National Eating Disorders Association

Given the current state of our world, NEDA recognizes the importance of prioritizing connection and community, which is why we are launching our new NEDA Connections series. Each day, we will join you via video for 10-20 minute check-ins, resources, activities, and presentations from various NEDA community leaders such as staff, volunteers, eating disorders professionals, and more. We recognize that everyone is managing their schedules as best we can in these times, so all content will be archived on this page and accessible after our live sessions.


Paula Edwards-Gayfield, LCMHCS, LPC, CEDS-S

Behind the Scenes — Being Different Makes a Difference: Eating Disorders Among Diverse Populations Webinar

Paula Edwards-Gayfield, LCMHCS, LPC, CEDS-S, is a Regional Assistant Vice President at The Renfrew Center, overseeing clinical and administrative operations at the Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Orlando, FL; Paramus, NJ; and West Palm Beach, FL locations. Additionally, she also serves as Co-Chair for Renfrew’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. A Licensed Professional Counselor in Oklahoma and LPC Supervisor in North Carolina, she received her Master’s degree in Counseling from the UNC at Charlotte. Ms. Edwards-Gayfield has extensive experience working with adolescents, adults and families, with special interest in the treatment of eating disorders, women’s issues, relationship concern, mood and anxiety disorders, and life adjustments. A National Certified Counselor, she is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Oklahoma Counseling Association, Oklahoma Eating Disorder Association, and certified with the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). Ms. Edwards-Gayfield is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences, primarily discussing eating disorders and diversity.

Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

Supporting a Sibling with an Eating Disorder through Songwriting

Jaeden Luke

Jaeden Luke has been singing, songwriting and performing since age 9, when he first picked up a guitar thanks to his fascination for the Beatles.  Growing up with these musical endeavors, Jaeden Luke took every opportunity to sing for anyone he ever met.  He went door to door in his neighborhood with his guitar to play a song for neighbors, and even wrote lyrics during school instead of doing homework!  Jaeden Luke’s latest single, Beautiful, is an inspiring song he wrote for his older sister, Kianna, who battled with an eating disorder (now fully recovered). This song shares the powerful message that despite the common doubts of self-worth, every individual is dignified and beautiful just the way they are.  Everyone is worthy to be loved without measure. Along with his single Beautiful, Jaeden Luke has two EP’s released on all platforms, and has lots of new music coming soon!  Find out more at

Kianna Garmanian

In May of 2020, Kianna graduated as Valedictorian from St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington and immediately accepted a full-time position as the Youth Director/Minister at her Church. As a writer, Kianna has her own monthly column in the largest Catholic magazine in the Seattle-area (“Northwest Catholic”) and is currently finishing up her new book, “The Cross that Set Me Free,” which describes her entire journey of recovering from an eating disorder and transformation with Christ, while also inviting others to unite their suffering and trials to Jesus and embark on a full journey of healing. Passionate about Christ, mental/physical health, and sharing her own journey, Kianna has spoken and led talks at various churches, universities, youth groups, and more, along with engaging on the radio, YouTube, and other social media platforms. Above all, through her speaking, writing, and advocacy work, the main message Kianna wishes to spread is this: “You are loved; You are worthy; You matter; You are beautiful!”

Carolyn Black Becker, PhD, ABPP

Food Insecurity and Eating Disorders

Carolyn Black Becker, PhD, ABPP is a Professor of Psychology at Trinity University and licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. Dr. Becker completed her PhD at Rutgers University, her clinical internship at Brown University, and her postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School. She is board certified in behavioral and cognitive therapy. Dr. Becker has published numerous peer-reviewed papers; she also co-authored Exposure for Eating Disorders published by Oxford University Press and two editions of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for PTSD: A Case Formulation Approach by Guilford Press. She is a fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Association for Psychological Science. In addition, she is a past residential fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Becker is a past president of both the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Academy for Eating Disorders; and has been elected to the board of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She has received numerous awards including the Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness granted by the National Eating Disorders Association, the Academy for Eating Disorders Research-Practice Partnership Award, and a Piper Professor Award from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. Dr. Becker’s work has been covered by a number of media outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and US News and World Report.

Justin Andrew Davis & Ryan Sheldon

Eating Disorders & Men: Representation in the Media

Justin andrew davis, actor, writer, & filmmaker

Justin Andrew Davis is an actor, writer, and filmmaker based in New York City. Recently, Justin's first feature film - Myth - was released on Amazon Prime, where he can be seen as lead character Alex, alongside co-stars Nicholas Tucci and Sadie Scott. You Look Great - a short film he wrote, directed, and starred in based on his personal experiences with eating disorders - has played at numerous festivals in New York City and across the country. The film has earned him several prestigious awards, including Best Actor from Winter Film Awards, Best Actor in a Short from Chain NYC Film Festival, and Outstanding Narrative Short from the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival. Other work includes a major role in Emmy-winner Erik Bloomquist’s award-winning horror short She Came From the Woods, as well as the lead in Michael Pizzano's microshort Say No to Drift Walking.

In addition to his film work, Justin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School and served as an Apprentice at the Barrow Group Theater Company.

