Board and Staff

Board

Maria Rago, PhD, President

Maria Rago has been a dedicated advocate for the understanding of people with eating disorders and their loved ones for the last 25 years. She has helped to start some of ANAD’s most memorable programming such as Candlelight vigils and “Recovery Night” ANAD meetings.She is honored to be the current president of ANAD, and she is doing this work in honor of all of those individuals and families who have been touched by eating disorders, including those who have lost their lives.  We celebrate those who have recovered, support those who are still fighting and always love and remember those who did not survive their eating disorder.  Our mission is to stop eating disorders in the first place, but in the meantime, to make sure no one is forgotten.

Patricia Santucci, MD, FAED, FAPA, Medical 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.

In addition to being a keynote speaker, she has presented multiple workshops on a variety of mental health and appeared on TV and radio (Oprah, CBS, NBC, WGN, Today Show, Jane Pauley, Jennie Jones, etc) to increase the awareness of eating disorders.

After her retirement in 1999, she devoted her time and energy to volunteering. 9/11 presented a unique opportunity to use her skills related to trauma.  As a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, she served as  the disaster mental health lead for Kane County Illinois and later became the Medical Director of the SW Florida Medical Reserve Corps.  She Co-chaired the Medical Reserve Corps Disaster Mental Health Task Force in Washington under the Office of Surgeon General.  In that capacity, she worked alongside the National Center for PTSD and the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network in the development of Psychological First Aid Field Manual. She trained emergency responders across the nation both in disaster mental health and medical response and was a trainer for the American Medical Association course in Disaster Life Support,

As an active disaster responder Pat has been a member of the MRC, DMAT and Florida Crisis Consortium. In 2012, she authored the chapter, Mental Health Outcome in Disasters and Terrorism in Behavioral Health Response to Disasters.

Pat is also the recipient of several awards; Loyola Stritch School of Medicine- Faculty of the Year Award: 2000; Citibank Crystal Award; JC Penny Golden Rule Award; ANAD Service Award; AED Meehan – Hartley Award; Sierra Tucson Recognition Award; and the Points of Light Award for her work during Katrina.

Warren Denardo, Treasurer

Anna K. Orland, DDS, Secretary

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.

Al Augustine, JD (ret.), Board Member

Originally from Lithuania, Board Member, Al Augustine, quickly made Chicago his home when he immigrated there in 1947. After spending his early youth at St. Rita High School, Notre Dame University, and the Illinois Law School, he began work in a corporate and banking firm in 1969, then spent the following 5 years as the Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Illinois agency that licenses and disciplines most professions in Illinois including: doctors, nurses, psychologists, accountants, and others. In 1979, Al began his firm and retired in October 2015.

Al still consults as a retired attorney and has represented professionals across the country especially those providing integrative medical and dental care. Al brings his decades of legal expertise within the medical community to ANAD and will co-chair ANAD’s Governance Committee.

Matt DeBoer, CFP®, Board Member

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 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.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. Member SIPC.

Melissa Geraghty, Psy.D., Board Member 

Dr. Melissa Geraghty is a licensed clinical health psychologist at Rago & Associates, a private practice located in Naperville, Illinois. Her primary specialties include eating disorders, chronic pain, and complex medical. Her psychotherapeutic style is based on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which incorporates mindfulness, teaching coping skills, and assisting clients in living their values. Dr. Geraghty has worked with people with eating disorders in inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings.

Dr. Geraghty is an international speaker and presents workshops to help better educate healthcare professionals and the public on eating disorders and chronic pain. She has also received recognition and awards for her clinical advocacy efforts. Dr. Geraghty’s Facebook (@MindfulMomentsByDrG) and Twitter (@MindfulDrG) accounts allow her to spread awareness on eating disorders, physical and psychological difficulties, as well as post information on mindfulness.

Jeanne Keshishian, Board Member 

With a degree in International Business from Eastern Michigan University, Jeanne was also a Rotary Club Scholar, spent at the University of Aix-en-Provence, France.  She spent a year in Paris at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris with an internship in the marketing department at Renault’s world headquarters. She successfully defended her thesis on “The Socio-Economic Aspects of Robotics” before the Paris Chamber of Commerce.  

Jeanne’s first industry experience was in the automotive marketplace in Detroit, working in inventory control, international supply chain and technical document translations. In 1990, she left the automotive industry and moved to the Insurance industry, where she earned her Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) professional designation, as well as Securities, Life/Health and P&C licenses.  Beginning in retail sales, she progressed into third-party distribution as a wholesaler, to regional wholesaling management and as the National Sales Vice President at a Fortune 500 insurance company.  She was responsible for new product development, marketing collateral and sales development. With the 2008 financial meltdown, she next served as President of a broker/dealer’s insurance agency, creating new business processes, ensuring access to suitable products from financially sound carriers and suitability review of new business.

