Alumni Spotlight

Diabetes Hope Foundation




Amanda Coschi

2010 Nancy Ryce Scholarship
Current Occupation
Registered Nurse, CDE
Markham Stouffville Hospital

McMaster University, Nursing

Since receiving the Nancy Ryce Scholarship in 2010, Amanda Coschi went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at McMaster University. She currently works as a Registered Nurse at Markham Stouffville Hospital in Paediatrics and the NICU.

Amanda is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and is working as the Nursing Coordinator for Camp Huronda. Since Amanda received her scholarship, she has actively paid it forward with the Diabetes Hope Foundation by volunteering on the Ontario Scholarship Advisory Board, recently joining the Board of Directors, and supporting the foundation in developing new programs for at-risk and transitioning teens with diabetes. Amanda is very happy to welcome you to the DHF 20th symposium!

Dimitri De Mel

Vice Chair
Current Occupation
Health Solutions Manager
Purdue Pharma Canada

University of Toronto
Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology

Dimitri De Mel was the recipient of the Michael Morningstar scholarship in 2012. Since receiving his scholarship, Dimitri has completed a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Ottawa, and then moved on to complete a Master of Biotechnology at the University of Toronto.

As part of his master’s program, he interned at Purdue Pharma Canada as a Commercial Effectiveness and Business Development teams and transitioned to a pharmaceutical sales representative position this year.

Dimitri finds it inspiring to meet other type 1 diabetics and looks forward to sharing his personal experiences with others in the diabetes community.

Rovina Girn

2003 BD Medical Scholarship
Current Occupation
Immunization Clinic Coordinator,
Public Health Nurse, Halton Region

Lakehead University
Nursing and Public Health Administration

Rovina Girn was the recipient of the BD Medical Scholarship in 2003. Since receiving her scholarship, she has completed a degree in Nursing a the University of New Brunswick and a Masters of Public Health at Lakehead University. Rovina currently works as a Public Health Nurse where is responsible for leading specialized programs for public schools and the community within the Halton Region. In particular Rovina specializes in providing healthcare support for youth who are transitioning between healthcare services and systems.

Rovina continues to pay it forward in the diabetes community by volunteering with DHF to lead Peer Support programs, and currently sits on the DHF Alumni Committee and volunteers her time to review scholarships on the Advisory Board.

Kristin Herriott

2009 Armel Family Scholarship
Current Occupation
Child and Youth Worker
York Region District School Board

Ryerson University, Child and Youth Care

Kristin Herriott received her Diabetes Hope Scholarship in 2009, and went on to complete Ryerson University’s Child and Youth Care Program in 2015, and currently works for the York Region District School Board as a CYW (Child and Youth Worker) at Red Maple Public School.

Since receiving her scholarship, Kristin has been an active volunteer of Diabetes Hope Foundation and lead cheerleader for many of the foundation’s programs and new initiatives. Kristin is a current member of the Scholarship Alumni Committee, and strives to continuously engage current and future scholarship recipients through exciting new events, activities and social media to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the type 1 community.

Heidi Dixon

2009 Medtronic Canada Scholarship
Current Occupation
Community Programs Developer
St. John’s Native Friendship Centre

Memorial University, Biochemistry and Nutrition

Heidi Dixon is a Program Coordinator at the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre. With a formal education in Community Recreation Leadership, Heidi plays a key role in the planning and logistics associated with all SJNFC Special Events. Heidi facilitates the organization’s Aboriginal Cultural Diversity Training social enterprise, and has trained hundreds of people across the province.

Heidi has a keen interest in the effective utilization of volunteers and strives to ensure that volunteering is a mutually beneficial experience for both the individual and the organization. Over the last 6 years, Heidi has also been an active member of DHF’s Alumni Committee, representing the foundation’s National Scholarship Program in Eastern Canada, and has also participated in the development of many of the foundation’s new programs and initiatives for youth with diabetes.

Matthew Pacchione

2009 BD Medical-Diabetes Care Scholarship
Current Occupation
Quality Assurance of Medical Devices and Construction
Aecon Group

Queens University, Math and Chemistry

Matthew Pacchione was awarded with a Diabetes Hope Scholarship in 2009, and went on to complete a degree in Math and Chemistry from Queen’s University, and certification in Quality Assurance Management from Sheridan College. Since he graduated in 2013, Matthew has been working in the field of Quality Assurance of medical devices and construction and currently works for the Aecon Group.

Matthew has been a volunteer with the Diabetes Hope Foundation since he received his scholarship. Matthew currently sits on the Ontario Scholarship Advisory Board as a reviewer, is a current member of the Scholarship Alumni Committee, and mentors youth living with diabetes through DHF’s Peer Support Program.

Izabella Smolik

2010 Jessica Paczek Scholarship
Current Occupation
Clinical Team Lead – Diabetes
LAMP Community Health Centre

Ryerson University
Nutrition and Food

Izabela Smolik received her Diabetes Hope Scholarship in 2010, and is a current member of the foundation’s Scholarship Alumni Committee and coordinates the foundation’s Peer Support Program for youth living with diabetes.

Izabela completed a Bachelor of Applied Science specializing in Nutrition and Food in 2014 at Ryerson University, and was recently certified as a Diabetes Educator in 2017. She is currently employed as the Clinical Team Lead, Registered Dietitian, and Certified Diabetes Educator at West Toronto Diabetes Education Program.

Luc Lanteigne

2014 Scholarship Recipient
Honors Bachelor of Science
Biomedical Biology

Luc Lanteigne was a recipient of a Scholarship in 2014., and currently attends University where he is completing an Honors Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in Biomedical Biology. During his studies Luc has been keen in learning new skills and techniques in the laboratory and is now conducting research on the identification of cellular mechanisms associated with chemotherapy induced RNA disruption. An active DHF Alumni Committee member, Luc strives to continue to be an inspiration to youth living with diabetes.