Harriet Edwards, MSW/MSG, Executive Director
Harriet has been an Executive Director in the Los Angeles area since 2003. She moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to get her Masters’ Degrees- a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Gerontology from University of Southern California.
Her background includes working with Hospice, people with Alzheimer’s in a residential setting, well Senior Citizens, people with End Stage Kidney Disease, and young adults with Autism. She has many years of working with caregivers and families of these people. She has served on Board of Directors for several local nonprofit organizations and on a National Board of Directors for the Forum of ESRD Networks. In her career as an Executive Director, she has trained, and led Boards of Directors through the process of creating and instituting a Strategic Plan and created and conducted community outreach projects. If she is not working, you will find her playing softball!
Emily Dame, M.Ed., Director of Education & Training
Emily has experience working with individuals with many different special needs including PWS and providing counseling services to individuals and families. Ms. Dame received a BA in Psychology in 2009 and earned High Honors when completing her M.Ed. in Applied Behavioral Studies with Professional Counseling in 2012. She is passionate about advocating for prevention, psychoeducation, and equality for those with disabilities. Emily looks forward to helping those with PWS learn the essential daily living, communication, and interpersonal skills they need to achieve their goals. She believes that “living with vulnerability gives us the ability to give and receive unconditional love.”
Katherine Crawford, Graphic Designer
Katherine has over a decade of respite care experience working with United Cerebral Palsy and similar organizations. Her connections with Prader-Willi syndrome started early: when she was four years old, her brother was born with PWS. As a sibling, she brings a unique perspective to the Prader-Willi California Foundation team. Though she moved out of California, Katherine continues to serve PWCF and the PWS community as our Graphic Designer.
Theresa McGrath, PWS Residential Training Consultant
As a PWS group home operator, Theresa has tremendous experience with all issues concerning PWS residential care. She brings this expertise to her training of California’s professionals who serve persons with PWS, be they residential staff, vocational and day program staff, as well as Regional Center staff. Theresa has an adult sister with PWS.
Fran Moss, Board Member Emeritus; Newsletter Editor
Having served 10 years as PWCF’s Executive Director (1992-2002), Fran now co-chairs PWCF’s Residential Services Committee which visits each of California’s group homes that serve persons with PWS, providing liaison between home owners, house managers, residents, families, and the PWCF Board of Directors. Fran also provides oversight of PWCF’s quarterly newsletter. Fran has an adult daughter with PWS.
Jill Nowak-Przygodzki, R.D., CDE, Nutritional Consultant
Jill Nowak-Przygodzki is a registered dietician who has been working with patients at Children’s Hospital Orange County since 2004. She is a member of the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes multidisciplinary team and provides nutrition education to patients including meal planning, weight management and behavior modification for variety of disease states including Prader-Willi syndrome, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator and holds a Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management. Jill is a long-time, invaluable member of the PWS Clinic at CHOC where she provides much-needed nutritional consultation guidance and services to families.
Sheila Umeda, MSW, Social Work Consultant
Sheila Umeda has a Bachelors in Social Work with a minor in Psychology from Pacific Union College, Angwin CA (1992), and has a Masters in Social Work with honors from California State University, San Bernardino (2004). Professionally, she has extensive experience in areas of case planning and management working with adolescents, adults, seniors, and their families in varied health care and social service settings. During her social work career, she was employed as a Consumer Services Coordinator at Inland Regional Center, advocating for support services and community integration to individuals with special needs. Sheila is proud to be part of the PWCF team and enjoys providing social work support to families.
Julie Casey, Webmaster & Social Media Manager (volunteer)
Julie holds a Bachelor’s in Behavioral Sciences and a Masters in Organizational Management. She lives with her husband Dan and their son Ryan in Burbank. Julie served on the PWCF Board of Directors from 2007 – 2015, serving as Secretary from 2008 – 2010 and then President from mid-2010 until the end of 2015 when she reached term limits and stepped off the board for a year before returning in 2017. Julie helped re-vamp the website in 2012 and recently worked with our new web host to redesign it again in November 2015. Julie started PWCF’s Facebook page in 2010 and our Twitter page in 2012 and continues to manage both.
June-Anne Gold M.D, MRCPCH, DCH, RGN, RMN, Medical Adviser
Dr. Gold is the mother of four grown-up children and grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters and a new grandson. She is a clinical geneticist initially trained in the U.K at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London hospital, London. Her specialist training is in pediatrics and genetics in London and Oxford. She moved to the USA with her husband Jon and two of her four children in 2004 for Jon’s work. She has an interest in rare diseases and their natural history. Her passion has been for individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome and the challenges they and their families face. She completed my genetics training in USA at UC-Irvine and her research has all been in PWS. She won the WSPR David W. Smith Trainee Research award for PWS research which she presented in February 2010. She is currently working as an Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Division of Genetics at Loma Linda University Medical Center CA where she sees patients in clinical genetics and teaches genetics to medical students. Additionally Dr. Gold works as an Associate Professor at University of California – Irvine, where she also leads the only PWS Adult Clinic in California. Dr. Gold served on the PWCF board for 6 years, and still serves as a Board member for the International Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (IPWSO).
Lisa Graziano, M.A., Newsletter Editor (volunteer)
Lisa Graziano served as PWCF’s Executive Director from 2003 – May of 2017. Though she has stepped down from this position, she continues to help the organization by writing our quarterly newsletter, leading behavioral management workshops, and chairing the HCBS committee. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the national Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA), and a former executive director of the Southern California Psychiatric Society, a chapter of the American Psychiatric Association. Ms. Graziano has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a college-aged son who has Prader-Willi syndrome.