Ryan sheldon, NEDA ambassador

A motivational speaker and brawn model, Ryan has been educating audiences about body image and binge eating disorder since his own diagnosis in 2015. Passionate about raising awareness of binge eating and body image issues as an Ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association, he has shared his story with the Today Show, Huffington Post, and Teen Vogue, among other outlets. An LGBTQ+ man living in a larger body, Ryan also speaks to teens about masculinity, identity, and body confidence. He is currently working on a book about his and other men's experiences learning to eat mindfully and love themselves just as they are. You can find Ryan on Instagram at @realryansheldon or at his blog

Dianne Bondy

Yoga for Everyone + "Just 10 Minutes" Practice

Dianne Bondy is a social justice activist, author, accessible yoga teacher, and the leader of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive approach to yoga empowers anyone to practice—regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability. Dianne is revolutionizing yoga by educating yoga instructors around the world on how to make their classes welcoming and safe for all kinds of practitioners. Dianne’s commitment to increasing diversity in yoga has been recognized in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition, as well as in speaking engagements at Princeton and UC Berkeley on Yoga, Race, and Diversity. Her writing is published in Yoga and Body Image Volume 1, Yoga Renegades, and Yes Yoga Has Curves.

Visit Dianne's website at

Promoting Inclusiveness During At-Home Workouts

Kerry O'Grady

Kerry O’Grady is the faculty director for the Master's in Public Relations and Corporate Communications program at Georgetown's School of Continuing Studies. She's also an Associate Professor of the Practice. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she spent eight years at NYU's School of Professional Studies, teaching in its M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication program. Within her full-time role at NYU, she acted as the faculty lead and clinical assistant professor of the program. During her tenure, she taught a variety of PR courses, including strategic communications, theory, history, and practice, integrated marketing,  practicum, and capstone. She also taught in NYU's continuing education program and high school academy.  In addition, she's held teaching appointments at the Fashion Institute of Technology and a guest lecturer role at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. 

A passionate fitness enthusiast, she is also the creator of #realtalk fitness blog KerryLeeintheCity (@kerryleeinthecity). She holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Journalism and English from UMass-Amherst and an M.S. Public Relations & Corporate Communication (with distinction) from NYU. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University, studying Leadership and Learning in Organizations.  

Leon Glover

Leon, originally a Miami native, is an actor and Dance & Cardio Fitness instructor based in New York. Upon leaving his undergrad (New World School of the Arts), he began work performing in a many a production and staged reading/workshop throughout the country. In times in which he is not performing, Leon hops on the other side of the table to join the creative team. Most recently Leon directed and choreographed AfterWork Theater’s production of Disney’s Newsies. Having many years of teaching experience under his belt, many of his students have gone on to be in Broadway and touring productions and admitted into wonderful college programs throughout the world. Currently, Leon can be found teaching with companies such as AfterWork Theater, Broadway’s Babies and the newest addition to the fitness and dance industry, Dance From Home, just to name a few. A message that he firmly believes in is, dance and fitness is for everybody and every body, so get on out there and shake a tailfeather. At the end of the day, if we’re not having fun, we as artists and instructors are not doing our job. Let’s find the joy and excitement and share it with the world.

Owoade Kadara Ayorinde

When Owoade (pronounced oh-WAH-day) isn’t out inspiring and empowering the youth of America, she’s dreaming of being a mermaid in the sea. This mama is magical and powerful all in one princess-sized package. She is a teaching artist, fitness trainer, and healing advocate who loves to dance and create with others. When you enter Owoade's class you are going to feel safe to let your alter ego run free! Her classes are a mix of an epic dance party and soulful empowerment session. She currently teaches live classes every week so be sure to give her a follow on instagram @Owoadek.

S. Bryn Austin, ScD

Social & Economic Cost of Eating Disorders in the United States

Dr. Austin is an award-winning researcher, teacher, and mentor. Her primary research is in the behavioral sciences and social epidemiology, addressing social and physical environmental influences on eating disorders risk, strategies for preventing eating disorders, and promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and development in youth in school and community settings. Her research on eating disorders, nutrition, and the environment includes work with the Planet Health, 5-2-1-Go!, and Healthy Choices studies, all middle-school-based interventions to promote healthful nutrition and physical activity; the Growing Up Today Study 1 & 2, U.S. national prospective cohort studies that combined include over 27,000 youth; and the National Eating Disorders Screening Program, a screening initiative conducted in over 100 high schools nationwide to promote early identification and treatment for adolescents with eating disorder symptoms. She published two analyses based on data from independent randomized controlled trials demonstrating the protective effect of the Planet Health curriculum on the development of disordered weight control behaviors in early adolescent girls. She also conducted a study with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health economist Li Yan Wang, MBA, to estimate the substantial cost savings that could be achieved through Planet Health’s eating disorders protective effect and another study with STRIPED Collaborating Mentors Davene Wright and Kendrin Sonneville demonstrating the cost effectiveness of school-based screening for eating disorders. She recently led a collaboration with Deloitte Access Economics and the Academy for Eating Disorders to produce the most comprehensive study of the social and economic burden of eating disorders in the U.S. She currently leads a program of research into policy approaches to advance primary prevention of eating disorders.

Dr. Austin is Immediate Past President of the board of directors of the Academy for Eating Disorders, Immediate Past President of the board of directors of the Eating Disorders Coalition and serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Eating Disorders and Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention.  In addition, her research interests include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adolescent health and reduction of sexual orientation and gender identity related health disparities. Dr. Austin received her ScD from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Veronica Graye & Maya Boyce

The Importance of Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry

Veronica Graye

Veronica Graye is an LA-based stylist specializing in branding and art direction. Graye has been working in the fashion industry for 13 years, transitioning to full time styling in 2014. As the cofounder of Archives from, a campaign driven clothing line that believes everyone is equal and should be treated and seen as such, Graye has been able to ensure each collection is inclusive to all gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, size, age, abilities, and socioeconomic class. Everything is made in LA by artists making a living wage in good working conditions.

Maya Boyce

Maya Boyce is a co-founder of the Cameron Boyce Foundation. She is a product development specialist at Archives and a recent high school graduate. She is also passionate about inclusion and intersectionality in the arts.

