BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President 2023-2025: Christine Peat, PhD, National Center for Excellence for Eating Disorders
Christine Peat is the Director of the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED), the nation’s first and only federally-funded technical assistance center dedicated to eating disorders. 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.
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 including primary care, generalist mental health providers, and community stakeholders. Dr. Peat is also a licensed psychologist in North Carolina and as such, treats eating disorders across the spectrum.
Vice President 2023-2025: Laura Donahue, The Donahue Foundation and CarMax
Laura Donahue the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at CarMax. In 2014, Laura’s 15-year-old daughter was hospitalized to treat her anorexia nervosa. Having emerged from this experience with her daughter in recovery, Laura is passionate about building awareness, de-stigmatization, and support for individuals and their families struggling with eating disorders. Her experience with other parents and families and their challenges in finding a path to recovery led her to participate with the EDC during annual advocacy days, action alerts, and to work to build awareness amongst community organizations and school counselors.
Laura is also member of WithAll’s Board of Directors, a non-profit organization working to reduce the risk of eating disorders through upstream prevention and help people break through practical barriers in pursuing recovery. Laura and her family founded the Donahue Family Foundation, which has focused on eating disorder support, mental health and addiction support, student food insecurity, and support for indigenous communities. Laura received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Secretary 2023-2025: Millie Plotkin, MLS, Academy for Eating Disorders
Millie Plotkin, MLS, is the Director for Online and Social Media for Academy for Eating Disorders 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.
Treasurer 2023-2025: Johanna Kandel, National Alliance for Eating Disorders
Johanna Kandel is the founder and CEO of the National Alliance for Eating Disorders (formerly Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness) and the author of Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder (Harlequin). She founded the Alliance after a decade long battle with various eating disorders. Since founding The Alliance in October 2000, Johanna has brought information and awareness about eating disorders to hundreds of thousands of individuals nationally and internationally. In addition, she facilitates weekly support groups, assists individuals with eating disorders and their families through their treatment and recovery, and helps hundreds of thousands of people to gain information and find the help they need. As a passionate advocate for mental health and eating disorders, Johanna has spent a lot of time meeting with numerous members of Congress, Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Mental Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, and US Department of labor. In addition, she was part of the first-ever Eating Disorder Roundtable at the White House.
Johanna is a proud member of the Inter departmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee Meeting under the Department of Health and Human Services, a member of the Board of Directors for the Eating Disorders Coalition, and a member of the Eating Disorders Leadership Summit. She has received many awards for her ongoing outreach and advocacy work, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service©, Academy for Eating Disorders’ Meehan/Hartley Leadership Award for Public Service &/or Advocacy, 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, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Glamour Magazine.
She lives in West Palm Beach with her husband, Max Zaretsky, daughter Annabelle, dog Teddy, and cats Oliver and Penny.
Immediate Past President: Chase Bannister, MDIV, MSW, LCSW, CEDS, Accanto Health, Veritas Collaborative, Bannister Consultancy
Chase Bannister is Founder of Veritas Collaborative, a specialty healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders. Chase serves as Senior Vice president for Community Engagement of Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is credentialed as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. Chase is Principal of Bannister Consultancy, a firm committed to thought leadership for healthcare strategy and civic engagement.
Chase's career is marked by achievements in many arenas, including federal legislative initiatives, standards-of-care creation, clinical program innovation, healthcare entrepreneurship, professional education, advocacy, and public awareness campaigns. He appears regularly on the national stage to present on eating disorders, healthcare policy and ethics.
Chase has offered expert guidance on mental health to the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the office of Women’s Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Chase has provided testimony to the US Department of labor regarding access to care, and has presented congressional briefings on integrity of care in the context of changing healthcare environments. Chase played a pivotal role in ensuring the inclusion of eating disorders policy within The 21st Century Cures Act–the first acknowledgement of eating disorders illness in the history of the federal statutory law.
Chase has been invited to the White House during multiple administrations to discuss mental health policy from his perspective as a healthcare executive. He continues to develop key relationships on Capitol Hill, serving in a second term as President of the Board of Directors for Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action. He is an active member of the REDC Consortium, chairing the Special Investigatory Committee on Ethics.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College, Chase was the first to earn concurrent graduate degrees in Clinical Social Work & Divinity from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School and Duke University. He is the recipient of The Arthur B. & Ida Marie Rivers Award for Integrity, Virtue, Gentleness, and Character as well as The L. Harris Chewning Award for Academic Scholarship and Intellectual & Moral Integrity.
