The Eating Disorders Coalition
Founded in 2000, the EDC has advanced the recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority by building relationships with Congress, federal agencies and countless national and local organizations dedicated to health issues.
Board of Directors
President 2019-2023: Chase Bannister, MDIV, MSW, LCSW, CEDS, Bannister Consultancy
Chase Bannister, MDIV, MSW, LCSW, CEDS, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and serves as Principal of Bannister Consultancy. He is President of the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, an advocacy organization advancing the recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority in the United States.
Chase is a prominent figure in the architecture of mental health, recognized for his commitment to clinical excellence in the treatment of eating disorders and advancement of meaningful healthcare policy through advocacy and strategic engagement. He has offered expert guidance to the Food & Drug Administration, the National Institute of Mental Health, the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health, and has provided testimony to the U.S. Department of Labor on access to care. He was among the principal authors of the Anna Westin Act of 2016, and continues to work alongside elected officials, congressional staff, and career civil servants to strengthen federal law on behalf of patients.
In 2011, Chase founded Veritas Collaborative, a national healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders, serving as the Chief Strategy & Clinical Integrity Officer. He has held roles as Clinical Director and founding clinician of Carolina House, a residential treatment center for eating disorders. Chase is a founding member of the Eating Disorders Leadership Summit and is an Advisor to the Residential Eating Disorders Consortium (REDC), further serving as a member REDC’s Ethics Committee.
Bannister completed his clinical training at Duke University’s Counseling & Psychological Services and Duke University Medical Center Infectious Disease Clinic. Bannister holds a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Divinity from Duke University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature. Chase is the recipient of The Arthur B. & Ida Maie Rivers Award for Integrity, Virtue, Gentleness & Character and The L. Harris Chewning Award for Scholarly Achievement and Intellectual & Moral Integrity.
Vice-President 2019-2020: Molly Perlman, MD, MPH, CEDS, Oliver Pyatt Centers
Molly Perlman, MD, MPH, CEDS is double-board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, serving as the Medical Director of Monte Nido and Affiliates and overseeing eating disorders treatment at 20 facilities across the country. She has trained hundreds of medical students and resident physicians to early identify eating disorders and presented at numerous medical conferences on the topic. Dr. McShane has also served as a psychiatrist at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Program in Delray Beach, Florida, a psychiatrist at the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Division within the Miami Veterans Affairs Hospital, Chief Resident Physician at Jackson Memorial Hospital—one of the largest hospitals in the U.S., and Resident in Internal Medicine at University of Virginia Health System.
McShane is a recipient of the Laughlin Fellowship and Ginsberg Fellowship, is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist, a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Assistant Professor at Florida International University College of Medicine. Dr. McShane holds a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health from the Miler School of Medicine at the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Duke University.
Treasurer 2017-2020: Jillian Lampert, PhD, RD, LD, MPH, FAED, The Emily Program
Dr. Lampert completed both her doctorate degree in Nutrition and Epidemiology and Master of Public Health degree in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Master of Science degree in Nutrition at the University of Vermont and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics.
Dr. Lampert is the Chief Strategy Officer for The Emily Program, a comprehensive eating disorder treatment program with multiple Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington locations. She has an expansive range of clinical, research, education, teaching, and program development experience in the area of eating disorders. In addition to her work with The Emily Program, Dr. Lampert is Co-Founder and President of the Residential Eating Disorders Consortium (REDC), whose main goal is to ensure access to residential care for individuals by working collaboratively to address issues that impact the residential eating disorder treatment community. She is also Vice Chair of the Eating Disorders Coalition, a DC-based national organization for eating disorders policy and advocacy and past-president and current Board Member of The Emily Program Foundation, a Minnesota based organization on a mission to save lives and change minds through education and advocacy. For over 10 years she has passionately advocated at the national level for improved access to treatment for individuals struggling with eating disorders and their families. She has spoken at numerous congressional briefings and contributed to eating disorders related legislation. She also holds an adjunct graduate faculty position in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota
Dr. Lampert has served on the Board of Directors of the Academy for Eating Disorders as the Electronic Media Portfolio Director and co-chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Nutrition Special Interest Group. She is a Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders (FAED) and a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, the SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition) and BHN (Behavioral Health Nutrition) dietetic practice groups, and the International Federation of Eating Disorders Dietitians (IFEDD). She is also the author of numerous book chapters and articles addressing nutritional treatment of eating disorders, mindful eating, body image, sports participation, adolescent health and disordered eating and she regularly speaks regionally and nationally on numerous eating disorder related topics.
One of her primary goals in life is to have her eleven-year-old daughter grow up loving her body and herself. The other is helping to create a world where people can have healthful, joyful relationships with food and their bodies in a society where mindful eating and movement is the norm and the cultural messages of beauty and success support everyone to be their best unique selves.
