Insulin for Life USA, Board of Directors
These Board Members help to craft the mission, vision and goals of Insulin for Life USA. In addition, they oversee the daily operational activities including fundraising, publicity, obtaining and sending of insulin, and administration. While representing a variety of backgrounds and experiences, each member has one thing in common, a passionate and endless desire to help those with diabetes.
Mark Atkinson, Ph.D., President
Dr. Atkinson is currently a Professor of Pathology & Pediatrics and Eminent Scholar for Diabetes Research at The University of Florida. The author of over 300 publications, Dr. Atkinson is beginning his 29th year of investigation into the field of type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. Dr. Atkinson has been the recipient of multiple scientific and humanitarian based awards for these efforts. He has also been active in a leadership service to the type 1 diabetes community, with administrative or advisory service to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, Diapedia, the Immunology of Diabetes Society, and approximately ten pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies. Finally, he is a member of the Advisory Board for Life for a Child and co-founder for Hope on the Move.
Neil Donelan is an Australian who lives in Wendouree, Victoria, Australia. Neil is a founding Board Member of Insulin for Life Australia, which was established in 1999. He is the Manager of collection and distribution of Diabetes Aid throughout the world for IFL Australia, as well as the Shipping Coordinator for all emergency diabetes aid relief work throughout the world for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). He is a serving Member of the IDF Insulin Taskforce Committee whose job it is among other things to monitor the cost of insulin and access availability for developing countries. He also has served as the volunteer coordinator of Diabetes Children’s camps in Ecuador, South America since 2007. Neil’s professional background is from the Fire and General Insurance industry in Australia.
Les Jebson, Secretary and Treasurer
Les Jebson serves as the Executive Director of the University of Florida Diabetes Center of Excellence. In this role, he oversees the center's partnerships with internal and external stakeholders in research, philanthropy, clinical outcomes and general administration. Prior to his current role, he served as the Executive Director of The University of Florida Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute, both components of The University of Florida-Shands Healthcare System. Les has held clinical, financial, operational, and research roles in both private and academic based health systems and continues to serve as adjunct faculty at the University of Florida.
Alicia Jenkins, M.D.
Dr. Jenkins is a diabetes specialist and researcher in Sydney, Australia. There, she serves as an endocrinologist specializing in eye care to adult and adolescent diabetes services, predominantly type 1 diabetes. She was a key figure in establishing the organization preceding the current Insulin for Life USA in Oklahoma City. Indeed in working with that group, amongst her activities were to develop public awareness for the program, build communication efforts, identify sources for domestic donation of supplies, designating potential sites for distribution of donations, and evaluating medical ethics and need. Today, she continues in these activities. She has been an Insulin for Life Australia and Insulin for Life Global Board Member since 2000. This, alongside of serving as an Advisory Board Member for Life for a Child.
Francine Kaufman, M.D., Vice President
Dr. Kaufman has devoted more than three decades to the mission of improving the lives of people with diabetes. Her expertise in pediatric type 1 diabetes is exemplified through her involvement with multiple for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including service on their Board of Directors. A former President of the American Diabetes Association, Dr. Kaufman has served as a delegate to the World Health Organization and was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine. In addition, she has experience with multiple academic research efforts and patient care initiatives (including international based efforts), currently serves as Chief Medical Officer of Medtronic Diabetes, and carries a defined leadership role with the Medtronic Foundation.
Neal Kaufman, M.D., MPN
For over three decades, Dr. Kaufman has provided services and supports to people with diabetes including diabetes camps, international missions, and public policy/advocacy and developing educational approaches to enhance patient self-management. Dr. Kaufman has extensive experience with non-profit management and grant writing. His service to Insulin for Life USA includes providing input into strategic direction for the organization, especially in the areas of Web-design, public awareness and communications. He is also involved in the identification of potential sites for distribution of donations, evaluation of medical ethics and need.
Marie joined Health Advances in 1998 with extensive experience in the biotech industry. In her more than one hundred client projects at Health Advances, she has focused on guiding management through business and scientific analyses regarding product development, market positioning, portfolio optimization, business development, and corporate strategy. Her clients range from early-stage biotech companies to large pharmaceutical companies. Finally, as part of these efforts, Marie has worked extensively with a number of not for profit agencies, including the Helmsley Trust and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, providing guidance to research and therapeutic opportunities in type 1 diabetes.
Insulin for Life USA, Staff
Carol Atkinson is the Program Coordinator for Insulin for Life USA. Beyond this, she also serves as President of Hope on the Move, a not-for-profit that provides international medical and dental relief. For this latter effort, she has overseen the travel of over 300 medical and dental professionals, on approximately 20 foreign and domestic mission trips, over the last 12 years. She also serves as a Guardian Ad Litem in East Gainesville, Florida; organizes and provides public lectures on a variety of topics including relationships, family and marriage; and volunteering for a wide variety of local helps based organizations.
Tamir Ellis, Ph.D.
Dr. Ellis is the Director of Strategic Planning and Development for Insulin for Life USA. Dr. Ellis has spent nearly 25 years in medical, applied and basic research in the life sciences. His work includes over 100 peer reviewed publications, many of these focusing on type 1 diabetes. In addition to his academic interests he has over 30 years of service and leadership experience in not-for-profit and community based organizations.