Kai Lightner & Meagan Martin

Professional Rock Climbing, Eating Disorders & Body Image

Kai Lightner

Kai Lightner is a professional rock climber who has personal experience with an eating disorder. Kai started climbing at age 6 and became the Open/Adult Lead Climbing National Champion in his first year of eligibility, at age 15. Throughout his career, Kai has won 12 National Championships (10 in youth categories; 2 in the adult circuit), and is a 5 time youth world championship medalist. As a student studying business management at Babson College, Kai aims to balance his studies while continuing to tackle new outdoor challenges and working with organizations focused on minority outreach in outdoor spaces.

Meagan Martin

Meagan Martin is a professional rock climber, ESPN commentator, Athleta model, star of American Ninja Warrior, and a former Division I Pole Vaulter at Vanderbilt University who currently lives in Sacramento, CA. As a professional climber, she has been a youth national champion, a 4x youth Team USA member, a multi-year Open Bouldering and Sport Climbing Nationals finalist, and a member of Team USA competing all over the world. In the last two years, Meagan began to shift her focus into the broadcasting realm and is the color commentator for all ESPN and USA Climbing events. As an elite athlete and a former climbing coach, Meagan has made it a point to promote body positivity within the climbing community.

Jada Michael, R&B Singer/Songwriter

Plus-Size, LGBTQ, and Black Representation in the Music Industry

Jada Michael is a LGBTQ R&B singer-songwriter and recently debuted her official video for “Freak” which has been praised by Billboard, V Magazine, Out Magazine and more. Without filter or fear, Jada Michael unapologetically projects a confident spirit within her music anchored in a body-positive, sex-positive, and self-positive presence. Jada’s music has amassed over two million streams independently and initial compositions “Beautiful” and “Special” caught the attention of many high-profile GRAMMY® Award-winning producers and musicians. Jada’s lead 2019 single “Breathe” tallied 1.1 million YouTube views and 244K Spotify streams with broadcast support from BET. On its heels, “Coolin It” put up 473K Spotify streams and counting.

When the Reno-born and Miami-based songstress grabs the microphone, all eyes immediately lock on her. Empowering audiences by wholeheartedly and courageously showing herself, Jada strives to represent plus-sized women, LGBTQ women, and black women. She is proud of her body type, sexuality and skin and wants her listeners to feel confident through her music.

Alicia Jo Rabins

Original Poetry by Alicia Jo Rabins

Alicia Jo Rabins is an award-winning writer, musician, performer and Torah teacher. The New York Times calls her voice “gorgeous”; the San Francisco Chronicle calls her writing “a poetry page-turner, both sexy and humble.” She is the author of Divinity School (winner of the 2015 APR/Honickman First Book Prize) and Fruit Geode (finalist for the 2018 Jewish Book Award), and has released three albums and accompanying study guides with Girls in Trouble, her indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah. Rabins lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, bassist Aaron Hartman, and their two children. Find her at

Norman Kim, PhD

Ways COVID-19 has Magnified the Challenges and Inequities for Marginalized Communities

Norman completed his B.A. at Yale University where he studied music and psychology, and was the recipient of a Mellon Fellowship for Research. He completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at UCLA, where he was the recipient of an individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health to study the neurobiologic underpinnings of emotion recognition and understanding in Autism. Most recently he has been involved in a multi-site study of the course and outcome of childhood bipolar disorder.

In conjunction with his research interests, Norman has developed an expertise in treating and teaching about psychiatrically complex populations, multi-modal treatment, and diagnostic assessment with a particular focus on Eating Disorders, Trauma, and Bipolar Disorder. While rooted firmly in empirically supported approaches, he has incorporated practices emphasizing somatosensory integration that draw from eastern and traditional medicine. He was the co-founder of the Reasons Eating Disorder Center and is a regular national speaker, educator, and advocate for eating disorder awareness. He has endeavored to develop a clinical approach that focuses on the exploration of meaning as a path to healing and that honors an individuals’ own narrative and journey.


Monika Ostroff, LICSW, CEDS-S

Self Care During COVID-19

Monika Ostroff, LICSW, CEDS-S is the Executive Director of the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association Inc (MEDA) She is nationally recognized for her 25+ years of experience and contributions to the field of eating disorders. She has directed several successful residential, partial hospital and intensive outpatient eating disorder programs in addition to having owned a thriving private practice. Monika is the co-author of Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery and a contributing author to Self-Harm Behavior and Eating Disorders. She has presented at many national conferences, taught at the university level, and appeared on several radio and television broadcasts.

Monika’s passion for treating eating disorders and mentoring other professionals was borne out of her own struggle and full recovery from what today is known as Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa. She strongly believes in providing compassionate care that combines alternative healing with evidence-based modalities. In addition to using meditation, yoga, and essential oils, she is certified in several alternative modalities and has recently teamed up with Dr. Patrick Porter to create an eating disorders recovery support series for the revolutionary BrainTap.

Stephanie Knatz Peck, PhD & Jessie Menzel, PhD

Tools for Caregivers Navigating COVID-19

Stephanie Knatz Peck , PhD | Program Director, Intensive Family Treatment (IFT)

Dr. Stephanie Knatz Peck is a clinical psychologist and program director for the Intensive Family Treatment (IFT) Programs at the UCSD Eating Disorders Treatment and Research Center. In addition to directing the adult and adolescent IFT programs, Dr. Peck is also involved in translational clinical treatment research focused on translating neurobiological research into applied clinical treatments for eating disorders. Dr. Peck co-leads  the development, testing, and oversight of novel clinical treatments for both adolescents and adults with eating disorders including Temperament-Based Treatment with Supports, a model that advocates for the inclusion of parents and support-givers in treatment. 

