Board and Staff

ANAD Staff Members

Kristen Portland headshot

Kristen Portland, MA


Executive Director

Kristen graduated from the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Chicago. Once there, she began her professional career in marketing management before transitioning to her passion: the world of nonprofits. She worked for the YMCA and volunteered with a variety of organizations including the Anti-Cruelty Society, the National Abortion Rights Action League, Girls on the Run, the Chicago Area Runners Association, and community libraries. Kristen began working for ANAD in 2018. As part of a two person team, Kristen ran programming, helped with conference planning and execution, organized webinars, managed the website, and so much more. Kristen stepped away to care for her growing family, but is thrilled to return to ANAD. When she has time, Kristen loves to bake, read, run, and play with her baby, dog, and cat.

Jenn Carroll headshot

Jenn Carroll


Programs Director

Jenn graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work with her Masters in Social Work and has worked in the eating disorders field for nearly a decade. Jenn has managed helplines, run prevention programming for kids, high schoolers, and college students, and created professional development curriculum and trainings. Jenn is passionate about justice work, mental health awareness, and community building. In her spare time, Jenn loves to spend time in nature, practice yoga, and hang out with her kids and dog.

Jason Wood headshot

Jason Wood


Director of Community Engagement

Jason turned his battle with orthorexia into a mission to break the stigma around men’s mental health by publishing his memoir Starving for Survival. He is proud to serve on the board for two eating disorder recovery organizations, Running in Silence and SoulPaws Recovery Project.  Through speaking engagements, his writing, and his work, Jason strives to start an important conversation that encourages everyone–especially men–to speak up, share their stories, and get the help they deserve. Jason lives in Michigan with his husband and their two pups, Arnie and Walter. He is an avid sports fan and also enjoys climbing, hiking, and playing tennis.

Liron Cohen headshot

Liron Cohen


Senior Program Coordinator

Liron was born and raised in Israel and moved to the US in 2010. She graduated from the City University of New York’s unique and interdisciplinary program with a BA in Journalism and US Media and Culture. She then worked mainly as a TV and film critic, with an emphasis on promoting quality media representation for women and the LGBTQ+ community. She is a proud member of the Women Film Critics Circle. Liron has been passionate about promoting the role and benefits of mentorship and lived experience in eating disorder recovery for the last twenty years, and is now working to take ANAD’s model to the rest of the world, starting with her home country of Israel. Some of her favorite things are spending time with her wife and two cats, reading autobiographies and psychology books, singing along to her favorite musicals, and visiting her family and friends in Israel.

Leela Hauze headshot

Leela Hauze


Program Coordinator

Leela received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. During her time in college, she joined the eating disorder field as a volunteer worker, as her own experience with loved ones showed her how essential a strong support system is for individuals struggling with eating disorders. Following her time in college, she began working directly in the field at an eating disorder helpline. She is excited to continue her work in the eating disorder field at ANAD. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, cooking, and trying new restaurants.

Athena McDowall headshot

Athena McDowall


Program Coordinator

Athena received her Master’s in Social Work degree from Rutgers University following a time in which she served in the New Jersey Army National Guard. During her time in college, Athena became involved with the National Eating Disorders Association as the Philadelphia Walk Coordinator and became an Ambassador for the Eating Disorder Coalition. Athena currently works as a counselor at Symmetry of Self Counseling Center, located in West Deptford, NJ. Most recently, Athena became the vice president of the board of directors for a new nonprofit organization called SEA WAVES, which aims to increase awareness around eating disorders in the military and provide military personnel with the treatment resources that they need in order to pursue recovery. Athena is excited to continue to raise awareness of eating disorders in the military and continue in her counseling and nonprofit work. During her free time Athena enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at her church as a Sunday School Teacher.

Nicole Gross headshot

Nicole Gross


Community Engagement Intern

Nicole graduated from the University of California, Davis with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Art Studio and English. Nicole is a serial solo entrepreneur who currently runs a virtual assistant business along with being a professional photographer. She came to ANAD through the fat liberation movement and she intends to continue learning about eating disorders and sharing what she learns through ANAD with the rest of the world. In her downtime, Nicole enjoys writing poetry, writing short stories, and working on personal photography projects.

Kate Magnacca headshot

Kate Magnacca


Marketing & Communications Intern

Kate is an undergraduate student at Oberlin College. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. She aspires to earn a masters degree in social work and become a therapist specializing in adolescents with eating disorders and OCD. In her free time, Kate loves to cuddle with her calico cat, Mabel; she is also an avid knitter, crocheter, reader, and dancer.

