Director of Programs
Melanie grew up in Los Angeles, California and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (Wash U), where she studied Psychology, Spanish, and Children’s Studies. Melanie is currently pursuing a dual Master of Social Work/Master of Social Policy at the Brown School of Social Work at Wash U, where she is focusing on education policy and working with children, youth, and families. In 2012, Melanie joined AYUDA as a volunteer in Ecuador and served as a Volunteer Mentor in the Dominican Republic for the Campo Amigo program the following three summers. Melanie worked as a Program Leader during the summer of 2016 for both the Campo Amigo and En El Camino programs. Melanie subsequently joined AYUDA as a Staff member in the fall of 2016. She is excited to continue to be a part of the great work AYUDA does.
Director of Operations
Arianna grew up in Tucson, Arizona, graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2017 with a BS in Human Biology and Theatre, and is currently working towards attending medical school. As an undergraduate at UCSD, Arianna was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She subsequently founded the university's first chapter of the College Diabetes Network and served as president for three years. In 2016, Arianna joined AYUDA as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic and served as a Volunteer Mentor-in-Training the following summer for the Campo Amigo program. She is excited to continue working with AYUDA as a Staff member to maintain AYUDA's mission to empower youth to be agents of change and help diabetes communities around the world.
2020 Leadership Team
Board of Directors
Nicolas Cuttriss, MD, MPH, FAAP | Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board
Clinical Assistant Professor & Lead for Global Health Pediatric Endocrinology | Department of Pediatrics and Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Stanford University School of Medicine
Pediatric Endocrinologist | ENDO Diabetes & Wellness
Dr. Nick Cuttriss, a Washington, D.C. native, co-founded AYUDA at the age of fourteen with his friend Jesse Fuchs-Simon during their freshman year at Georgetown Day High School. The two traveled to Ecuador where they met a family that had exhausted all of its funds paying for a child’s insulin and diabetes supplies. After discovering that few families in the country had any information about how to manage diabetes, Dr. Cuttriss and Jesse founded AYUDA. In Ecuador, Dr. Cuttriss witnessed the lack of education among kids and families living with diabetes. He also witnessed the power of youth in overcoming education barriers and serving as agents of change to empower youth with diabetes to live happier and healthier lives. Those two initial observations continue to play into Dr. Cuttriss’ focus within AYUDA and his medical career.
Dr. Cuttriss received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical and public health degrees from the George Washington University School of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and his fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the Jackson Memorial Hospital-University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Program where he also served on faculty in public health sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine during and after his training. After completing his training, Dr. Cuttriss focused his attention towards better understanding disparities in care in diabetes and alternative approaches to providing a more practical and efficient model of delivery of care and empowerment to children and their families who are dealing with chronic pediatric endocrine conditions. Dr. Cuttriss founded ENDO Diabetes & Wellness and also served as the pediatric endocrinologist at the Project ECHO Institute and Department of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. In 2018, Dr. Cuttriss joined Stanford University School of Medicine and now serves as faculty in pediatric endocrinology and leads the division in global health initiatives. Dr.
Cuttriss is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric endocrinologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Cuttriss has published articles on AYUDA’s impact and programs, he is a frequent speaker at international and national professional meetings, and he serves on several boards and advisory committees. As a practicing pediatric endocrinologist, Dr. Cuttriss supports underserved communities in the United States and globally. Dr. Cuttriss continues to help guide and direct AYUDA by serving as its Chairman of the Board.
Marsha Basloe | Board Member
Board member Marsha Basloe began as President of Child Care Services Association (CCSA) in Chapel Hill, NC in January 2018 after being a Senior Advisor for the Office of Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CCSA is a nationally recognized nonprofit working to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality early care and education for all children and families. The organization accomplishes its mission through direct services, research, and advocacy. Before joining HHS, Marsha served as the executive director of the Early Care & Learning Council, the statewide Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency for New York State’s 37 CCR&R agencies, where she was a member of the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Council. Prior to New York, she was in North Carolina as the executive director of Durham’s Partnership for Children, the county non-profit agency that implemented North Carolina’s early childhood Smart Start initiative. Earlier experience includes more than 20 years as an educator, program director, resource development director, and executive director.