Jessie Menzel, PhD | Director of Pediatric Services

Dr. Jessie Menzel is an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSD and the founder of the pediatric program at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida and completed her internship at UCSD and the San Diego VA Healthcare System. Dr. Menzel has extensive treatment experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders at all levels of care. She has specialized training experiences in family-based therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, and exposure and response prevention for OCD and other anxiety disorders. 


Debra Hopkins & Danielle Kelmar, LCSW

Encouragement of Self-Efficacy Within Our Choices of Health and Wellness

Debra Hopkins, BTCF President/ACE Certified Health Coach

Debra Hopkins is the Founder & President of Breaking The Chains Foundation (BTCF), a NEDA Network Co-Vice Chair, and an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Health Coach. After receiving a full-ride college dance scholarship followed by a dance career, Debra became a leading health and fitness expert with clients such as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL), Sony, Warner Brothers and other Time Warner Entities, Rancho La Puerta, among others. Inspired by dance and its healing elements, Debra founded BTCF whose work uses all forms of art to unmask the stigma and change the conversation around eating disorders, body-image relationships and related internal struggles by empowering overall mental health and wellness as well as strengthen the links of prevention and recovery. Under her leadership, BTCF was the first-ever eating disorder platform to present at the 4th annual 2019 Worldwide Women Girl’s Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California, including being a featured panelist on the Arts & Entertainment Career Mentoring Panel. From personal experience, she has shared her story with a variety of publications and social media platforms as well as a guest speaker at the 2018 Los Angeles IAEDP Gala. Debra is married over 20 years with two sons.

Danielle Kelmar, LCSW & BTCF Clinical Board Member 

Danielle Kelmar, LCSW, is a leading adolescent and young adult psychotherapist in the Bay Area.  She has maintained a private practice for over 20 years seeing patients who are dealing with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem issues. Danielle specializes in T.E.A.M. Therapy from Stanford University’s Feeling Good Institute. She has worked extensively with several eating disorder programs, including California Pacific Medical Center, St. Helena’s In-Patient Eating Disorder Unit, Lantern’s Eating Disorder and Anxiety program, Stanford University’s Vaden Student Health Center and CAPS program. She currently serves as one of the Clinical Board of Directors for Breaking The Chains Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to use all forms of art to promote health, wellness and healing.

Gloria Lucas, Founder and CEO of Nalgona Positivity Pride

What is Eating Disorder Harm Reduction and Why Is It Important for Marginalized Communities?

Gloria Lucas is an eating disorders awareness activist that specializes in intersectional eating disorders education and resources that transform the lives of BIPOC individuals and expand eating disorders treatment models. Being the founder and CEO of Nalgona Positivity Pride, she is able to raise awareness through digital media, public speaking, and grassroots activism. She lives in Santa Ana, CA.

Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW

Trauma and Eating Disorders During COVID-19

Amy Pershing LMSW, ACSW is the Founder of Bodywise Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Program and the Clinical Director of the Center for Eating Disorders in Ann Arbor. Based on 30 years of clinical experience, Amy has pioneered a treatment approach for BED that is strengths-based, incorporating Internal Family Systems and somatic trauma techniques. Her approach also integrates attuned eating and movement and a “health at every size” philosophy. Amy is the author of the book "Binge Eating Disorder: The Journey to Recovery and Beyond," and the creator of Hungerwise™ online programs for ending chronic dieting and weight cycling. Amy maintains her clinical practice treating BED in Ann Arbor, MI.

Dena Larsen Gazeley, Director of Education, Ophelia's Place

Why Body Image Is the Last To Go, and, What We Can Do About It

Dena Larsen Gazeley, Director of Education for non profit organization, Ophelia's Place and The Every Body is Beautiful Project, owner/operator of All Bodies Consulting, and BloomFit Body Positive Fitness Professional, integrates her 31 year journey with eating disorders, past decade living in recovery and as an Educator, Public Presenter and Consultant, commits daily to serving others through eating disorder education, body image awareness, and self care.

Dena has traveled nationwide, presenting to students and adults, both in school and in private workshop setting, lobbying Congress in Washington D.C. on behalf of eating disorder education, treatment access and legislation reform, as well as providing continued support to those, be it personally or on behalf of parents and caregivers, navigating through eating disorder treatment.  

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Sondra Kronberg, MS, RD, CDN, CEDRD

Changes in the Eating Disorders Field Over Time and During COVID-19

Sondra Kronberg is a seasoned nutrition therapist and recognized leader in the field of eating disorders.  Founder, Executive Director, Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative, FEED, IOP Connect and Concierge programs in NY.  Specializes in the treatment and training of the collaborative approach to eating disorders. She is a founding member and past Board Trustee of NEDA. She is currently facilitating the FREE virtual support groups, “Morningside Chats in the Living Room” with guest experts in the field.  She is an IAEDP certification core course facilitator and certified supervisor. Sondra is the author of the Comprehensive Learning/Teaching Handout Series Manual for Eating Disorders and contributing author to Eating Disorders in Special Populations. She has been awarded the NEDA Excellence in Practice Award, IAEDP Certified Eating Disorder Specialists Award and NEDA’s first Legacy Award.  She is a national speaker, treatment consultant and media spokesperson.  In her work she helps patients learn to care for themselves physically, nutritionally, emotionally, and behaviorally while finding value in their uniqueness.  She is passionate about helping people learn to nourish their minds and bodies in order to reclaim their lives and thrive. She loves animals, the outdoors, and the magnificence of watching orchids bloom and grow. She can be reached at

Lynn Slawsky, MPA, PMP, Executive Director, ANAD


Lynn Slawsky, MPA, PMP, comes to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) with 15 years of experience working for nonprofit, hospital, university, and state government organizations. She previously served as ANAD’s Director of Community Relations. Her background is project management, in which she is a certified PMP (Project Management Professional). She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, where she was President of her graduate student association. She got her bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Ohio State as well. Lynn volunteers whenever possible, and especially enjoys being part of a chef team at a local soup kitchen that prepares homemade meals for low-income neighbors each week. She also enjoys mentoring young women in their career growth, and hanging out with her toddler.