S. Bryn Austin, ScD, FAED, Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention on Eating Disorders (STRIPED)
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.
Molly M. Perlman, MD, MPH, CEDS, Monte Nido and Affiliates
Molly M. Perlman, MD, MPH, CEDS, FAPA is Chief Medical Officer of Monte Nido and Affiliates (MNA), overseeing psychiatric and medical care at over 50 facilities across the nation. She is double board certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, graduated from Duke University and the University of Miami, and has trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. During residency in Psychiatry, Dr. Perlman served as Chief Resident and was awarded the Laughlin Fellowship, which is bestowed annually on 12 elite residents for outstanding leadership and significant achievements in psychiatry.
Dr. Perlman is on the Board of Directors of the Eating Disorders Coalition, served as Vice President of the Board from 2018 through 2022, and advocates on Capitol Hill regularly for increasing eating disorder education and access to treatment. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. Dr. Perlman serves as Assistant Professor at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Coalition Representing Eating Disorder Care (REDC), co-chair of the REDC Standards Committee, and is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) Credentialing Committee. Additionally, she oversees MNA’s IRB-approved research study on clinical outcomes as Co-Principal Investigator and has co-authored several papers in peer-reviewed research journals on PTSD and eating disorders.
Jillian Lampert, PhD, RD, LD, MPH, FAED, Accanto Health
Jillian Lampert is the Chief Officer of Accanto Health, the parent company of Veritas Collaborative and The Emily Program. Additionally, Dr. Lampert is Co-Founder and President of the REDC, the national consortium representing eating disorders care focused on treatment standards, best practices, access to care, and collaborative research. She is also a Board Member of WithAll, a Minnesota based organization that empowers eating disorder prevention and strengthens support for recovery. She holds an adjunct graduate faculty position in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Lampert completed 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. She has an expansive range of policy, clinical, research, education, teaching, and program development experience in the area of eating disorders.
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 (formerly the American Dietetic Association), and BHN (Behavioral Health Nutrition) dietetic practice group. Dr. Lampert is the author of numerous book chapters and articles addressing the nutritional treatment of eating disorders, 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 the kids in her house (and everywhere!) have confident, loving relationships with their bodies and themselves.
Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., CEDS
Dena Cabrera is a licensed psychologist and well-known specialist, speaker and author in the field of eating disorders. 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.
Kim Dennis, MD, SunCloud Health
Dr. Kimberly Dennis is the co-founder, CEO and Chief Medical Officer at SunCloud Health, a residential, PHP, IOP and outpatient treatment center for adults and adolescents with complex co-occurring eating disorders, addiction, mood disorders and trauma. 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 and certified eating disorder specialist who specializes in treating co-occurring eating disorders and substance use disorders. She combines her medical training with her own experience as a person with two decades of recovery from an eating disorder, addiction and trauma. She heads the newly added specialty Eating Disorders and Addiction Co-Occurring (EDAC) Residential Treatment Unit at SunCloud Health.
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 International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Dennis obtained her medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and completed her psychiatry residency training at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she served as chief resident. During her training, she was part of the multi-disciplinary eating disorders team specializing in treating young people with eating disorders and their families.
She is published in the areas of gender differences in the development of psychopathology, co-occurring eating disorders and self-injury, and the use of medication with family-based therapy for young people with anorexia nervosa.
Dr. Dennis serves on the NEDA Clinical Advisory Council and co-chairs the Substance Related and Addictive Disorders SIG within the Academy for Eating Disorders. She contributes regularly to news networks and has been featured on Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Discovery Channel’s “My Strange Addiction” and ABC’s “20/20.” Dr. Kim has a regular blog called, “Live Free.”
