Speakers at MOM March 4-6:30 pm October 27 - West Lawn of the US Capitol
Former Member of Congress, Patrick J. Kennedy
Champion of Mental Health Parity, as well as former Champion of eating disorders legislation, the FREED Act (Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders).
Patrick J Kennedy Former Member of Congress and He and former Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) wrote a letter in support of the Anna Westin Act: http://www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org/documents/KennedyRamstadLetter_6.23.2015.pdf
Although he is retired from Congress, he continues his tireless work on mental health, on several fronts. His book comes out October 5th: #ACommonStruggle “The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy-- Former United States Representative, Rhode Island; Co-Founder, One Mind and Founder, Kennedy Forum. The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008--and his brave openness about his own health challenges. The son of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, he decided to leave Congress not long after his father’s death to devote his career to advocacy for brain diseases and to create a new, healthier life and start a family. He has since founded the Kennedy Forum, which unites the community of mental health, and co-founded One Mind for Research, a global leader in open science collaboration in brain research. Kennedy is also the co-author of “A Common Struggle,” which outlines a bold plan for the future of mental health in America. Patrick lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their three (soon to be four) children.”
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) - Champion of the Anna Westin Act of 2015 (HR 2515)
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) - Champion of the Anna Westin Act of 2015 (HR 2515)
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)
Annie Seal is a mom whose daughter is in recovery from an eating disorder. In 2009, Annie became a citizen advocate when she began working with a Missouri legislator to file an eating disorders insurance reform bill with the state legislature. Over the past seven years, she led the efforts in the passage of four eating disorders bills, including the establishment of the MO Eating Disorders Council. As a part of these efforts, she held seven Eating Disorders Advocacy Days at the state capitol, coordinated 14 committee hearings and held countless meetings with citizens, community influencers and legislators to increase awareness on the facts surrounding eating disorders and insurance coverage. In 2015, the Missouri Insurance Reform bill was truly agreed and finally passed by the Missouri state legislature and was signed into law by the Governor. This bill defines the coverage insurance must provide for eating disorders and stipulates that insurance can no longer use sole criteria such as weight to deny care. Annie serves as the chairman of the MO Eating Disorders Council, which operates under the auspices of the MO Department of Mental Health, to provide statewide awareness programs and increase access to care. She is also the Board President for the MO Eating Disorders Association, a MO not-for-profit dedicated to raising eating disorders awareness and education. In addition to working full-time as a Director of Marketing for a national sports nutrition company, Annie resides in St. Louis with her husband, two dogs, two cats, three chickens. Her daughters are both happy and healthy and live big beautiful lives away from home.
Becky Henry is trained as a Certified, Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and uses those skills to guide families to let go of fear and panic, learn self-care skills and become effective guides for their loved ones in eating disorder recovery. Her services include: coaching, caregiver retreats, group phone support, and speaking to health care professional associations. As a mom who has been down this road since 2000, Becky saw a major gap in supporting families and knew she had to step up and fill it. Now parents everywhere are reclaiming joy, calm and peace...even those who have lost a child to these most deadly of all mental illnesses. A National Award Winning Author, Henry published, "Just Tell Her To Stop; Family Stories of Eating Disorders" in 2011 to reduce caregiver isolation, expose the reality of eating disorders, and reduce stigma. It is also an educational resource for training current and upcoming health practitioners so they are able to recognize red flags and confidently diagnose and refer people for treatment–in other words, open up pathways to evidence based treatment.
"Strike Out Against Injustice"
Kitty 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 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 Governors Advisory Counsel on Mental Heath, 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. 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 and the National Eating Disorders Association Inspiration Award.
Debra Schlesinger is a Mom and Volunteer with the Eating Disorder Resource Center and for the last 7 years has facilitated the Eating Disorder Family and Loved Ones Support Group. We provide support and resources. Debra does educational outreach at local schools and has been a mentor for the last 3 years through Mentor Connect. Three years ago she founded the Facebook Group MAED (Mothers Against Eating Disorders) which mothers can join for support. We currently have almost 2,400 members internationally. She also started MAED Advocacy, MAED Loss and MAED Professionals where Moms, sufferers and professionals can join for support and resources. They are all closed private groups. I will be marching and lobbying in DC in memory of my daughter Nicole who lost her life to Anorexia after a 10 year battle.
Johanna S. Kandel is the founder and CEO of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, author of Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder, and Special Consultant to The Renfrew Center Foundation. 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, member of the Academy for Eating Disorders Advisory Board. Johanna has appeared on programs including NBC Nightly News and The Today Show, and been profiled in the New York Times and Glamour Magazine.
Kathleen MacDonald is the Health Insurance Advocate at Kantor & Kantor, LLP, and the Director of Social Media & Advocate Relations at the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC). Before working in the field of eating disorders, Kathleen took time to fully heal from an 18 year-long battle with chronic dieting, bulimia, anorexia and body image issues. Kathleen has served as a Patient Advocate and as the Education & Prevention Coordinator at the Gail R. Schoenbach F.R.E.E.D. Foundation and as the Policy & Communications Director at the EDC. In those roles, Kathleen had the humble honor of writing the first draft of the Anna Westin Act of 2015 and the first draft of a 2015 bill introduced in the Massachusetts legislature that seeks to regulate the sale of weight loss and muscle building supplements. Kathleen was also was a lead expert in developing both the Education and Prevention and the Patient Advocacy sections of FREED Act –The Federal Response to Eliminating Eating Disorders. Some of Kathleen’s presentation experience includes: The F.R.E.E.D. Foundation College Speaking Tour; NEDA, BEDA, F.E.A.S.T, and Renfrew conferences; Congressional briefings; and National Policy Conferences on Eating Disorders Legislation. Kathleen is blessed to live with three English Setters, a gaggle of cats and a loved one of the two-legged variety. When she’s not working, she spends her time hiking, reading, painting, running and reminding people that it is a given they are beautiful, because they are alive.
Laura Dyan Kezman - Director has worked in journalism and film production for over six years. She served as co-producer and lead writer on the feature documentary Out of Respect in 2009, has since gone on to work for Al Jazeera English, Discovery, NBC, and National Geographic, and is a producer of The Myken Project documentary, currently in production. is her first feature film.