NEDA Public Policy Updates Winter/Spring2020

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Kerry Donohue, Public Policy Manager


Call for proposals for eating disorders research through the Department of Defense. Pre-application deadlines are approaching!

  • Research proposal pre-application letters are now being accepted for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMP). NEDA’s public policy team worked to ensure that critical needs of military members and their families suffering from eating disorders are again researched through this program. Overall funding for the PRMRP is increased from $330 million to $350 million in Fiscal Year 2020, approximately $6 million of which will be directed toward eating disorders. Pre-application deadlines are approaching. For more information and to apply, click here


NEDA’s 1st Annual In-District Advocacy Day was a success!

  • Over 400 advocates from all 50 states registered to participate in NEDA’s first-ever in-district advocacy day on Friday, February 28th! After an extensive virtual training, advocates met with their U.S. Representatives and legislative staff, to educate them about the importance of eating disorders research and prevention initiatives. It was a highly successful day, and NEDA thanks all the advocates for their hard work and participation in this exciting event, which has had a huge impact on moving our policy initiatives forward. 

NEDA advocates for increased federal funding for eating disorders research through the National Institutes of Health.

  • One of NEDA’s current federal policy priorities is to work for increased funding across Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Mental Health. With leadership from Senators Klobuchar and Baldwin and Representatives Horn and Fitzpatrick, letters were sent by a significant number of legislators to appropriators in both the US Senate and House of Representatives requesting these increases. Click here to read the Senate letter, and here to read the House letter. 

Stay tuned for the introduction of The Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act! 

  • NEDA’s policy team and grassroots advocates across the country have been working to build support for the Eating Disorders Prevention in Schools Act (ED PSA) for the past several months, and the legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks! This important, bi-partisan legislation led by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), would help prevent eating disorders by requiring schools to include eating disorders prevention in their Local School Wellness Policies. Stay tuned for our announcement with more details on the legislation later this month. To help us build support for eating disorders research and prevention, click here


NEDA aims to tackle weight discrimination across the country

  • NEDA’s public policy team will be prioritizing a legislative initiative to tackle weight and height discrimination across the country. Legislation has been introduced in Massachusetts, and is also in the works in a handful of other states. 

NEDA partners with STRIPED and others to support important legislation in Massachusetts

  • NEDA has partnered with the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders (STRIPED) to support Massachusetts legislation related to limiting minors’ access to dangerous diet pills and prohibiting weight-based discrimination. NEDA helped organize advocacy days at the Massachusetts State House in support of these initiatives in November, 2019 and March, 2020, respectively. To learn more about these efforts, click here and here

Kentucky passes its first-ever eating disorders legislation!

  • Legislation (SB 82) has been signed into law in the state of Kentucky to establish a Kentucky Eating Disorder Council! This Council will work to raise awareness and find solutions on how to address the challenges that eating disorder patients face across the state of Kentucky. Long-time NEDA Walk coordinator and advocate Melissa Cahill championed this initiative, and we are grateful for her hard work and commitment to making a difference in the fight against eating disorders in Kentucky! To read more about this legislation, click here

In her role as NEDA’s Public Policy Manager, Kerry Donohue has worked with advocates across the country on grassroots legislative campaigns at both the state and federal level related to eating disorders awareness, education, early intervention, and access to treatment. Prior to joining NEDA, Kerry was a legislative aide in the New York State Assembly where she worked on legislative strategy and constituent services. She also previously worked on the government affairs team at a law firm where she coordinated multi-state legislative campaigns for a wide array of businesses and organizations, and supported the firm’s State Attorneys General Practice Group. Kerry holds a bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree in public policy.