Johanna Kandel (She/Her) founded The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness after recovering from a ten-year-long battle with various eating disorders . Since its inception in 2000, The Alliance has brought information and awareness about eating disorders to more than 300,000 individuals nationally and internationally. In addition, Johanna runs free weekly support groups, mentors individuals with eating disorders and their families, and helps thousands of people gain information and find the help they need. As a passionate advocate for mental health and eating disorders legislation, Johanna has spent a lot of time meeting with numerous members of Congress, and was part of the first-ever Eating Disorder Roundtable at the White House.
Johanna is the immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for the Eating Disorders Coalition, member of the Academy for Eating Disorders Advisory Board, and a member of the Eating Disorders Leadership Summit. She has received many awards including the Jefferson Award for Public Service© 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.
Johanna’s book, Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder, was released by Harlequin Nonfiction in September 2010.
CLICK HERE to email Johanna.
Dr. Joann Hendelman (She/Her) is the Clinical Director of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness. She is also Clinical Director of The Alliance Psychological Services which provides therapy for those who are uninsured or underinsured, those who historically have not had access to care. The program is staffed by Postdoctoral Fellows under Dr. Hendelman’s supervision. Dr. Hendelman also trains and supervises Alliance Support Group Facilitators and groups that are currently held across the country.
Dr. Hendelman is author of “Eating Disorders: A Maladaptive Coping Mechanism,” in Stress in the Modern World, published 2017. Dr. Hendelman has spoken on many areas of eating disorders to professional and lay audiences nationally and internationally since 1981.
Dr. Hendelman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Registered Nurse. Dr. Hendelman is a Fellow in the Academy for Eating Disorders (FAED). She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Nurse (CEDRN) and an iaedp Approved Supervisor for those seeking certification. Dr. Hendelman maintains a private practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Hendelman.
Liz Motta (she/Her) received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Miami in 2014. While studying at UM, she completed her clinical practicum at the Institute for Individual and Family Counseling as well as Florida International University’s Counseling and Psychological Services Center where she provided individual counseling to adolescents and adults. Liz worked as both a Clinical Recovery Coach and a Primary Therapist at Oliver Pyatt-Centers in Miami, an eating disorder treatment center for women. She also worked as the Integrated Care Specialist with the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County where she coordinated care for children ages 5 to 18 and facilitated mental health screenings in pediatricians’ offices countywide.
Liz joined The Alliance team in June 2017. As the Director of Education and Resources, Liz regularly speaks with individuals and loved ones to offer support and connect them to eating disorder treatment nationwide. She is frequently in the community, delivering educational presentations to students, educators, and professionals. Liz also co-facilitates Saturday morning support groups.
Liz hopes to serve as an advocate for individuals on their path to recovery while providing education on the importance of eating disorder awareness, early intervention and the promotion of positive body image.
CLICK HERE to contact Liz.
McCall Dempsey (She/Her), founder of Southern Smash, is an eating disorder survivor and passionate recovery advocate. After a 15-year battle, McCall sought treatment in December 2010. Since then she has made eating disorder awareness and prevention her life’s work and passion. McCall travels the country, sharing her story of hope and healing with audiences everywhere. From high school auditoriums to treatment centers to corporate meetings, her message of authenticity and embracing your inner-uniqueness transcends all ages.
McCall also writes the popular blog, Loving Imperfection. Her writing has been featured in various national television, print and online publications, including Today Show, Women’s Health, Southern Living and Huffington Post. A Louisiana native, McCall now resides in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, with her husband, Jordan, and her two children, Manning and Marjorie.
CLICK HERE to email McCall.
Sarea Foley (She/Her) graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Communication Studies, a minor in Human Relations, and a certificate in Entrepreneurial Marketing & Management. Sarea fell in love with event coordination while completing her collegiate internships. She has continued to be involved with event coordination in the social and corporate world since. Prior to moving to Florida, Sarea was an active community member in her hometown through coaching dance teams, from high school to the semi-professional level, and volunteering her time coordinating events for marginalized families. Sarea thoroughly enjoys building community partnerships and advocating for organizations.
