This course opens on .

For this webinar series, participants will automatically be enrolled in all 5 sessions.


  • Mary Bennett, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, MassGeneral Hospital for Children
  • Alessandra Caruso, Ph.D., Instructor, Harvard Medical School; Licensed Psychologist, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, Boston.
  • Maysa Kaskas, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital; Pediatric Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Shriners Hospital for Children-Boston
  • Maria Theodorakakis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Practice, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College; Licensed Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

This webinar series provides an overview of the prevalent chronic medical conditions faced by children and adolescents, including strategies for addressing the academic and socioemotional impacts of chronic medical conditions, and recommendations for collaborating with families, outpatient providers, and hospital-based staff. Key contextual and developmental considerations will be discussed. 

To receive PDPs and CEUs, participants must attend all 5 sessions and successfully pass a quiz following Session 5. Following the live webinar, registrants will be emailed a link to view the recorded webinar. The recording will be made available for 7 days after each session. If you are not eligible for PDPs and/or CEUs, you may apply for a Certificate of Attendance.

This session offers an overview of the prevalent medical diagnoses that students in K-12 school settings are managing, including Type 1 Diabetes, food allergies, gastrointestinal illnesses, and others. Information will be provided about common challenges faced by youth and families at new diagnosis and over time. Specific developmental and contextual considerations will be discussed. 

This session offers recommendations for collaboration with all members of the student’s comprehensive team. This will include an overview of the structure of hospital-based teams and roles of hospital-based staff, strategies for working with outpatient teams (including therapists, psychiatrists, feeding therapists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists), and information related to parent and family involvement and engagement. 

This session offers information about the many and varied ways a student’s chronic medical condition can impact their experience and performance in school. Strategies for supporting students in school will be provided, with an emphasis on implementing helpful accommodations via 504 plans and IEPs. 

This session offers information about the many and varied ways a student’s chronic medical condition can impact their social and emotional wellbeing. The discussion will include topics such as medical trauma and common co-morbid mental health conditions. Recommended interventions will be reviewed in detail. 

This final session offers participants an opportunity to directly apply key concepts from the webinar series to their unique school context and unique role in their school community. Participants will be asked to share case examples and common challenges. 

About the Speakers

Mary Bennett, LICSW, (she/her) is a Clinical Social Worker at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Mary is a 2014 graduate of Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. Her experience includes working with children and their families in mental health, juvenile justice, school, and medical settings. She is the clinical social worker in Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Her clinical work focuses on psychosocial issues related to chronic illness, mental health assessment and intervention, and in supporting patients in transitioning from pediatric to adult medicine. She is involved in program development to support endocrine patients.

Alessandra Caruso, Ph.D., (she/her) is a licensed pediatric psychologist whose research and clinical expertise center on pediatric chronic illness management. Dr. Caruso is particularly interested in fostering motivation, self-regulation, and effective parenting practices for children diagnosed with chronic illnesses and their families. Dr. Caruso practices at both Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and at Shriners Children’s Hospital-Boston in the following clinics/departments: Integrated Pediatric Primary Care, Endocrinology (Type 1 diabetes, weight management), inpatient and outpatient pediatric burn; she also carries an outpatient caseload supporting illness management around a number of pediatric chronic medical conditions. Dr. Caruso also provides supervision to psychology trainees.

Maysa Kaskas, Ph.D., (she/her) is a licensed pediatric psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Shriners Children’s Hospital-Boston. She works with youth and their families through the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program in the Child/Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic; through Pediatric Sleep Medicine; the multidisciplinary Toilet Training Clinic with Pediatric Gastroenterology; the Gender Identity Program through Child CBT; and the Craniofacial/Cleft Palate Program in partnership with Shriners. She also provides supervision and didactic support to psychology trainees.

Maria Theodorakakis, Ph.D., (she/her) is a licensed psychologist with clinical expertise in supporting children, adolescents, and families. She is an Assistant Professor of the Practice with the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Dr. Theodorakakis is also a staff psychologist in Pediatric Behavioral Medicine with the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she works with youth managing chronic medical conditions. She previously worked as a school counselor in the Boston area. Her research interests center on addressing systemic inequality by increasing access to holistic supports for all youth and addressing the impact of non-academic factors on children’s learning. 

Membership Information

Most MPY webinars are available ONLY to current staff from member districts and organizations. Public school memberships include police and fire personnel. Former and retired employees and members of committees, including but not limited to, PTO/PTA, PAC, School Improvement Councils, Health Councils, Drug/Alcohol Councils, and school volunteers, are not considered MPY members.

PDPs and CEUs

MPY is an approved Professional Development Provider through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (Provider No. F20180079). Professional Development Points (PDPs) are offered for most MPY professional development webinars. PDPs are issued in 10 hour increments, per DESE requirements.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for clinical staff through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association, Inc. (MaMHCA). The NASW and the MaMHCA approve each event individually. CEUs may be given in hourly increments.

Event Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to attend a MPY webinar you must cancel, through Bonnie Mullen at, one business day before the webinar.

For MPY hybrid conferences, the date in-person registration closes will be posted on MPY’s website. Virtual conference registration will close one business day before the hybrid conference. You cannot cancel or switch your registration from in-person to virtual after in-person registration closes. Please email Bonnie Mullen at with any questions regarding registration.

  • Enrollment in this course closed on 01/29/2024.

If you are seeking to receive CEUs and/or PDPs, please click Register Now. Once you complete the webinar series, you will be able to take quizzes for CEUs and/or PDPs. Upon completion of each quiz, you will receive a certificate.

All sessions are 9:30 – 11:30 am

  • Session 1: January 29, 2024, Overview of Prevalent Medical Diagnoses Our Students are Managing
  • Session 2: February 12, 2024, Recommendations for Effective Collaboration with Hospital-Based Staff, Outpatient Providers, and Families 
  • Session 3:  February 26, 2024, Addressing the Impact of Chronic Medical Conditions on Students’ School Performance 
  • Session 4: March 11, 2024, Addressing the Impact of Chronic Medical Conditions on Students’ Socioemotional Wellbeing 
  • Session 5: March 25, 2024, Application of Key Concepts to Your Unique School Context