In 2018, Jeanne relocated to Chicago and joined a living green wall manufacturer as VP of Sales.  She was first charged with creating processes for sales through Steelcase dealers, made them scalable and quadrupled the number of dealer-resellers after joining the team.  Upon completing the roll-out, she began new business development on the East Coast.

Jeanne also served a 2-year term on the Board of Rotary One, the first service club in the world, and enjoys gardening, yoga, reading and needlework.

Robin Nelson, MHS

Robin Nelson is committed to making the world a better place through her actions and is honored to serve on the board of ANAD. A native San Diegan, Robin has worked for over 45 years as a teacher for at-risk youth, school administrator, Literacy Peer Coach/Staff Developer, Beginning Teacher Support Provider, Gifted and Talented Education Resource Specialist, Health Educator and Dean of Students with John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Robin currently teaches and volunteers with the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation, AIDS LifeCycle annual 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA, and serves on the educational committee of the Anti Defamation League, San Diego. She was awarded both the San Diego Unified School District and San Diego County Teacher of the Year awards as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Leader Award. Robin received her BA from UCLA and a masters of health science from San Diego State University. Robin has certification in Nonprofit Management through the University of San Diego and is a certified mediator through The National Conflict Resolution Center. 

ANAD holds a special place in Robin’s heart. As a long distance runner and competitive athlete most of her life, she suffered from an eating disorder and understands the everyday challenges associated with eating disorders. Robin believes that, along with the individual journey a person must travel with their disease, one needs to see vibrant, productive role models who demonstrate that recovery is possible. With ANAD, Robin’s desire is to expand knowledge of eating disorders, share resources, foster understanding and create relationships that nurture and encourage those impacted by eating disorders to move forward with hope.

Staff

Lynn Slawsky, MPA, PMP, Executive Director

Lynn came to ANAD in 2017 with 15 years of experience working for nonprofit, hospital, university, and state government organizations. She previously served as ANAD’s Director of Community Relations. Her background is project management, in which she is a certified PMP (Project Management Professional). She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, where she was President of her graduate student association. She got her bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Ohio State as well. Lynn volunteers whenever possible, and especially enjoys being part of a chef team at a local soup kitchen that prepares homemade meals for low-income neighbors each week. She also enjoys mentoring young women in their career growth, and hanging out with her toddler.

Giva Ann Wilkerson, MA, MPA, Program Director

A native Philadelphian, Giva is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Having experienced her own eating disorder recovery journey, Giva understands how significant the support of caring and experienced individuals can have on the healing process. Often referring to herself as a “natural big sister,” Giva believes nurturing and mentoring younger women to be her life’s purpose. Thus, she has worked with women and youth the majority of her career, designing educational and leadership programs, as well as providing social and emotional counseling and training. She has also worked as a blogger and entertainment correspondent. She most recently worked at Project HEAL, another eating disorder nonprofit organization. When she is not working, you can find her volunteering with organizations serving underrepresented communities and victims of trauma. The causes closest to her heart include girls’ leadership, racial and reproductive justice and mental health awareness/care. Giva is a trained sexual assault crisis counselor, mental health first aid worker and vinyasa yoga teacher. In the near future she hopes to train to become a yoga therapist, which will allow her to combine her love of mental and physical health with the holistic healing practice of yoga.

Heather Hovinen, Support Group Coordinator

Heather also joined our team as a graduate intern from Adler University. She is a first-year PsyD student in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. Her research interests include Eating Disorders, Body Image and Self Esteem, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and Neuropsychology. She has a variety of experience in research and analysis from Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Angelo Thomas, Outreach Coordinator

Angelo’s background is as a writer, filmmaker, and mental health activist. Since recovering from anorexia in 2018, Angelo has worked with ANAD to give a voice to those suffering from eating disorders in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. He has also spoken at NEDA walks and conferences across the country. Angelo recently completed “The Incredible Jake Parker,” a feature film about a teenage popstar’s battle with anorexia.

Lily Janson, Program Assistant

Lily recently graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Theatre Studies. She is beginning her graduate studies in social work at Loyola University this fall. Lily hopes to expand her knowledge of eating disorder recovery and awareness and further her experiences working in nonprofit organizations. She has previously volunteered with organizations such as Girls on The Run and GirlForward and enjoys using her free time to support organizations focused on empowering women and girls. In her free time, you can find Lily spending time with her friends and family and enjoying all that Chicago has to offer!

Megan Schomaker, Blog Manager

Megan has been working with ANAD since 2014, starting as an undergraduate intern. Along the way, Megan has worked as a freelance graphic designer, social media coordinator, and now working her way up to blog manager.  Megan is currently working on her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Argosy University and works a counselor at Center for Discovery. Being 5+ years in recovery from her own Eating Disorder, Megan brings personal passion and honesty to our blog. Megan is also a nanny to a family of 4 little girls and is an intern counselor for women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence. If she ever has a free minute, Megan can be found doing yoga, training for marathons, and watching TV with a cup of coffee and her puppy, Cooper!