Denise Hamburger, Executive Director, BE REAL USA

Body Confident Parenting During COVID-19

Denise Hamburger is the executive director of BE REAL USA, a nonprofit with the mission of spreading Body Confidence Education and Legislative Advocacy to children across the country. This last year she gave BE REAL’s Professional Development Workshop—called Body Confident Schools—to over 400 teachers and social workers around Illinois. BE REAL’S workshop has been studied by STRIPED, the eating disorder prevention incubator at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Saria Omer & Noor Pervez

Ramadan and Eating Disorders

Saria Omer, Masjid Admin, Masjid al-Rabia

Saria Omer is an activist, community organizer, and artist/designer based in Chicago. She uses her experience as a queer, disabled, Sudanese American to inform her work in service leadership, nonprofit administration, and digital media production. She is a passionate advocate for queer people of color, mental health awareness, and radical accessibility through her current role as administrator for Masjid al-Rabia. Last but not least, she is also a dedicated supporter of all things wholesome, especially her dog, Momo.

Noor Pervez, Accessibility Director, Masjid al-Rabia

Noor Pervez is a community organizer who works on disability, racial, trans, queer and religious justice. He has given presentations on everything from trans folks with eating disorders to how to support queer Muslims all over the US.

Yolanda Evans, MD, MPH

Experiences in Telemedicine

Yolanda Evans, MD, MPH is a member of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Evans grew up in Alaska and earned her MD from Oregon Health and Science University and a MPH at the University of Washington.

She completed her fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's and the University of Washington. Dr. Evans provides care to patients in Seattle, Everett and Olympia Washington for a variety of concerns including eating disorders, obesity, reproductive health and ADHD. She offers consultation via telemedicine with the Alaska Native Medical Center for management of adolescents with chronic illness, eating disorders, and gender affirming care. Her clinical and research interests are in the areas of technology use to reach adolescent and their families, including the use of telemedicine and videoconferencing for patient care and from 2011-2019 was the author and editor of the parenting blog, teenology101.

Rachel Lescher, MD

Rural Healthcare Today

Rachel Lescher, MD is a pediatric endocrinologist in Anchorage, Alaska. She grew up in Missouri and attended college and medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She completed her pediatrics residency at University of California-Irvine, then moved back to Missouri to complete her pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2011, she moved to Alaska to provide pediatric endocrinology care for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, a unique tribal health system that serves Alaska Native and Native American people throughout the state. In her practice treating children and adolescents with chronic hormone conditions and providing gender affirming hormone therapy, she often works with youth who have co-occurring eating disorders or who have endocrine consequences of their eating disorder. In this presentation, she will discuss some of the challenges of and solutions for accessing health care and other resources in the Last Frontier, particularly during the global pandemic.


Sean Taylor, Netflix's 'The Cirlce'

Netflix’s ‘The Circle’ and Social Media Pressures

Many may know Sean as the plus-size girl on season 1 of 'The Circle' on Netflix who started a conversation about fatphobia online. Sean was drawn to body-positivity in college as she struggled with disordered eating and moved to New York City to be a part of this moment in history for plus-size fashion. Her experience as a social media manager for a plus-size brand inspired her to make a statement when the opportunity to be on 'The Circle' fell in her lap. She is now a content creator and body-acceptance advocate and lives with her boyfriend and french bull-dog Burger!

Christie Dondero Bettwy, Executive Director, Rock Recovery

Giving Yourself Grace in Times of Change

Christie serves as the Executive Director for Rock Recovery, a nonprofit that helps people overcome disordered eating by combining clinical and community care. Having gone through recovery herself, she understands the depth of emotional, physical and spiritual support needed to recover and is passionate about spreading the message that freedom from disordered eating is possible. She is an active speaker and shares her story with organizations and media outlets across the country. Christie lives in Washington, DC with her husband Ryan, who serves as a pastor at their church in Northern Virginia.

Domenica Feraud, Playwright & Actor

Rinse, Repeat: Off-Broadway Play about Eating Disorders


Born and raised in NYC and the proud daughter of dos Ecuatorionos, Domenica Feraud recently made her Off-Broadway stage debut as both a playwright and actor in Rinse, Repeat at Signature Theatre. Other Off-Broadway: The Wild Parrots of Campbell (Cherry Lane Studio Theatre). TV: Law & Order SVU. Film: Betafish, and the upcoming Life After You. BFA from The Stella Adler Studio of Acting at NYU.


In the play Rinse, Repeat, Rachel comes home after a four-month fight for her life. Initially happy to be reunited with her family, she begins to question whether the place where she felt she most belonged... is what almost killed her in the first place.

Click here to purchase tickets for a one-time-only live-sreamed reading of "Rinse, Repeat" on Friday, May 1, 2020 from 8 – 10 PM ET.

