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SparkPro Training is designed to help Coaches increase their knowledge and skills to provide improved services for patients and further their careers. In addition, we connect businesses and organizations with trained and certified coaches to deliver world class care.
Kaye Kramer, DrPh, MPH, RN is the Chief Science Officer of Spark360, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Previously, as the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Prevention Support Center (DPSC) for more than a decade, Dr. Kramer's work focused on translational research in the community; specifically implementing and evaluating an adaptation of the lifestyle intervention shown to be effective in a large National Institutes of Health funded clinical research trial, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). In her current role, Dr. Kramer continues to focus on evidence-based population health promotion and disease prevention, with a specific emphasis on diabetes and cardiovascular risk reduction; she has multiple publications in the field of diabetes prevention, lifestyle intervention and community translation. Dr. Kramer also leads SparkPro Training efforts in offering training and education for providers across the US, and is part of the team that delivers the virtual and in-person SparkPro Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach Training and DPP Master Training.
Julie Frischkorn, MSW, LCSW, is the Director of Behavioral Health and Mindfulness with Spark360. Her background is in psychotherapy having worked with individuals and families in residential facilities and private practice settings. Julie earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College, is a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator and a Registered Yoga Teacher. Julie has been teaching and training in classrooms, non-profits, and corporations for the past 15 years. Stepping out of the office has allowed Julie to build community partnerships, de-stigmatize mental health services, and provide wider access to resources for emotional wellbeing. Julie delivers the Mental Health First Aid Training and Intercultural Competency Workshops.
Andrea M. Kriska, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health. She is a physical activity epidemiologist who has guided many NIH studies in the areas of both physical activity assessment and lifestyle intervention. Dr. Kriska led the development of the physical activity component of the original Diabetes Prevention Project (DPP) lifestyle intervention curriculum as part of the national DPP Lifestyle Resource Core at the University of Pittsburgh. She continues her involvement in physical activity intervention and assessment in the DPP Outcomes Study, and has maintained a similar role in several other multi-center and single site studies. With a focus and passion towards prevention, Dr. Kriska is PI of an NIDDK study involving the translation of the DPP’s successful behavioral intervention into diverse community settings ranging from senior centers and the worksite to the military. Dr. Kriska is known for her work in minority health since much of her research and service efforts have focused on underserved populations in which prevention efforts are most needed. Dr. Kriska is part of the team that delivers the virtual and in-person SparkPro Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach Training and DPP Master Training.
Linda N. Semler, MS, RD, LDN is a Senior Research Manager for various research studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, Department of Health and Physical Activity, Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center. Linda has over 25 years of experience implementing behavioral weight management programs for group and individual lifestyle interventions. She was an interventionist at the Pittsburgh Clinical Site for DPP, the Nutrition Coordinator for DPPOS, and served on the study's Lifestyle Resource Core and the Lifestyle Advisory Group. Linda is the Nutrition Coordinator for the Diabetes Prevention Support Center where she addresses nutrition related issues and assists in training and supporting the efforts of those who are delivering DPP Group Lifestyle Balance. Linda is part of the team that delivers the virtual and in-person SparkPro Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach Training and DPP Master Training.
Elizabeth M. Venditti, PhD is the Director of the Diabetes Prevention Support Center, and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine with a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Venditti was an integral member of the DPP Lifestyle Resource Core since its inception in 1996 and served as its director from 2002-2015. She has extensive experience in the development, training, implementation and investigation of long-term behavioral weight management protocols for individual and group lifestyle interventions. Currently, Dr. Venditti is the principal investigator for the DPP Outcomes Study and a co- investigator on several other behavioral medicine and public health trials. She is also the principal investigator of an NIH-funded dissemination study. Dr. Venditti is representing Spark360 as part of the inaugural training class of the National DPP Group Lifestyle Coaching Skills Certificate Program. This certificate is a training initiative designed to enhance group lifestyle coaching competencies and spearheaded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the National Board for Health and Wellness and the National Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Venditti is part of the team that delivers the virtual and in-person SparkPro Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach Training and DPP Master Training.