EDRC Essay Contest, Federal ED Advocacy Victory, and More!
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Family and Friends Newsletter

February 2017

First Ever Legislation Victory for Eating Disorders 

Groundbreaking legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act, was passed in the last few days of the Obama administration. The bill includes important language surrounding eating disorder recognition and treatment. The passing of this bill has the potential to change millions of lives with its clause that ensures that healthcare professionals know how to both recognize and treat eating disorders. The bill will also ensure that insurance companies treat eating disorders the same as they would treat a physical condition. Mental health parity - treating physical and mental illnesses equally - became a law in 2008, however eating disorders were excluded up until this point. 

Check out more by Kitty Westin, who spearheaded the bill in memory of her daughter, on her blog post here.

 Santa Clara County Partners with EDRC 

We are so excited to be working with Steve Castro and Margaret Obilor from Santa Clara County Behavioral Health to train all mental healthcare professional to better meet the needs of their Medi-Cal clients. We are pleased the county is recognizing eating disorders as a need to be addressed in our community. 

Toni Tullys, the director of Behavioral Health Services in Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, noted that "it takes all of us" to treat eating disorders. Our joint education plan will include assessment and diagnosis of eating disorders, including appropriate levels of care; medical, psychiatric, nutrition assessments, and treatment; individual treatment and how to triage clients; and family-based therapy.


 Janice Recognized by Sister Organization

On February 3rd, 2017 Eating Disorder Recovery Support (EDRS) recognized Janice at their inaugural "Gems of the Field Masquerade Gala". Janice was recognized for her advocacy work with EDRC and her collaboration with other non-profits including EDRS. Others honored in the eating disorder field were Deborah Brenner Liss, Ph.D., Daniel LeGrange, Ph.D., Tami Lyon, MPH, R.D., and Walter Kaye, M.D.
"It was an honor to be able to recognize [Janice's] good work and dedication! Thank you for all you have done for the Bay Area community and we look forward to our continued collaborations!"
-Haleh Kashani, Ph.D & President, EDRS

EDRC Participates in BEDA Conference

Program Coordinator Natalie Rangel (right) with author Anita Johnston at the 2016 Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) Conference.

"Anita Johnston happened to sit at my table on my first day at the conference. I was totally star struck!  I met my recovery hero!" 
Check out Anita Johnson’s popular and must read book: 
Eating in the Light of the Moon

9th Annual Poetry and Essay Contest

Eating Disorders Resource Center (EDRC) announces its ninth annual Everybody’s Beautiful Poetry and Essay contest for Middle and High School students in Silicon Valley. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to share about the meaning of beauty and to answer questions about how the media and society can affect self-esteem and body image. Entries will be accepted in English or Spanish. Follow this link for further details.

Pictured left is Janice, with student essay contest volunteers Annalise, Raya, and Irazema at the musical Annie.  Premiering in 1977, and now forty years later, Annie remains a role model for healthy self-esteem for young girls and boys. "Annie is one of the greatest examples of love and kindness. In the recent turmoil, Annie teaches that through kindness and love, anyone can achieve what they set out to do." - Annalise Martelino

"As many as 30% of girls and 16% of boys in American high schools suffer from disordered eating including, bingeing, vomiting, fasting, laxatives, diet pill use, and compulsive exercise. An important part of EDRC's prevention efforts is to increase “media intelligence” among youth and to encourage body and self-acceptance. Our annual poetry and essay contest helps create mindfulness and self-acceptance among students.” - Janice Bremis

To join our panel of essay contest judges on Saturday, March 4th, contact Laurie at:


Thank you to Palo Alto Medical Foundation and the Santa Clara Library District for sponsoring this annual event! 
"The Palo Alto Medical Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of the Eating Disorders Resource Center’s "Every Body's Beautiful" Essay Contest.  Caring for our local communities, we know healthy bodies come in all sizes and shapes, and we embrace the EDRC’s efforts to encourage healthy body images and prevent health problems from eating disorders." --Janet Lederer, Vice President Education, PAMF

Volunteer Spotlight

Kristy Wentzel
Kristy was connected to the EDRC through support group leader Jen Medina. "I am beyond excited to be volunteering with the team." Kristy rowed crew at Stanford for 4 years and was a human biology major who now works in tech. She suffered from an eating disorder during her time at Stanford so has first-hand experience of the mental, physical and emotional consequences this illness has for individuals, friends and family. Kristy is working with EDRC to bring support groups to college campuses, spreading awareness and decreasing the stigma.


