History

ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization providing free, peer support services to anyone struggling with an eating disorder.

ANAD was founded in 1976 by Vivian Meehan, a nurse whose daughter had been diagnosed with anorexia and was unable to find support for eating disorders. Vivian started her own eating disorders support group in her basement in Highland Park, Illinois, and served as ANAD’s president until she retired in 2009.

Dr. Pat Santucci, another pioneer in the eating disorders field, has been working with ANAD since 1977. Dr. Santucci has devoted much of her career to developing curriculum and training for medical and mental health professionals. She has testified before Congress and the National Institute for Mental Health on several occasions. Dr. Santucci is also a founding member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the Coalition for Eating Disorders. She currently serves as a board member at ANAD.

Since 1976, ANAD has grown to become the leading nonprofit in the U.S. providing free, peer support services to anyone struggling with an eating disorder. What began as one support group in Highland Park, Illinois, is now 11 virtual support groups, a Helpline, and mentorship program. Today, ANAD serves 200 people every week. Our work is made possible by our diverse board and staff, generous donors, and our nationwide network of volunteers who understand firsthand the ups and downs of the recovery journey.

Want to learn more about ANAD’s history? Head over to Witness History to hear Dr. Santucci speaking with Claire Bowes of the BBC.

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