Proceeds benefit Signature Theatre Company​​ and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)​

Daphne Young, Childhelp, Chief Communications Officer

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline and COVID-19

Daphne Young is the Chief Communications Officer at Childhelp, a nonprofit aiding victims of child abuse. Daphne is passionate and committed to breaking the cycles of abuse and protecting the childhoods of new generations. In her capacity as Chief Communications Officer, Daphne uses proven research and impactful resources to help families and children speak up, be safe, and find their voices of empowerment. Before joining Childhelp, Daphne was an associate newspaper editor and award-winning investigative journalist. She has also served as the department head of a K-12 school for at-risk youth. Daphne earned her BA in Humanities from the University of Kansas and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Daphne is determined to improving the intervention, promoting the treatment, and expanding the prevention of child abuse.

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is a 24-hour hotline with resources to aid in every child abuse situation. All calls are confidential. Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit for text and chat services.

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Volunteer Appreciation Week: NEDA Staff


Carly Andrade, a California native, has been involved with the National Eating Disorders Association since 2017 during her time as an undergrad at the University of California-Davis, starting first as an intern and eventually taking on the role of Strategic Partnerships Associate. After graduating with her BA in Political Science and Women & Gender Studies, Carly transitioned into her current role as Partnerships & Programs Associate.


Chelsea Kronengold has been involved with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) since 2012 as a walk coordinator, Proud2Bme National Outreach Coordinator, and programs consultant. After receiving a master's degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University, Chelsea joined the NEDA staff as a program associate, and currently serves as the Communications Manager and master trainer for the Body Project.


Paige Sklar is the Development Associate at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Prior to becoming a staff member Paige was a Helpline and Development Volunteer, and coordinated two NEDA Walks in Central New Jersey. Paige's passion for her work stems from her personal experience with eating disorders and body image issues. She believes full recovery is possible and should be accessible to all.

Oriana Laflamme, NEDA Volunteer

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Body Project

Oriana’s passion for nutrition and health stemmed from learning to develop her own positive relationship with food. Oriana’s personal journey taught her that every individual deserves wholesome nutrition and each person is unique in their personal health goals and recovery. Several years ago, Oriana left her corporate executive career to pursue her passion and now works with individuals and groups to transform their relationship with food so they can go on to live healthy fulfilled lives. Her lighthearted way is both engaging and motivating with everyone she has the opportunity to engage with. Through NEDA, she works on legislative advocacy, fundraising events, walk organization, and is trained to facilitate the Body Project program.

Priya James, NEDA Walk Coordinator

Volunteer Appreciation Week: NEDA Walks

Priya James is an eating disorder recovery advocate and the Walk Coordinator for the Houston NEDA Walk. Priya started her career in the fashion industry in 2001, working for one of Houston’s leading modeling and talent agencies. After four years working for the agency, she began her study in Fashion at The Art Institute of Houston, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. Priya then went on to work as the Marketing & PR Director for designer and Project Runway 2 winner Chloe Dao. She retired from the industry in 2016 and began to focus on her advocacy efforts. As a person in recovery from an eating disorder, a former professional in the Fashion Industry, a mother of a beautiful young girl, and the wife of a psychiatrist, one of the goals in her life is to educate and bring awareness to eating disorders. Her advocacy efforts have been especially focused in cultures where depression, anxiety, and other issues are not taken seriously or looked down upon

Adrienne Shannon, NEDA Volunteer

Volunteer Appreciation Week: Public Policy

Adrienne Shannon spent most of her childhood growing up in Marin County, CA. She went to high school in San Francisco, and then made her way to Denison University, a small liberal arts school in Ohio. Family is very important to Adrienne which lead her to finish college at NYU to spend more time with them. She graduated in 2015 with a major in psychology, focusing on consumer behavior and media studies as she has always had an interest in going into marketing, and understanding people's behaviors and decision making. After spending some time marketing in the real estate industry, Adrienne has decided to return to grad school in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is so excited to immerse herself into a totally new culture and spend time with her Danish family, while furthering her education in psychology and marketing. 

Alex Mutti, NEDA Volunteer

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Alex is originally from Dallas, Texas and moved to New York eight years ago to pursue a career in acting. However her plans began to change after her own battle with an eating disorder. Thanks to her incredible treatment team, Alex is nearly four years recovered and will begin coursework towards her Masters in Social Work at NYU in the fall. She hopes to be able to help other people struggling with eating issues the way her own therapist did and loves being able to offer support through her volunteer work with NEDA.

Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., FAED & Christine Peat, PHD, FAED, LP

Eating Disorders & COVID-19 Research

A few weeks later, Dr. Bulik & Dr. Peat joined us for another NEDA Connections to provide updates on the COVID-ED* research study. Click here to watch! 


Clinical psychologist Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., FAED is the Founding Director of the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Professor of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also Professor of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of the Center for Eating Disorders Innovation at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Dr. Bulik has developed eating disorders programs in New Zealand, the United States, and Sweden and has active collaborations all over the world. She has published more than 600 papers and chapters on eating disorders and is author of seven books.

Dr. Bulik is past president of the Academy for Eating Disorders, past Vice-President of the Eating Disorders Coalition, and past Associate Editor of the International Journal of Eating Disorders, and serves on advisory boards of several advocacy organizations.

She is passionate about advancing the science of eating disorders and translating science for the public. Read more at


Dr. Christine Peat is the Director of the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED) and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her undergraduate training in psychology at the University of Arizona and earned her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota. Her internship was in behavioral medicine at West Virginia University, after which she went on to complete her postdoctoral fellowship in eating disorders research at the University of North Carolina under the directorship of Dr. Cynthia Bulik. As the Director of NCEED,

Dr. Peat is focused on broadly disseminating education and training on eating disorders to healthcare providers across a variety of disciplines. Her research centers on eating pathology across the spectrum, but with a distinct focus on binge-eating disorder. Dr. Peat is also a licensed psychologist in North Carolina and as such, treats eating disorders across the spectrum, with a primary focus on binge eating. In addition to her clinical and research responsibilities, Dr. Peat is also a clinical supervisor for pre-doctoral psychology interns, psychiatry residents, and mentors undergraduate students.