Shilpa Sajja
Shilpa is volunteering for EDRC and hopes to use her interests in writing and marketing to raise awareness around eating disorders. She began to notice the stigma that surrounds eating disorders after a close family member was diagnosed and wants to work to erase this stigma in schools and local communities. Shilpa is a local high school student and is interested in social activism and the change that every individual can make. 

EDRC Volunteer Brings Message to Shanghai

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to volunteer for EDRC over the summer of 2016. It was a truly rewarding experience getting to work with such encouraging and inspirational people. It was because of your grace and kindness that I was inspired. When I returned to Shanghai, I created a non-profit organization called Project Magnifi, which seeks to promote healthy body image and a healthy mindset for those struggling with eating disorders. I worked with TEDx Shanghai and delivered a speech about my experiences with an eating disorder. So thank you and thank you to Eating Disorders Resource Center."  -- Michelle Sun 

Cielo House Now Offering "Weekend Warrior IOP Program" 

Weekends have traditionally been challenging times for those in recovery from eating disorders. Cielo House is proud to offer an innovative new program to provide additional support for the end of the week. 
Call (650) 556-456 for any questions or sign up here: Cielo House Weekend Warriors IOP  

Mark Your Calendar!

2/26 - 3/4: NEDA presents: "It's Time to Talk About It"   
For National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) shines the spotlight on eating disorders and puts life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. Check out what is being done for this important week.


3/2: Stanford Children's Health Presents: "Mythbusters"
The Divisions of Adolescent Medicine and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, together with the Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program at Stanford, is hosting their annual community lecture for families, physicians, teachers and other practitioners caring for those with eating disorders. Dr. Kara Fitzpatrick will discuss "Mythbusters: Why maybe you don’t really know what you think you know about childhood eating, nutrition and eating disorders."  Q & A to follow.  The seminar is free of charge, however, seating is limited.  Please join us and RSVP to reserve your space. 

3/18: AAUW Presents: Strong Women Leadership Conference

The Strong Women Leadership Conference is a collaboration with Evergreen Valley College supported by the Commission on the Status of women, the Office of Women’s Policy and AAUW (American Association of University Women) San Jose.

Workshops will include: campus sexual assault, political empowerment, weight stigma, financing four years of college, yoga, healthy and inclusive relationships, and self-defense.  Breakfast and lunch are included in this half-day conference, from 8:45-1:30pm.

 The luncheon panel includes Ruth Silver Taube, labor lawyer specializing in women's equity issues; Shay-Franco Clausen, leader of the SJ Women's March and member of the Commission on the Status of Women; and Helen Kassa, SCU student activist. The moderator is Sylvia Arenas, SJ City Councilwoman.
Check out EDRC's ongoing free, weekly Support Groups

Your Donations at Work

"I gained new insight from Dr. Linsey Utzinger's (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stanford University) talk addressing the close links between anxiety and eating disorders as well as the dangers of untreated eating disorders. We appreciate our partnership with EDRC."
- Gini Mitchen, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI)

"I turned to EDRC for help in fighting Blue Shield and not letting them get away with their denials of treatment. Janet Bremis at EDRC provided me with some very good information and support during my time of need." - Leslie, Grateful mother

"I am the mother of an adult child diagnosed with an eating disorder. EDRC was there with empathy, hope, and suggestions of practical steps I could take to ensure that our health insurance approved and paid for the needed level of treatment. In addition, EDRC has provided suggestions as to how to research therapists, psychiatrists, and residential/partial treatment centers that are a good “fit" for someone with an eating disorder. My inquires are always met with compassion and sound advice. Keep up the great work EDRC!" - Grateful mother
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