Zunera headshot

Zunera Nasir


Helpline & Referral Services Intern

Zunera is a graduate student in New York, working on her master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition, and has earned a bachelors degree in Biology. She’s known since her preteen years that she wanted to work with young people of color with eating disorders, leading her to join ANAD as a helpline volunteer in the fall of 2022. She has since become a helpline team lead, joined the referrals team, and is now the Helpline and Referral Services Intern! She is excited to continue working with ANAD programs to connect beneficiaries with both personal support on the helpline and professional support through referrals, and use her experience here to guide her eventual professional practice. In her free time, Zunera loves to read (almost exclusively fiction), draw and paint (poorly), train aerial hoop (her coolest hobby), and go hiking with her friends (and always get lost at least once)!

ANAD Board of Directors

Maria Rago headshot

Maria Rago, PhD



Maria is the clinical director and founder of Rago & Associates. She has extensive experience in individual, marital, and family therapy, eating disorders, supervision, and professional consultation. Maria’s leadership has been important across inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings. She was instrumental in founding the eating disorders program at Linden Oaks in Naperville, Illinois.

In 2012, Maria was awarded ANAD’s Vivian Meehan Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in her service and her commitment to helping people with eating disorders and their loved ones.  She helped start some of ANAD’s most memorable programming, such as candlelight vigils and Recovery Night meetings. Maria has been a passionate and outspoken leader on eating disorders and body image, and has spoken across the country and in Europe to help change people’s views and assumptions on those topics. 

Patricia Santucci headshot

Patricia Santucci, MD, FAED, FAPA


Vice President, Education Director

Patricia Santucci received her medical degree from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. She is a board certified psychiatrist and practiced in the western suburbs of Chicago focusing on women’s issues, adolescents and eating disorders. In addition to her private practice, she served as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatric at Stritch School of Medicine.  She was recognized as a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, founding member and Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders and board member and past Volunteer Medical Director for Our Children’s Homestead, a non-profit organization based on the Boy’s Town model for traumatized foster children. Her hospital based activities included medical directorships of adolescent units and development of eating disorder programs. After serving as Director of Mercy Center and later the Linden Oaks Eating Disorder Program she became Medical Director of Edwards- Linden Oaks Hospital in Naperville, Illinois.

Her interest in ANAD began soon after the organization was launched. She has served as a Board Member since 1977 and held office as Executive VP and President.  Much of her career has been devoted to developing curriculum and training for medical and mental health professionals. As an active advocate for the field, she has testified before Congress and the National Institute for Mental Health on several occasions. Additional contributions include the initiation and launching of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the Coalition for Eating Disorders, Harvard Eating Disorder Task Force, Editorial Board Eating Disorder: Journal of Treatment and Prevention, National Eating Disorder Screening Program and APA Guidelines for Eating Disorders.

Matt DeBoer headshot

Matt DeBoer, CFP®



After earning his degree in Accounting from Illinois State University in 2014, Matt began working as a Corporate Accountant for a mutual fund company in the suburbs of Chicago. Pursuing his dreams, to work directly with people, Matt was promoted to the sales desk where he worked closely with other financial professionals. Still feeling that he could make a greater impact in people’s lives he made the switch in 2017 to work directly with a select group of clients and joined DeNardo Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. In 2022, Matt joined the group in their move to Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network  In this role, as a financial advisor, he is able to work directly with individuals and families and focuses on creating solid investment plans to assist them in reaching their goals. Matt joined ANAD to further his dream of making a real  difference in people’s lives. He works closely with the ANAD board to create annual financial documents and conducts financial reviews to ensure the longevity of ANAD so that the organization can continue to effect positive change in the world. (PM-12072025-6680305.1.1)

Kristen Gehrig headshot

Kristen Gehrig



Kristen comes to ANAD with over 20 years of experience as an international business leader focused on Sales, Marketing, Brand Management and Product Development.

Having a passion for healthy eating as well as helping women succeed, Kristen has been active with the Fox Valley Food for Health organization in St Charles, IL. This organization prepares healthy meals for families who are recovering from a health crisis such as cancer. Kristen also devoted 3 years as an English Language Tutor at the Dominican Literacy Center which serves immigrant women in the Aurora, IL area.

Kristen is an avid runner who has completed five marathons and numerous half marathons and 5Ks. Kristen also enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her husband, Walter, and her pets Lucky (Jack Russell Terrier mix) and Mimi (tabby cat).

Stephanie Covington Armstrong headshot

Stephanie Covington Armstrong


Board Member

A Brooklyn native, Stephanie is an author, playwright, screenwriter, eating disorder recovery advocate and speaker. In 2009, Stephanie became the first African-American to detail her experience with an eating disorder with the release of her memoir, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia. Since then, she has become a sought-after speaker and lecturer, helping to bring attention to eating disorders in marginalized communities. She has collaborated with NEDA, presented at ICED, is a regular keynote speaker, and is a member of the steering committee formed to create World Eating Disorders Day in 2016 to bring global awareness to those who struggle. Using her voice to raise awareness about eating disorders, Stephanie continues to use her platform to raise awareness about eating disorders and is regularly featured in magazines and on television, radio, and podcasts.

