THE

HARRIS CENTER

for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders at

Massachusetts General Hospital

HARRIS CENTER STAFF...
BEAUTY & HEALTH CAMPAIGN

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 15TH ANNUAL PUBLIC FORUM
Nearly 600 students, parents, educators, and members ...
Our Teen Mentor Program offers adolescent girls the
opportunity to learn the best ways to promote positive
self-image. In ...
KEEPING OUR CENTER STRONG

CONGRATULATIONS, DR. EDDY
We are pleased to announce that Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D.,
a Staff Psycho...
“What will I be like in 5, 10 or 25 years?” This is a question posed
by many eating disorder patients and families, and ou...
SEEKING NEW KNOWLEDGE

UPDATE FROM DR. LAWSON
Dr. Elizabeth Lawson conducts research in the MGH Neuroendocrine
Unit on the...
Here are examples of our 2012 research articles:

Lawson, E.A., Miller, K.K., Blum, J.I., Meenaghan, E., Misra, M., Eddy, ...
ON THE ADVOCACY FRONT

EATING DISORDERS COALITION
In 2000, the Harris Center founded the Eating Disorders Coalition for Re...
Over the summer, two of our terrific research assistants — Molly Davis
and Meera Krishna — moved on. Both of them excelled...
TRAINING TOMORROW’S SCIENTISTS

MATINA S. HORNER, PH.D. FELLOWSHIP

(CONTINUED)

her project will help inform assessment a...
TO ALL OUR DONORS: THANK YOU!

To protect the privacy of our donors, we have removed their
names from the online version o...
Doutzen Kroes (2nd from right)
with Teen Mentors Maddy Welti,
Lillian Pierce, and Jade Hollenberg
Nancy Harris (left) and
...
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2012 harris center newsletter

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2012 harris center newsletter