Marsha became involved with AYUDA when her daughter Laurie Basloe, who is living with Type 1 diabetes, participated as a volunteer in Ecuador. The experience impacted Laurie’s life and work as she continued to incorporate the youth empowerment model in her teaching experience, raising awareness about diabetes and supporting AYUDA. Marsha joined the board in December 2014. She looks forward to participating in this important work and hopes her non-profit experience will be valuable in this position.
Benno C. Schmidt III | Board Member
Emmy-nominated broadcast news veteran Benno C. Schmidt III has reported around the world, with a recent emphasis on the challenges and triumphs of those living with diabetes. Benno has written extensively about his own diabetes journey, after being diagnosed in college and nearly dying. He anchored dLife on CNBC for years and recently shared his struggles with complications in a series of videos to help others know there’s hope. Benno was named a "Diabetes Champion" in 2014 by dLife and is host of DRI-TV for the Diabetes Research Institute in South Florida’s as the D.R.I. for a biological cure. He’s a diabetes patient advocate for Boston Scientific. In 2015, Benno traveled with AYUDA to Haiti with the Camp de l'Amitie Program as a skilled volunteer.
Martin Lafontaine | Board Member
Born and raised in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, a graduate from University du Quebec in Trois-Rivieres, and since employee of the pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline, Martin has more than 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, where he had the opportunity to occupy various roles within Canada as well as at the International level, developing strong cross-functional commercial expertise. More recently, Martin has used his skills to launch the UK based NGO Project Hope United Kingdom, a new initiative in South African soil, and the Thoughtful Path Munsieville, a revolutionary program aiming at developing a fully integrated model of excellence in the care for orphans and other vulnerable children, based on community empowerment. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13, Martin’s personal and professional interests are focused on diabetes and the worldwide need for more optimal care. He dedicates his free time to inspiring and challenging his peers with diabetes to free themselves from self-imposed limitations and supporting their efforts to live long, happy, active, and limitless lives! On top of his role as a member of the AYUDA Board of Directors, Martin also serves on the Board of Directors of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, the world's first organization dedicated to tackling the unmet psychological needs of people with diabetes. His motto… life should be lived without limits!
Jake Rosenberg | Board Member
Jake was born in Cherry Hill, NJ. He became involved with AYUDA after meeting Nick Cuttriss and Jesse Fuchs-Simon at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Health Care Management and Health Care Systems. After attending multiple AYUDA camps, where he helped write the camp songs, Jake graduated college and worked in healthcare finance while pursuing music at night. He wanted to be more hands on in medicine and decided to go to medical school, graduating in 2012. He is currently in his psychiatry residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, where he enjoys working with patients and developing educational tools for doctors and patients alike.
Kim Morse | Board Member
Honorary Board Members
Jesse Fuchs-Simon, Esq
Jesse Fuchs-Simon, a Washington D.C. native who attended Georgetown Day School, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in History and Sociology of Science. He received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador, where he worked on a World Health Organization research program involving Type I diabetes. Jesse has guided AYUDA's activities in countries around the world. He used to practice law in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and now helps build hotels.
Adam Jason Ross, MPA/ID
Adam served as Vice President and member of the Board of Directors for over a decade, starting in 1997. He is extremely grateful for his experience with AYUDA and the opportunity to contribute to such a worthy cause. His tenure with AYUDA was the catalyst for his career in international development, which included working as an Economist at the World Bank and as a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Adam earned his BSc. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and MPA in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School. He now lives in India.
Jenny Osterhout, MA
Jenny Osterhout is a Washington D.C. native who attended Georgetown Day School, graduated from Duke University, and received her Masters degree in International Affairs and Development at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. She has been a part of AYUDA since 2003, when she spent the summer living and volunteering in Ecuador. Jenny currently works as an associate at McKinsey and Company in New York and Mexico City.