After moving to Florida in 2017, Sarea continued her passion in the events sphere by working in the sales department at PGA National Resort & Spa. When the opportunity at The Alliance presented itself, Sarea was drawn to the mission and culture of The Alliance as they directly aligned with her own. Sarea strives to be an agent of change and positively impact people’s lives and she knew The Alliance was the place to continue her journey with these goals. She is beyond excited to combine her passion for events and community partnerships with her passion for self-love and mental health awareness.
Sarea was born in Olean, New York and was afforded the opportunity to reside in numerous states ranging from the East Coast to Hawaii. Prior to moving to Florida, Sarea resided in Iowa for 12 years. She is now proud to call Palm Beach Gardens home. You will often find Sarea and her husband relaxing by the beach with their dog in their free time.
CLICK HERE to email Sarea.
Lisa Murano (She/Her) is a lifelong community activist. Her volunteerism began at a young age, helping disenfranchised girls access education and healthcare services. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida, Lisa served as founder and president of one of the university’s largest student organizations and piloted a grant-funded peer-education program.
Lisa has worked for community health-focused nonprofit organizations and political organizations, collaborating with elected officials and community leaders to make healthcare coverage a reality for millions.
Realizing that enacting policy is simply not enough to ensure access, Lisa became a licensed insurance agent to assist hundreds of families in accessing affordable healthcare. She transitioned into marketing and programming services with the agency, but eventually realized community-building work is where her heart lies.
Moved by the direct care and various services The Alliance offers, Lisa returned to nonprofit work to reconnect with communities in need. She is passionate about growing our services and reaching more people who are experiencing and recovered from eating disorders.
Lisa is a native Floridian and spends her free time sitting on the board of several organizations. She also enjoys live music and spending time with her dog, Rico.
CLICK HERE to email Lisa.
Jamie Steffens (She/Her) has always had a passion for helping people stay organized. She graduated from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University with a BA in Chemistry. She worked as a chemist with overlapping operational responsibilities for over 8 years. She fully transitioned into operations when she realized her skills and passions were not being brought to light as a chemist.
Jamie watched a close friend struggle with an eating disorder ultimately leading to her passion for awareness. When she ran across the opportunity at The Alliance, she was excited to combine her skills in operations with her life mission of spreading knowledge to help people be their best selves.
Jamie is a native Floridian and takes her cat outside for a walk every day. In her free time she enjoys hiking and traveling.
CLICK HERE to contact Jamie.
Amy Sullivan (She/Her) received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University in 2015. During her time in college she interned in New York City with a fashion public relations firm and had the amazing opportunity to work multiple New York Fashion Weeks. Upon graduating she moved to Houston to begin her role as a Visual Merchandiser with Macy’s. Through recovery from her own eating disorder, Amy realized that while she will always love fashion, the eating disorder field is where her heart truly lies.
She joined the McCall and the Southern Smash team in October of 2017 and is thrilled to now become part of The Alliance family. As Smash Coordinator, Amy works behind the scenes to coordinate all Southern Smash events and assists in running their various social media outlets. She is currently in graduate school working on her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In her free time, Amy runs an initiative called JOY’d that donates jewelry, keychains and encouragement cards to eating disorder treatment centers. Amy resides near Dallas, TX and is a proud dog mom to the worst behaved chihuahua in the world and Auntie Amy to the most adorable little girl and baby boy.
CLICK HERE to email Amy.
Born and raised in South Florida, Laurie Yurchuck (She/Her) has always been passionate about helping others. She began volunteering at The Alliance after attending support groups in high school. After volunteering for a while, she was offered an internship. She interned for about 2 years and now, as a senior at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University, she has taken on a part-time role as Project Coordinator. She helps manage www.findedhelp.com, The Alliance’s interactive referral website.
