Chicagoland Down Syndrome Medical Care & Research Conference | Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Chicagoland Down Syndrome Medical Care & Research Conference

What is the connection between Down syndrome and immune system disorders? Alzheimer’s Disease? Cancer? How can we improve health outcomes and lifespan for children and adults with Down syndrome through research and medical care?

Five nationally renowned speakers—Keith Smith, a Senior Professional Research Assistant at the Linda Crnic Institute in Dr. Joaquin Espinosa’s lab, Dr. Dennis McGuire, LCSW and expert in mental wellness and behavioral health for adults with Down syndrome, Dr. Melissa Parisi, Chief of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Bryn Gelaro, LSW with a background in behavioral health for adults with Down syndrome, and Michelle Anderson, a self-advocate and public speaker for the National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS)—will be presenting at this important conference. What’s the latest and how individuals and families can help!

If you are a self-advocate, or if you have a family member or friend with Down syndrome this conference is for you.

About the Speakers


 

headshot_0003_crnic-staff_0003_smith-keith

Keith Smith

As Manager of the Human Trisome Project (HTP) Biobank, Keith Smith is responsible for coordinating the process of clinical specimens obtained from study participants. Keith started at the Linda Crnic Institute as a Senior Professional Research Assistant in 2015 to help launch the HTP. The HTP aims to be the largest and most comprehensive study of individuals with Down syndrome, including extensive characterization at the clinical, physiological, cellular and molecular levels. More in-depth information regarding the project can be found at trisome.org.

 headshot_0002_dennis-mcguire

Dr. Dennis McGuire, LCSW

Dr. McGuire is a Down syndrome behavioral expert with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of mental health and developmental disabilities. He is the former Director of Psychosocial Services for the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago, the largest, most prestigious clinic for adults with Down syndrome in the United States. He helped establish the center, which serves over 4,000 unique adult patients with Down syndrome each year. Dr. McGuire keynotes at events around the world and is the co-author of two prominent books about promoting wellbeing in adults with Down syndrome: Mental Wellness of Adults with Down Syndrome (2006), and The Guide to Good Health for Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome (2011), both by Woodbine House. He received the National Down Syndrome Congress Theodore D. Tjossem Research Award in 2003 and the World Down Syndrome Day Scientific Award in 2010. McGuire continues to see couples, families, and individuals in a private practice in the Chicago area. Dr. McGuire received his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his master degree from the University of Chicago.

 headshot_0002_headshot

Bryn Gelaro, LSW

Bryn Gelaro, LSW, is a consultant for Global’s adult initiatives, including the medical care guidelines for adults with Down syndrome, and a social worker specializing in mental health in adults with Down syndrome.

headshots_0000_sr-9-2

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson is 22 years old and lives in Naperville, Illinois. Following her graduation from Naperville School District 203 in 2013, she completed the Connections transition program and has continued her education at the College of DuPage. As a National Association for Down Syndrome Self Advocate Public Speaker, Michelle has presented to students and staff at schools, colleges, hospitals and organizations sharing her life experiences to help others learn more about people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. Besides public speaking, she volunteers at events in her community and is employed at Aurelio’s Pizza and the Naperville Park District. Michelle actively participates in Western DuPage Special Recreation Association programs and Special Olympics athletics. In addition to yoga classes she enjoys Bunco, Book Club, Young Life Capernaum, theatre, dance and traveling to visit family and friends.

headshot_0003_headshot_parisi

Dr. Melissa Parisi

Dr. Melissa A. Parisi is the chief of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH). She joined the NICHD in October 2008, and currently oversees the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers program at NICHD. Prior to moving to NIH, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she was active as a clinical geneticist and as a researcher in the field of congenital malformations of the human hindbrain, specifically Joubert syndrome and related disorders. In her clinical practice in the states of Washington and Alaska, Dr. Parisi was involved in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of children and adults with genetic syndromes, chromosomal disorders, and developmental disabilities. Dr. Parisi also served as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joubert Syndrome and Related Disorders Foundation.