Secretary 2017-2020: Millie Plotkin, MLS, Eating Recovery Center
Millie Plotkin, MLS, is Informationist for Eating Recovery Center, and creator of the Eating Disorders Information Gateway. After earning her Masters of Library Science from Catholic University in Washington, DC, Millie worked at the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health Library before joining ERC in 2013. Millie has been volunteering in eating disorders advocacy work since 2001 and is founder of ANAD’s annual National Candlelight Vigil. She currently serves on the board of the Academy for Eating Disorders as Director of Social and Online Media and is Vice-President of iaedp’s Baltimore Metro chapter.
Immediate Past President: S. Bryn Austin, ScD, FAED, Academy for Eating Disorders
Dr. S. Bryn Austin is Director of Fellowship Research Training in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and in the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School. She is director of the cross-institutional Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders: A Public Health Incubator, based at Harvard School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital (www.hsph.harvard.edu/striped) and director of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Research Working Group based at Boston Children’s Hospital (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/sogie/). She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Academy for Eating Disorders. She has received numerous grants funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and foundations to support her research and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers in the scientific literature. She is a social epidemiologist and behavioral scientist with a research focus on health disparities, especially those affecting socially marginalized adolescent populations. She leads two primary research programs: One focuses on social and physical environmental influences on eating disorders risk, nutritional patterns, physical activity, and overweight in school and community settings, with a special emphasis on public health approaches to eating disorders prevention. The second focuses on determinants of sexual orientation and gender identity disparities in a range of health domains, including disordered weight-related behaviors, overweight, substance use, and other health risk indicators. She has garnered a number of awards for her research, teaching, and mentorship, including the 2014 Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention from the National Eating Disorders Association and the 2014 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Iris F. Litt Visiting Professorship in Adolescent Health Research. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health and her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., CEDS, Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders
Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., CEDS is a licensed psychologist and well-known specialist, speaker and author in the field of eating disorders. She is the Executive Clinical Director at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders where she oversees the clinical aspects of patient care, program development, staff training, and supervision throughout the Rosewood system. Dr. Cabrera has spent her entire career passionate and committed to the efficacy and quality of treatment for patients with eating disorders. She has personally treated hundreds of individuals with eating and body image issues. She is the author of The Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy (Rowman & Littlefield), a first resource of its kind that speaks to moms through a personal and compassionate lens that assists in healing from body-image disturbances and eating disorders. Dr. Cabrera is currently serving as the President of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) and is on the senior advisory board for Rock Recovery. Dr. Cabrera is a member of Arizona Psychological Association, the Academy of Eating Disorders and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Arts and PsyD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Cabrera lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. She loves to read, travel, and laugh with her family.
Johanna Kandel, Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness
Johanna Kandel is the founder and CEO of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness and the author of Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder (Harlequin). Since founding The Alliance in October 2000, Johanna has brought information and awareness about eating disorders to more than 240,000 individuals nationally and internationally. In addition, she facilitates weekly support groups, mentors individuals with eating disorders and their families through their treatment and recovery, helps thousands of people to gain information and find the help they need, and advocates for legislation on a state and national level. She is the current President of the Board of Directors for the Eating Disorders Coalition, a special consultant to the Academy for Eating Disorders Advisory Board, and an Expert Advisory Committee member for Girl Future. She is an active participant in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and has received many awards for her ongoing outreach and advocacy work, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service© and Harlequin Enterprises’ More Than Words Award. Johanna has appeared on national television programs including NBC Nightly News and The Today Show, and profiled in the New York Times and Glamour Magazine.
Sam Menaged, JD, The Renfrew Centers
Samuel E. Menaged, JD is the Founder and President of The Renfrew Centers and The Renfrew Center Foundation. Mr. Menaged founded The Renfrew Center 30 years ago as the country's first residential treatment facility specializing in eating disorders. He is a past-president of the Board of the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy and Action, and a board member of the Residential Eating Disorders Consortium. Mr. Menaged is a former healthcare attorney.
Gail R. Schoenbach, Mental Health Directs
Gail Schoenbach is a recovered bulimic and an activist for eating disorder causes. After receiving treatment for a 24-year battle with bulimia, Gail founded the F.R.E.E.D. Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to assist families with financial support for treatment, advocate for a public awareness campaign, and provide educational resources to others suffering from eating disorders.
Gail participated in her first lobby day in 2002. She received an award for action from the EDC in 2005 and joined the board of directors in 2006. She continues to work with state legislative offices in NJ, schools and universities. Gail and her story have been featured in national magazines, such as Self, Redbook & Glamour, local newspapers, and various national television programs, including the Today Show. She is an active lobbyist, expert panelist, lecturer and tireless advocate for eating disorder causes and is a certified health counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Laura Donahue, The Donahue Foundation and CarMax
With over 25 years of advertising and marketing experience, Laura Donahue has a expansive range of marketing expertise in areas including communications planning, brand strategy, media planning, digital marketing, retail marketing, advertising, all aspects of commercial production, social media, sports marketing, content development, and design.