Ashley Podzius headshot

Ashley Podzius


Board Member

Ashley joins ANAD with nearly a decade of professional experience in behavioral health, most of which has been working with clients recovering from eating disorders, or providers needing to refer clients to a higher level of care. Through her own recovery journey, Ashley has developed a passion for eating disorder advocacy. She has worked with Dr. Maria Rago for over 6 years, providing 1-1 outpatient yoga for individuals recovering from eating disorders out of client’s homes. This allows clients to create a safe and sacred space for healing under their own roof, and supports a healthy, empowered, and meaningful life. Ashley is the Midwest Clinical Resource Advisor for Integrative Life Network (ILN), a small and mighty family of trauma focused treatment centers in Nashville, Chattanooga, Boulder and Oxford. She works closely with providers in the Midwest, educating them on treatment options for trauma, substance use, and intimacy disorders. Ashley credits her success to her amazing mentors that led her to this place in her life and professional career. She would like to thank Maria Rago, Julie Holland, Dave Cook, and Debra Cooper for their infinite wisdom and guidance. Ashley studied Broadcast and Electronic Communications at Marquette University, and graduated from Governors State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Fine Art. In her free time, Ashley enjoys life in Milwaukee and all the city has to offer with her boyfriend and her cats. She has a love for travel and exploring new places, meeting new people, practicing yoga, and walking along the lakefront. She is looking forward to supporting ANAD’s growth and support for individuals nationwide.

Denise Hamburger headshot

Denise Hamburger, JD


Board Member

Denise is the founder and executive director of BE REAL a nonprofit that focuses on providing body confidence resources to educators and parents all over the country. Denise teaches the body image unit in health classes in Chicago-area middle and high schools. She created Body Confident Schools, a professional development workshop for educators. She has delivered this training to over 850 teachers, counselors, social workers and school administrators all over the country. In the last 25 years she has been an active social advocate for children, sitting on over a dozen local and national children’s charity boards. She is a 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, practicing as an environmental attorney in her first career.

Anna Orland headshot

Anna K. Orland, DDS


Board Member

Anna K Orland D.D.S. is a practicing dentist in Wheaton Illinois for the last 27 years. She graduated from Loyola University where she was awarded the Public Health Award for volunteerism. She has been interested in Eating Disorder complication in Dentistry and has been an advocate for diagnosis of Eating Disorders in dental patients. She has lectured in this area at National Louis University and local schools. She is the program dinner chair for the West Suburban Dental Society and course chair for the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. Anna had volunteered for the Oak Park Infant Welfare for 7 years. She has provided educational programs for Head Start and volunteers for the Chicago Dental Society Foundation Dental Clinical Wheaton. Being fluent in various Slavic Languages, she enjoys travel and physical fitness. She lives with her husband in Wheaton and has three grown children.

Minerva Calatayud headshot

Minerva Calatayud


Board Member

Minerva joined ANAD because she is an experienced entrepreneur with a strategic mindset with a passion for helping people grow, find their full potential, and live a better life. She has 30 years of experience developing international business and marketing strategies that enable global companies to expand and grow their markets. Most of her experience has been in the food and beverage industry due to her passion for food and technology. Additionally, she had her own international strategic marketing consultant business and worked as a substitute teacher at the public school District. Today, she works at the Women Business Development Center as an Associate Director for Entrepreneurial services. She advises women entrepreneurs and minorities that want to start or grow their businesses. She also develops and imparts training and educational business programs. Minerva holds a bachelors in Food Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, an M.B.A..from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico, and an Executive Master in International Business from St Louis University in St Louis Missouri. She is passionate about family, wellness, food, diversity, and inclusion.

Omri Avraham headshot

Omri Avraham


Board Member

Omri has been involved with ANAD in many capacities: volunteer, staff member, and now board member. She is the first person in her family to graduate from college and is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at California State University, Fullerton. She hopes to eventually work with eating disorders in a clinical capacity. Prior to returning to school, she worked as a cheese buyer and baker at a 100% worker-owned collective in Berkeley, CA. In her spare time she likes to bake, hike, watch TV, meet new people, and explore new places.

Tiffany Rush-Wilson headshot

Dr. Tiffany Rush-Wilson


Board Member

Dr. Tiffany Rush-Wilson is a licensed professional counselor-supervisor and psychologist in Ohio. She is board certified in TeleMental Health (BC-TMH), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). She is an Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS), a Canadian Counsellor (CCC) and Sports Counseling. With 20+ years of clinical and academic experience, she serves at the Associate Department Chair at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology-Online Campus. Her clinical practice focuses on diversity, disordered eating and elite athletics. Dr. Rush-Wilson has published and presented at the local, state, national and international level. She lives in both Toronto, ON and Cleveland, OH and enjoys studying languages, distance running and, above all, spending time with her family.

