National Eating Disorders Association Announces Inaugural ‘Feeding Hope Fund’ Grant Recipients

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$400,000 in Awards Presented for Research & Training in the Field
Based on Program Innovation and Clinical Impact

NEW YORK CITY — Oct. 11, 2013 — For Immediate Release — The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) announced today the inaugural grant recipients of $400,000 in awards from its recently launched Feeding Hope Fund for clinical research and training. 

The announcement comes as NEDA opens its 11th annual national conference, themed Of Monumental Importance: Directing the National Spotlight on Prevention, Treatment, Research & Policy, being held this year in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10-12. Programs are designed for individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Keynote speaker is Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, speaking as a father of a child affected by eating disorders.

The two awardees, which were selected by NEDA’s board of directors, will each receive two-year grants of $200,000 ($100,000 annually). Projects were selected based on an emphasis of program innovation and projected clinical impact.

The 2013 recipients are: Daniel LeGrange, PhD from the University of Chicago with the proposal entitled “Family Based-Treatment Without Borders: Utilizing Telemedicine to Deliver Family-Based Therapy (FBT).” This innovative study aims to address families’ need in remote, rural or underrepresented parts the United States by delivering Family-Based Therapy (FBT) via telemedicine (FBT-TM). It has been difficult to figure out methods to train therapists in evidence-based eating disorder treatments. FBT (also known as the Maudsley approach) has been shown to be effective for adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa. However, accessing FBT has proven challenging for the many families who do not reside near a FBT therapist. This study will determine whether FBT can be conducted via telemedicine right in a patient’s home.

The second winning grant proposal comes from Denise Wilfley, PhD from Washington University in St. Louis with the proposal entitled “Harnessing Technology for Training Therapists to Deliver Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).” Researchers will develop an online training platform for IPT and conduct a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility and accessibility of this approach. This study will examine whether the power of the internet can be utilized to train therapists to deliver a proven interpersonal psychotherapy for Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder.

Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of NEDA, stated “We would like to congratulate the recipients of the first grants to be presented by NEDA’s Feeding Hope Fund for clinical research and training and to thank them for their innovation and their dedication to the vision of a world without eating disorders. Their work is making the best use of today for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Added NEDA board member Walter Kaye, M.D., “These are two excellent studies, which will improve treatment availability for people with eating disorders.”

Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health  commented,  “Because they have the highest mortality rates of all mental disorders, further research to better understand eating disorders is critical. Research is our best hope for effective prevention and even better treatments in the future.”

Patrick J. Kennedy, former congressman concluded, “I have always felt that eating disorders suffer the most persistent discrimination with the mental health community in both insurance coverage and in research funding. I commend NEDA for raising awareness to these issues and for setting the stage for progress.”

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. Eating disorders are bio-psycho-social illnesses with potentially life-threatening consequences. Despite the severity and prevalence, research funding in this field is severely lacking.

The Feeding Hope Fund was announced in February during NEDA’s 26th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  The program raises restricted funds for awarding grants to qualified clinical researchers and experts.  Projects funded will either develop and test new treatments or provide training on established evidence-based treatments to fellow clinicians.  This project is in direct response to seriously underfunded clinical research and training in the field of eating disorders. 

Although serious and potentially life-threatening, the ability to gain insight into the cause behind the disease will lead to improved prevention and treatment options and ultimately a potential cure. And you can help! All levels of giving will receive exclusive invitations to updates and events, an annual report on updates and recipients, listing on the website and a commemorative pin.

To help support the Feeding Hope Fund or to apply for a research grant, visit www.myneda.org/feedinghopefund  or contact Terry Marks at feedinghopefund@nationaleatingdisorders.org or 212-575-6200, ext. #307.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.MyNEDA.org 

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For Treatment Referrals, Visit www.MyNEDA.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline:  800-931-2237
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (EST)
Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)

Contacts:    

Greenleaf & Associates — 323-660-5800
Vicki Greenleaf — vicki@greenleafandassociates.com
Kelly Williams — kelly@greenleafandassociates.com

Available for Interviews:

  • Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of NEDA.
  • Walter Kaye, MD, NEDA board member, co-chair of the Research Advisory Council and renowned eating disorders researcher.
  • Evelyn Attia, MD, NEDA board member and renowned eating disorders researcher.
  • Doctors, psychologists & other eating disorder treatment specialists throughout the country.
  • Recovered eating disorder patients.