*COVID-ED is a research study conducted by the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED) in collaboration with the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED). The goal is to understand how COVID-19 is affecting the lives of people with eating disorders. Anyone age 18 or over who has had an eating disorder at any time in their life is welcome to enroll. The study will follow participants up monthly as the pandemic unfolds and use the information to help us find better ways of addressing the needs of people with eating disorders during these challenging times.

Noor Pervez,, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Community Engagement Coordinator

Eating Disorders and Autism Acceptance Month

Noor is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. He is an organizer, autistic advocate and expert, and public speaker. He works to include members of the autistic community that are historically overlooked in his activism.


Ilene V. Fishman, LCSW-R, ACSW, FAED

Coping with Loss During COVID-19

Ilene V. Fishman, LCSW, ACSW, FAED, has maintained a general psychotherapy practice with a specialization in the treatment of eating disorders for 35 years. After graduating from the NYU School of Social Work, Ilene trained and was on staff at the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia (CSAB) and is currently a supervisor there. While serving on the national board of the American Anorexia Bulimia Association (AABA), Ilene helped found the National Eating Disorders Association. Ilene currently serves on its Executive Board of Directors and has remained active in NEDA since its formation as a clinical advisor. Ilene taught the first Masters level eating disorder elective class in New York City at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University as an Adjunct Professor. Ilene is in private practice in New York City and Montclair, NJ and speaks widely as an expert on the subject of eating disorders across numerous multimedia platforms. Look for her upcoming book, THE DEEPER FIX.

Misha Osherovich

How to Stay Creative and Artistic During Quarantine

Misha Osherovich (they/them + he/him) is an actor, filmmaker, and mental health/LGBTQ+ activist. 

Misha is actively in recovery from an eating disorder, and uses filmmaking+art to share his recovery story. Misha aims to use TV/film and social media to speak frankly and openly about body image and eating disorder recovery, as well as the intersection of queerness and mental health.

Misha wrote, produced, and starred in the short film E.very D.ay - which puts the audience inside the minds of two individuals living with active eating disorders. The film has been shown and won awards at several festivals in the U.S. and internationally - and will be released online soon!

You can catch Misha acting in the new Warner Bros'  film THE GOLDFINCH, as well as on AMC's TV series NOS4A2. Next Misha will be starring in a new BLUMHOUSE film, in theaters soon.

Riley Resa

Riley Resa Performs an Original Song

Riley Resa has been singing since she surprised her family and friends singing in a 5th grade talent show. But her journey began when she was as asked to turn her beginning of high school experience into a song for an Anti-bullying short film. Since then her first Original song , Broken has been featured in 3 short films, featured in 2 summer camp curriculums and helped her to win OCPS Top Talent Fan Favorite 2019. She now works with Hutch Down Records and has produced several more songs as well as traveled to LA to film her last 2 music videos. “Can’t take it with you” co starring Seth James and “The Only One” starring social Influencer, Jonas Bridges. She is also blessed to be working with DME Orlando. Riley participated in BloomFest 2019 where she appeared with Seth James and Mike Walker. She was also asked to perform along side HutchDown at the Mondo Music Conference in NYC in the fall of 2019. Riley will be graduating Winter Park High School in 2020 and is excited to study Sound engineering while recording and releasing her new music in the spring is 2020. Folllow her journey @rileyresa on all social media platforms.

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, MS

COVID-19 Effect on Families Facing Eating Disorders

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, MS, Executive Director of FEAST, is an American writer who became an activist for improved eating disorder treatment after her teen daughter recovered from a life-threatening eating disorder. Her book, Eating With Your Anorexic (McGraw Hill), is a humorous memoir of her family's experience. Laura is an affiliate member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and a recipient of the 2014 Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy.
 She has helped to found three eating disorder advocacy organizations: F.E.A.S.T, Charlotte’s Helix, and Maudsley Parents. She has written four books, two on eating disorders. In her leisure time she tap dances and watches very very old movies. 

Rachel Millner, Psy.D., CEDS-S CBTP

Coping with Virtual/Canceled Passover, Easter, and Ramadan Celebrations

Rachel Millner, Psy.D., CEDS-S CBTP is a psychologist, activist and advocate, a certified eating disorder specialist & supervisor and certified Body Trust® provider. Dr. Millner works with people with all forms of eating disorders as well as those wanting to heal their relationship with food and body. She is a fat positive, Health at Every Size®, weight inclusive provider. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Millner presents nationally on topics related to fat positive care, weight stigma in healthcare, and “atypical” anorexia. Dr. Millner has appeared on several popular podcasts talking about these topics and sharing about her own healing journey from eating disorders.

Kathleen Booker, The Jedi of Calm

Breathwork for Calm and Peace

Kathleen Booker is an effervescent native New Yorker. Her energy is infectious. Kathleen is passionate about Conscious Connected Breathwork therapy and knows first-hand the energy, healing, peace, and joy it creates in one’s life. As a certified and insured Breathwork Coach, she has worked with many masters in the field of Conscious Connected Breathwork therapy. For over 10+ years, Kathleen has used her Breath coaching and intuitive skills to support individuals in clearly identifying areas in need of growth, healing and focused goal creation. Kathleen’s instinctive sense of what will motivate and empower her clients is the impetus for their transformation.

Author photograph by @innashnayder.