ANAD Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Erin Knopf MD, FAAP, DABPN, CEDS


Advisory Board Member

Co-Founder, Chief Medical Officer of VERY | Virtual Eating Recovery for You
Dr. Knopf is dedicated to treating patients with eating disorders holistically. As a triple-boarded physician and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, she uses her combined training with intentionality to assess disease severity and devise comprehensive plans to address the eating disorder behaviors as well as comorbid symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD and more. She provides outpatient care virtually to patients 10+ across all diagnoses as CMO and attending psychiatrist with VERY.

Education: Dr. Erin Knopf is a board-certified pediatrician, adult psychiatrist and child/adolescent psychiatrist as well as an iaedp Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. She graduated from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. with a degree in biology and a minor in human services. She received her medical degree from The American University of the Caribbean and completed clinical training in The United Kingdom, Miami and New York. Her interest in eating disorders developed in 2008 while working at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX. This interest continued throughout her training, and she took an active role on medical and psychiatric teams for a wide array of cases. She completed residency training at The University of Kentucky in a combined residency program, the Triple Board program, in pediatric medicine, adult psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry. She was awarded honors in Adolescent Medicine, Behavior and Development Medicine, and Clinical Teaching in Psychiatry. As Chief Resident, she supervised adolescent girls in a weekly eating disorder outpatient therapy group. She is a member of IAEDP, AED, AACAP, APA and AAP.

Clinical Experience: Dr. Knopf worked as an attending psychiatrist at The Eating Recovery Center in Denver, CO in 2018 to 2022, treating adult and youth patients in a vertically integrated model with inpatient/residential and partial hospitalization programs. At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, she served as unit psychiatrist for ten months at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders, the only ED-dedicated ICU in the country.

Treatment Philosophy: I completed my Triple Board residency to best treat ED patients holistically, mind and body. Given the intertwined nature of the psychological and the physical outcomes of EDs, my background in pediatric medicine and psychiatry allows me to assess disease severity and create comprehensive treatment approaches. I try to limit polypharmacy and use psychotropics with intentionality to mitigate comorbid symptoms of anxiety, depression, OCD and improve dysfunctional neurobiological pathways resulting from eating disorder behaviors. I also describe myself as the “mechanic of the body” and prioritize psychoeducation and biological education for patients and families to foster insight and achieve treatment alignment.

Millie Plotkin, MLS, FAED


Advisory Board Member

Millie Plotkin, MLS is known as the “eating disorders librarian”. After earning her Masters of Library Science from Catholic University in Washington, DC, Milie worked at the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health Library. She was informationist (a specialized medical librarian) for Eating Recovery Center from 2013-2023. In 2021, she was recognized as a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal for creating the Eating Disorders Information Gateway. She is now the consulting informationist for ACUTE Denver Health and a medical librarian at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Milie has been volunteering in eating disorders advocacy since 2001 when she founded ANAD’s annual National Candlelight Vigil. She served as Director of Social and Online Media on the board of the Academy of Eating Disorders and is a Fellow of the AED. She continues to volunteer with committees and task forces for the Academy. In 2023, she raised funds for the Alliance by hiking the tallest peaks in Scotland and Wales. Milie is a founding member of the new Mid-Atlantic Collective for Eating Disorders. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with two feline research assistants.

Amy Wilmot


Advisory Board Member

Amy Wilmot is the founder of Growth Game Consulting. Amy has earned her master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Psychology and Criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she played Division I soccer. Her personal and professional experiences have informed her interest in the science of human flourishing and the demand for mindset shifts in all areas of life. She works with clinical populations, youth and collegiate athletes, medical centers, and large corporations to align individual and organizational thought processing to support recovery, mental durability, consistency, and overall well-being. Amy also works as a resilience trainer for the Penn Resilience Program at the Positive Psychology Center for The University of Pennsylvania. 

Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft, PhD


Advisory Board Member

Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis and a licensed clinical psychologist. She has established programmatic lines of research centering on the use of technology for eating disorder prevention and treatment, eating disorder screening, sociocultural etiological and maintenance factors for eating disorders, eating disorder recovery, and college mental health. Ultimately Dr. Fitzsimmons-Craft’s work aims to disseminate evidence-based interventions from research to practice as well as extend treatments in ways that will reach the large number of people in need of care for mental health problems but who are not receiving services. She is a Fellow in the Academy for Eating Disorders, is a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Career Development Award, and has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications that have been collectively cited over 6,000 times in the literature. Dr. Fitzsimmons-Craft is passionate about increasing access to scalable, evidence-based mental health services, collaborating with numerous industry partners, non-profit organizations, and statewide groups in the U.S. in order to do so. Her work has been featured in high-profile media outlets including 60 Minutes, the New York Times, NPR, Wired, and Forbes.