Laura is also the mother of a daughter who is currently recovering from an eating disorder after spending five months in inpatient treatment in 2014. One of Laura’s passions is to build awareness and support for individuals and their families struggling with eating disorders through education, policy change and targeted research. Her experience with other parents and families and their challenges in finding a path to recovery led her to participate with the EDC on Advocacy Day and Action Alerts, and to work with Chase Bannister directly to build awareness amongst community organizations and school counselors. Laura also serves as Trustee at Elk Hill, where she was formerly Vice Chair. Laura received her BA in Economics and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Kimberly Dennis co-founded SunCloud Health in 2016 as a private outpatient treatment center for men and women affected by eating disorders, addiction, mood disorder, trauma, and PTSD. Prior to the founding of SunCloud Health, Dr. Dennis served as the CEO and Medical Director at Timberline Knolls. She is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in treating eating disorders and addictions, and in doing so combines her medical training with her own experience as a person who has recovered from an eating disorder and alcoholism. Dr. Dennis received her medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and is a member of the American Medical Association, the Academy for Eating Disorders, the American Academy for Addiction Psychiatry, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Schuyler Bailar, pinkmantaray
Schuyler Bailar first gained public attention as a swimmer for the Harvard College swimming and diving team when he became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an NCAA Division 1 sport. After graduating from Harvard College in May 2019 with a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology, Bailar has focused on activism. He currently serves in advisory roles with Plume, the first trans-specific healthcare provider; American Eagle AExME Council; and as a Fellow with Monte Nido & Affiliates to shape their gender-inclusive care. As Founder & CEO of Pinkmantaray LLC, Bailar offers consulting services for individuals, educational institutions, and corporations. He maintains his ties with his alma mater as a research affiliate working on a study examining the effects of hormones on cognition.
Kitty Westin, WithAll
Kitty Westin is the founder and former President of the Anna Westin Foundation which is now known as The Emily Program Foundation. The Anna Westin Foundation was started by Anna’s family after Anna died of anorexia in 2000. Kitty is the past president and on the board of The Emily Program Foundation, the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, and she is a former member of the Minnesota Governor's Advisory Council on Mental Health, the Minnesota Mental Health Legislative Network and numerous other boards and councils.
Since Anna’s death Kitty has spoken to millions of people about eating disorders through personal appearances and the media. She has been invited to tell her story to a variety of groups in Minnesota and across the United States and the world. Kitty has been an outspoken advocate for people who struggle with eating disorders, their families and friends, and professionals who work in the field. She is recognized as an authority on how eating disorders impact the person who suffers, family and friends, and the community. Kitty has contributed to several books about eating disorders and she freely tells her story in order to help others. Her work related to the social and economic impact of eating disorders is well known and she is invited to speak at professional conferences across the United States to help train health care workers, treatment providers, and the families of people affected by eating disorders.
Kitty’s work as an advocate began 15 years ago when she joined the Eating Disorders Coalition. She currently spends time in Washington DC training grass roots activists and meeting with members of Congress to advance the federal recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority. Most recently, Kitty is proud that her daughter’s name is on Federal legislation that will address eating disorders by improving training and clarifying that mental health parity intended to cover eating disorders; The Anna Westin Act of 2015 (HR2515/S.1865).
Kitty has received numerous awards for her advocacy efforts including the EDC Advocacy Award, the Redbook Mothers and Shakers Award, the AED Meehan/Hartley Leadership Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy, the Park Nicollet Community Service Award, National Eating Disorders Association Inspiration Award, and the Advocacy Award from NAMI MN.
Lisa S. Kantor, JD, Kantor & Kantor LLP
Lisa Kantor, a Los Angeles lawyer and partner in Kantor & Kantor LLP, represents people denied health benefits for treatment of both physical and mental illnesses. Most recently, Ms. Kantor has focused her efforts litigating insurance company denials of coverage for residential treatment of eating disorders. Kantor & Kantor is one of the few law firms in the country with a distinct eating disorder practice staffed with lawyers and other professionals experienced in the specific needs of people who have been denied benefits for eating disorder treatment.
Ms. Kantor sues health plans that refuse coverage, or agree to pay for treatment for a short period of time, forcing patients to be discharged before their health is restored. In 2007, she won the first published eating disorder decision in California in which the court applied the state’s mental health parity law to beneficiaries who sought treatment outside California. In August 2012, she won the first federal court ruling that determined health plans must pay for all medically necessary treatment for mental illnesses, including residential treatment.
For her achievements, Ms. Kantor was named a Top Woman Lawyer by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and an Attorney of the Year by the San Francisco Recorder. She received a “Special Recognition” award from the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation and a California Women Lawyers’ Woman of Distinction Award, and has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer continuously since 2009.
Scientific Advisory Board
Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
Scott Crow, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota
James Mitchell, MD, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND
Ruth Striegel Weissman, PhD, Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.
The Scientific Advisory Board provides consultation to the Board on issues related to the science of eating disorders.
David Jaffe, Executive Director
Krista Cress, Assistant Account Executive