Laurel Schwartz, Crisis Text Line, Growth Marketing Manager

Crisis Text Line and COVID-19

Text "NEDA" to 741-741 for 24/7 crisis support

Laurel Schwartz is the Growth Marketing Manager at Crisis Text Line, where she works to make sure people have access to mental health support at their fingertips. She's also an award-winning filmmaker for her documentaries about chronic illness and body image. She recently finished her Master's of Social Work at Columbia University. New York City is her home for now, but she's always and forever a midwesterner at heart.

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Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS-S

Family Dynamics During Quarantine

Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS is a psychologist, fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), and certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS) and approved supervisor for the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). She directs Eating Disorder Therapy LA in Los Angeles and is able to provide teletherapy in California and New York. She provides cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults and family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescents and adheres to Health at Every Size ® principles. She is certified in FBT for adolescent eating disorders and is the author of When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Overcome Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating, published in 2018.

Dr. Muhlheim holds leadership roles in several professional organizations including the AED, iaedp LA Chapter, and the Los Angeles County Psychological Association. Dr. Muhlheim is the Eating Disorders Expert for Verywell (formerly and is Clinical Director of the Eating Disorder Information website, Mirror-Mirror Eating Disorders. She presents nationally to parents, professionals, and trainees on treatment for eating disorders, social media ethics, and professional ethics. She is active on social media and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University. Dr. Muhlheim was recently selected to teach the iaedp core course for certification for professionals of all disciplines pursuing certification as eating disorder specialists.

Chloe Nicole

Chloe Nicole Sings "Brave" by Idina Menzel

Chloe Nicole is a New York City based actor and singer having worked in theater off broadway, regionally and tv. Chloe is very passionate about helping people, and hopes to inspire people through music and her story having struggled with an eating disorder for many years. She is currently working on her own personal recovery daily.

"Together we will all get through this difficult time. Sending all my love. Remember that you are enough, stay strong and be brave." 

Chevese Turner, Chief Policy & Strategy Officer

The Impact of Weight Stigma

Chevese Turner is the founder and former CEO of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) which merged with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) in 2018. As part of NEDA’s leadership team, she develops the organizations key policy initiatives, directs its partnerships and communications, and plays a key role in strategic goals and alignment.

Turner is recognized for her expertise around issues involving eating disorders in higher weight bodies and is passionate about changing the conversation around weight and body size. She is dedicated to moving beyond the current dominant weight-focused paradigm to one that is weight inclusive and promotes well-being free from weight stigma and body discrimination. She carries these messages to audiences around the US and abroad in schools, healthcare settings, trade organizations, associations, professional conferences, corporations, and governmental agencies. Turner is also the co-author of the recently published book: Binge Eating Disorder: The Journey to Recovery & Beyond and contributes regularly to podcasts and the media.

Karen Samuels, Ph.D.

Eating Disorders in Midlife and Beyond

Karen Samuels is a licensed psychologist in Ormond Beach, Florida. Her career has been dedicated to empowering women and other forgotten populations through her community involvement, psychotherapy practice, publications, workshops/trainings and consultation. She is the founder and President of COPE: Community Outreach to Prevent Eating Disorders, a nonprofit since 2001. She is a consultant to Halifax Family Medicine Residency Program, training physicians in interprofessional Eating Disorder treatment teams. She is also an affiliate and contributor to the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College. Utilizing Relational Cultural Theory (RCT), she spearheaded media literacy programs for middle schools in two school districts, as well as conducted eating disorder recovery groups with midlife women. She has published widely, presents at national conferences, and can be found on podcasts, tweetchats, and Huffington PostLive highlighting eating disorders and related concerns. A lifelong yogi, she served as the resident psychologist and body image specialist, promoting size acceptance and diversity with online videos and blogs, on the yoga and wellness platform Dr. Samuels received the 2014 National Eating Disorders Association Westin Family Award for Activism and Advocacy in recognition of her community and social justice work.

Jessica Hickman, National Walks Director

NEDA Walk Wednesday: Upcoming Virtual Walks

Jessica Hickman is the National Walks Director at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), where she oversees 95+ city walk campaigns and supports the dedicated walk coordinators who make it all possible. Jessica’s passion for her work stems from her personal experience with eating disorders and body image issues. Through NEDA Walks, she is committed to building communities of hope, strength, and healing. When she’s not traveling to a NEDA Walk, you can find Jessica cooking, crafting, or watching cute kitten videos on Instagram.

Jennifer Rollin, MSW, LCSW-C

Coping with an eating disorder and/or maintaining recovery during COVID-19

Jennifer Rollin is a therapist and founder of The Eating Disorder Center in Rockville, Maryland, an outpatient therapy practice that provides virtual therapy in California, New York, and Maryland—as well as recovery coaching worldwide. Jennifer has spoken about eating disorders on NBC, ABC, FOX, and PBS and at national conferences, colleges, and therapy centers. She has written about eating disorders for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. Jennifer has been named as one of the top eating disorder experts in the country by Balance Eating Disorder Treatment Center.

Chelsea Kronengold, MA, Communications Manager

Intro to NEDA Connections & Community Guidelines

Chelsea Kronengold is the Communications Manager at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), overseeing NEDA’s social media and communications. Additionally, Chelsea serves as a master trainer for the Body Project, an evidence-based body confidence and eating disorders prevention program for women and girls. Chelsea frequently speaks on behalf of NEDA about her personal and professional experience with body image, eating disorders, media literacy, and weight stigma; she has appeared in national media platforms including Teen Vogue, Huffington Post Live, Seventeen Magazine, WebMD and SiriusXM Doctor Radio.