Schuyler Bailar, Pinkmantaray
Schuyler Bailar is an educator, author, and activist who made history as the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Originally recruited to swim for the Harvard women’s team, he made the difficult choice to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion. Since graduating from Harvard in May 2019 with a degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology, Bailar has focused on activism. As the Founder & CEO of Pinkmantaray LLC, he offers mentoring services, hosts seminars on various topics ranging from allyship to mental health, and is a leading DEI speaker and advisor for hundreds of businesses, organizations, and schools. In 2021, Bailar released his first middle-grade novel, Obie Is Man Enough. And in 2022, he created LaneChanger.com, a learning series that makes gender literacy education accessible to every team, school, and company. Bailar also continues his academic pursuits with the Valera Clinical Psychology Lab at Harvard, the Gordon Lab at Boston University, and the Trans Health Equity Research team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Denise Hamburger, JD, Founder & Executive Director of BE REAL USA
Denise Hamburger is the founder and executive director of Be Real USA, a nonprofit that envisions a world where each and every student can grow up with a healthy relationship to food and their body. In 2019, Denise created a professional development workshop for teachers called Body Confident Schools and has delivered this training to over 2500 US educators. Among over 75 conference, keynote, and school presentations, Denise has presented at STRIPED, the 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 to the National Association of School Psychologists; at the Center for Disease Control to their Healthy Schools Division; at the United States Department of Agriculture to their Food and Nutrition Services Group; at the Society for Public Health Education’s Advocacy Summit; and to Amazon’s Body Positive Peers Employee Resource Group.
Denise has also co-developed and co-piloted Be Real's BodyKind high school body image curriculum with a team of international body image academics. BodyKind is the first body image curriculum developed for a diverse cohort of students. She has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and was an environmental attorney in her first career. She co-wrote the legal treatise Pollution in the United Kingdom in 1993. She has spent the last 25 years involved in education nonprofits, including Chicago’s After School Matters.
Vanessa Menaged, The Renfrew Center
Vanessa oversees the Admissions, Alumni Services, Marketing, Professional Relations, and Program Information Departments at The Renfrew Center. She has been instrumental in the implementation and operations of Renfrew sites throughout the system. Ms. Menaged is a member of The Renfrew Center Clinical Excellence Board.
Vanessa received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University and previously served as the Executive Assistant to Allyson Y. Schwartz, former member of the United States House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 13th congressional district.
Dori Steinberg, PhD, MS, RD, Equip Health
Dori is a researcher, registered dietitian, and advocate for eating disorder prevention. She is currently VP of Research and Policy at Equip Health, a virtual eating disorder treatment delivering evidence-based treatment for eating disorders among youth. Prior to joining Equip she was an Associate Professor at Duke University and director of Duke’s Global Digital Health Science Center, which aimed to evaluate behavioral interventions that leverage emerging technologies. After receiving treatment for her own eating disorder, she shifted her work to promoting a weight inclusive approach to care and feels passionate about scaling evidence-based treatments that improve access for eating disorder treatment. Dr. Steinberg earned her B.S. in Nutrition from Cornell University, her M.S. in Public Health from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dori Bowling, LCSW, Eating Recovery Center
Dori Bowling is the Vice President of Quality Insurance at Eating Recovery Center. She completed her undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology from University of Illinois and immediately began working in the mental health field as a school social worker through a non-profit agency and within police stations and the court system as a domestic violence advocate. While working full time she completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Loyola University and then went on to work at one of the very first settlement houses founded in Chicago, Association House of Chicago. During her years there she initially provided individual, group and family therapy to adults and children suffering from mental illness while also developing programs and groups that addressed co-occurring disorders and grief and loss. In 2008 when she became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker she began managing the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Community Support Team (CST) treatment programs for those suffering with severe mental illness who were unable to care for their basic needs so they needed a wraparound model to ensure they stayed safe and healthy. After leaving Association House of Chicago, she went on to be the Director of a 62 bed unit for the severely mentally ill in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, where she was afforded the opportunity to learn how to develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with State and Government regulations.
Dori joined the Pathlight Behavioral Health family in 2011 as the Director of Compliance and Co-Director of the Transitional Living Apartments, where she could use both her clinical and policy building skills to help patients struggling with mood and anxiety disorders as well as eating disorders. Following the merger with Eating Recovery Center she was promoted to the position of Admissions Director assisting with the hiring, training, and policy implementation in the Admissions Department for all of the ERC and Pathlight Locations, while also managing Clinical Assessment staff.
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.