At school, she is majoring in psychology and plans to go on to get her doctorate in psychology. When she’s not working, you can probably find her playing with Annabelle (Johanna’s adorable little daughter).
CLICK HERE to contact Laurie.
Mark Kruntorad (He/His) is the Training Supervisor for Psychological Services of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness. He brings with him over thirty years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders work and marriage and family therapy. Mark is also a licensed supervisor for the state of Florida. He has been supervising and training future psychotherapists for over twenty-five years.
Mark received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Covenant College and his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Reformed Theological Seminary.
Mark is a native Floridian, but you will find him hiking in the mountains at every opportunity.
Dr. Allison Weiser (She/Her) earned her Masters and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University at Albany. Dr. Weiser completed an APA accredited internship at Nova Southeastern University’s Psychology Services Center. She has gained experience in providing evidence-based psychotherapies and administering psychological evaluations to a wide-range of diverse individuals and families across the lifespan. Dr. Weiser’s passion for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders was solidified during her training at a South Florida hospital, where she worked as a member of the multidisciplinary eating disorders treatment team. She provided inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy and consultation-liaison services to individuals diagnosed with eating disorders and their families. Dr. Weiser also has a special interest and specialized training in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Overall, Dr. Weiser aims to empower her clients and to promote personal growth by providing a safe, supportive, and collaborative therapeutic environment.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Weiser.
Dr. Valerie Douglas (She/Her) earned her Masters in psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University and Doctoral degree in Psychological Clinical Science at North Dakota State University. Dr. Douglas completed her APPIC internship at the University of Arkansas’ Counseling & Psychological Services. Dr. Douglas’ passion for the prevention and treatment of eating disorders began when she was an undergraduate student at Stephen F. Austin State University and became involved in research on eating disorders and weight stigma. Dr. Douglas gained experience treating eating disorders at the inpatient/PHP/IOP eating disorders unit at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota. In addition, she completed an eating disorders rotation at her internship where she worked on a multidisciplinary eating disorders treatment team. Dr. Douglas also has a special interest and specialized training in suicide prevention, having completed a suicide prevention rotation on internship. Overall, Dr. Douglas aims to create a collaborative, non-judgmental, and safe environment in which clients can flourish.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Douglas.
Dr. Katie Mittelstaedt (She/Her) earned her Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University. A passion to work with folx with eating disorders fueled her professional path. Her research focused on the impact of weight stigma on physical and mental healthcare, as well as on how adherence to gender role norms relates to disordered eating behaviors. Dr. Mittelstaedt is passionate about combatting weight stigma and sizeism, particularly in medical settings. Prior to coming to The Alliance, Dr. Mittelstaedt completed an APA accredited internship with the National Psychology Training Consortium- Great Lakes Region. At this residency, she gained experience working as an integrated Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) within two primary care multidisciplinary teams. In addition to this internship, Dr. Mittelstaedt has experience providing BHC care in an urban medical clinic, neuropsychological assessment services within a forensic practice, and low-income outpatient therapy in a community setting. Overall, Dr. Mittelstaedt aspires to create a supportive and collaborative therapeutic environment in which clients feel safe to experience difficult thoughts and feelings while moving towards their values.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Mittelstaedt.
Dr. Caroline Witek (she/hers) earned her Masters and Doctoral degrees at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. She completed her APA accredited doctoral internship at Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health in Canton, OH. Dr. Witek has had a longstanding interest in helping those with eating disorders achieve calmer, happier, mentally healthier lives. She trained in outpatient therapy with adults and adolescents with eating disorders. She also has special interests in working with individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as with promoting recovery from childhood sexual trauma. Dr. Witek understands the courage it takes to face your challenges in therapy and, frankly, is thrilled you’re invested enough in your recovery to make it to the end of her therapist biography paragraph. She wants you to know that even when therapy seems dark and scariest, she’ll be right next to you with a flashlight.
CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Witek.