DTC Medical Team
Dr. Matthew Corcoran, MD, CDE, ACSM Exercise Specialist
Diabetes Training Camp Founder, President and CEO and Medical Director
“When I started practicing, it struck me that in medicine, we are working at the wrong end of diabetes. We are constantly busting our humps to treat people very quickly in clinics – trouble-shooting and taking care of complications. I started working hard to educate and advocate for the behavior change needed to tackle the type 2 diabetes epidemic, and at the same time, I was also working with 15-20 recreational athletes with type 1 diabetes who were training for the Chicago Marathon. It was then when I realized how much passion I had for diabetes management and exercise. It was clear that people living with diabetes were short-changed when it came to learning about preventative measures and healthy living, and there was little overlap between the world of exercise and the world of diabetes.
These experiences motivated me to create DTC and give people with diabetes what they really need to achieve fitness goals. With DTC, people living with diabetes have the opportunity to experience a life-changing environment filled with opportunities to learn, train and connect with others who share the desire for living well with diabetes. There are very few opportunities for people with diabetes to surround themselves with a team of experts like the experts I have working with me at DTC. The team is incredibly skilled, experts in their fields, is hand-selected, and I’ve been privileged to work with most for the past 6 years. Together, we help those living with diabetes gain the knowledge, ability and confidence to achieve their dreams, unlock the athlete inside and live fulfilling, active lives.
Each summer my staff and I are privileged to spend another week with amazing campers from around the country and world. It only takes moments with our campers to appreciate how fortunate we are that they come to us looking for something different. No matter what their individual fitness goal, each camper has recognized that they are ready for camp, that they can do this, and they motivate each other to succeed. I think that’s what keeps them coming back for more, and it certainly keeps me and the team coming back! I can’t think of anyplace I’d rather be.
DTC is a unique, innovative and inspirational camp experience for adults and teens living with diabetes. As a fulltime endocrinologist and exercise specialist, my work is fueled by the passion to help people with diabetes realize fitness goals and athletic dreams.
JJ Linder, MD
Medical Team Lead
JJ was diagnosed with T1 diabetes in his last year of college, just a couple of months before starting medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. He first attended DTC as a camper in 2009 and has since joined the staff as medical lead. He is thrilled to join the DTC staff because he had so much fun at camp, made lifelong friendships with staff and other campers and learned so much sustainable and valuable information about managing his diabetes that he wanted to be at camp every single year. JJ has worked as an Emergency Medicine Physician for last 16 years and is currently working in the ER’s at Chandler Regional Medical Center and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, both in suburban Phoenix, AZ. JJ’s wife Nina and kids Kara and Luke are the center of his life. He loves being with his family, RV camping,, traveling to his kids fencing tournaments, woodworking, learning to weld, cycling and short triathlons.
He also makes a point to say that he loves the DTC community because they have been life changing and have been a great support network of motivated
successful people with diabetes.
FUN FACT about JJ – When he retires he wants to raise alfalfa hay, travel in a motor home just exploring America and collecting stories.
Fran Damian, MS, RN NEA-BC
Fran has lived north of Boston her entire life. She received her master’s degree in nursing administration from Northeastern university and works as the Nursing Director in the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Fran was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her early 30’s. About 10 years after that, her father died from complications of Type 1. In an effort to honor her father and support diabetes research, she began participating in fundraising events with the ADA. She participated in 2 full and 6 half marathon’s to benefit diabetes research. The past two years she has participated in the ADA New England Classic 150 mile two day bike ride to support research and also to financially assist families of children with type 1 diabetes attend Camp Carefree in New Hampshire.
Fran has been a camper at DTC twice and has found each experience to enrich her life through the education, access to expert resources, and lasting relationships developed with campers and staff. She enjoys all kinds of exercise and learning about new ways to enhance health and wellness.
Robert Powell, PhD, CDE, CEP
Robert Powell joined the DTC team in 2013. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology and the Director of the Diabetes Exercise Center at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Prior to this, Rob worked at the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute (UPDI) for 9 years as a Manager and Researcher for community based programs involving diabetes, obesity and physical activity. During the latter part of his time there, he worked as a diabetes educator in the primary care setting. Throughout his years with UPDI, Rob received both his MS and his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Rob also holds the credentials of Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), ACSM, Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) and NSCA, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Rob’s professional ambition is to enhance the promotion of exercise as a therapeutic modality to the diabetes population and to educate both students and healthcare professionals on the role of exercise in diabetes management.
Rob has a personal passion for exercise. In the warmer months, you can usually find him cycling, running or kayaking. When snow falls, he likes to strap on the skis and snowshoes. However, when he is not working or playing, he enjoys spending his time with his wonderful family.