee

Chair: Jessica Parrish, Ph.D.

The dissemination committee is focused on collecting and disseminating resources relevant to pediatric psychologists working with diabetes. These resources might include assessment instruments, intervention materials, training protocols, quality improvement projects, program development ideas, technology resources (apps, games, etc.), and more.  Our role on the committee is to determine the best way to collect and share the materials in the most interactive manner.  It is a great way to discover new tools for your research or clinical work.  If you are interested in joining the Dissemination Committee, please email Jessica: JParrish@psvcare.org

Online & Advocacy Committee

Chair: Jessica Pierce, Ph.D.

The Diabetes Special Interest Group Online and Advocacy Committee promotes the integration of pediatric psychology into diabetes online and advocacy efforts and the dissemination of relevant behavioral/ psychosocial topics related to living with diabetes. The goals are to: 1) increase awareness of the role of pediatric psychologists and other mental health professionals in an integrated approach to diabetes care, 2) share best practices, evidence-based guidelines, and relevant empirical research with the broader diabetes community, 3) promote advocacy efforts among pediatric psychologists for diabetes in general and diabetes related psychological/behavioral issues, and 4) collaborate with the Dissemination Committee to develop a toolbox of diabetes online community resources for patients and their families. If you are interested in joining the Dissemination Committee, please email Jessica: jessica.pierce@nemours.org


Resource Bank (coming soon)

Past Newsletters:
Fall 2015
Spring 2015
all 2014

Progress Notes

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