  1. 1. THE HARRIS CENTER for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital HARRIS CENTER STAFF WITH 2012 FELLOWS AND INTERNS Top row from left: Nouha Georges, Sonja Swanson, Meera Krishna, Rebecca Patterson, Jessica Yu Middle row from left: Melissa Johnson, Debra Franko, Kamryn Eddy, Aparna Keshaviah, Katy Tucker Bottom row from left: Ellie Hastings, Molly Davis, Katie Edkins, Heather Thompson-Brenner, Rachel Korn INSIDE THIS ISSUE Annual Update: Fall, 2012 Beauty & Health Campaign................................. 2 Keeping Our Center Strong................................. 4 Seeking New Knowledge..................................... 5 Sharing Our Knowledge...................................... 7 On the Advocacy Front....................................... 8 Training Tomorrow’s Scientists.............................. 9 Acknowledgments...............................................11
  2. 2. BEAUTY & HEALTH CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 15TH ANNUAL PUBLIC FORUM Nearly 600 students, parents, educators, and members of the press gathered on April 2, 2012 at Harvard University Memorial Church for our Public Forum, “Health is Beauty: Defining Ourselves.” This was the 15th in our series of annual events designed to educate our community about eating disorders. Our panelists shared their perspectives on beauty, the media, and eating disorders, and discussed ways to encourage positive self-image. The program opened with Arianna Huffington, Editorin-Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group, who shared that her determination to promote beauty as health stems from her experiences with her two daughters, both of whom struggled with eating disorders. Ms. Huffington explained that The Huffington Post’s approach to promoting positive body image is rooted in her belief that “nothing is more powerful than young women talking to other young women.” Franca Sozzani (center) with Rue La La Staff Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani described her strong stance against “pro-ana” and “pro-mia” Web sites (Internet content that supports anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) and invited everyone to sign her petition or to start a blog against these potentially harmful sites with the goal of closing them. Internationally renowned supermodel Doutzen Kroes described early pressures to lose weight and how she has asserted her right to lead a healthy lifestyle, and now encourages other models — and young women everywhere — to express their beauty in their own individual ways. Fashion icon and actress Amber Valletta spoke via video from the set of Revenge in Los Angeles, emphasizing the importance of raising eating disorders awareness — a topic close to her heart. Next, Harris Center Founder David B. Herzog, M.D. provided valuable information about eating disorders. He noted that many factors contribute to the development of these illnesses. There are precipitants such as stress and loss, and there are core risk factors such as perfectionism, obsessionality, anxiety and mood disorders, and genetic predisposition. After the panelists addressed questions from the audience, Dr. Herzog closed the program on an energizing note: “Let’s team up. Let’s build a healthy community one individual at a time.” 2 2012 Public Forum (from left) Arianna Huffington, Dr. David B. Herzog, Franca Sozzani, and Doutzen Kroes The Forum garnered enthusiastic reviews in a number of publications, including Boston magazine, The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald. We were thrilled that Her Campus — an online magazine for college students — and Bodimojo — a body image Web site for teens — helped spread the word about our Forum. We extend deep appreciation to our 2012 Forum Advisory Committee: Stori Cadigan, Betsy Demirjian, Joy Eber, Ben and Wendy Fischman, John Grady, Nancy Harris, Joe Johnson, Jill Karp, Alissa Korn, Stacey Santo, Camille Schmidek, and Lisa Sussman. “ E NEED TO NOT ONLY ACCEPT W OURSELVES, BUT ALSO TO EMBRACE OURSELVES” — FRANCA SOZZANI
  3. 3. Our Teen Mentor Program offers adolescent girls the opportunity to learn the best ways to promote positive self-image. In meetings with our staff, the girls discuss sources of stress in their schools — such as bullying and pressure to achieve at the highest level — that may dampen self-esteem. Then they create outreach and advocacy projects to address these issues, and through this process they develop and strengthen their leadership skills. Under the guidance of Teen Mentor Program Director Heather Thompson-Brenner, Ph.D., and Teen Mentors (from left) Laura Jacobs, Callie McLaughlin, and Katy Tucker Meera Krishna, B.A., our 2011–2012 students at 2012 Public Forum conducted outstanding advocacy projects. For example, Katy Tucker organized a panel discussion of high school students that focused on what steps could be taken to foster self-confidence and strong sense of self. This event took place on May 15, 2012 at Wellesley High School. In addition to developing eating disorder awareness projects in their schools, our Teen Mentors attend our Annual Public Forums and participate in a group discussion with our featured speakers. During their meetings with Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani and supermodel Doutzen Kroes, our students exchanged ideas with these celebrities about the importance of promoting positive media images across our society. Our Teen Mentor Program has grown in popularity and we anticipate that it will become a model program. We are thrilled that parents have expressed interest in setting up the Teen Mentor Program in other parts of the state. Led by Jennifer Rathbun, M.D., Director, and Emily Gray, M.D., our 2012–2013 Teen Mentor group is off to a tremendous start! Please stay tuned for further information about this exciting program. We are thrilled to start working with our 2012–2013 Teen Mentor group at this year’s Fall Kick-off Meeting, and we look forward to another exciting year. THANK YOU, HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL Each year, Harvard Business School (HBS) hosts a fashion show to benefit a selected cause. The Harris Center was honored to be the organization HBS chose to support for its 2010 show — and again for its November 21, 2011 show, “Breaking Out,” which took place at the Bijou nightclub in Boston. Each event drew an audience of several hundred people. We are deeply appreciative to HBS for producing these successful fashion shows and donating the proceeds to our Center. Harvard Business School Group with Franca Sozzani and Dr. Herzog BEAUTY HEALTH CAMPAIGN HARRIS CENTER TEEN MENTOR PROGRAM 3
  4. 4. KEEPING OUR CENTER STRONG CONGRATULATIONS, DR. EDDY We are pleased to announce that Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D., a Staff Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, was recently promoted to the position of Acting Director of the Harris Center. Dr. Eddy specializes in the assessment and treatment of child and adolescent eating disorders. She has received several awards recognizing her research, which focuses on the diagnostic classification of eating disorders, particularly in youth. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Eddy to her new role at the Center, where her research continues to illuminate the nature of these complex illnesses. Dr. Eddy speaking at Public Forum reception AN EVENING TO REMEMBER On December 6, 2011, Helena Durst, Wendy Durst Kreeger Doug Kreeger hosted a reception for the Harris Center at the Bank of America Tower in NYC. Attended by over 70 guests, the event introduced and educated new friends to the important work of the Center and brought together current supporters and friends. Helena Durst opened the program with an eloquent account of her recovery from anorexia and bulimia, explaining that she has come to identify her eating disordered thoughts as “the chatter monkey on [her] back.” She also discussed the importance of “advancing public and professional knowledge of eating disorders” and ending the “silence” that has kept many individuals who struggle with these conditions from receiving help. Featured speakers included Dr. Herzog, Elizabeth Lawson, M.D., fashion models Doutzen Kroes and Coco Rocha, and members of the Harris Center Teen Mentor Program Laura Jacobs and Callie McLaughlin. The evening was inspiring and educational. Helena Durst’s message held the promise of improved lives for all who suffer from eating disorders. Reviews of the event by media outlets such as Vogue Daily were highly positive. ENTERING THE BLOGOSPHERE The Harris Center now has a voice on The Huffington Post. Published on April 13, 2012, our first blog entry — “Breaking the Silence” — addresses the stigma associated with eating disorders. Subsequent posts include “Teens Mentoring Teens,” “Will I Ever Get Better?,” “How Well Will I Get?,” and “Psychotherapy: What Works?” Feedback about our blog entries has been extremely enthusiastic. We extend profound gratitude to Arianna Huffington for inviting us to contribute to HuffPost and for keeping “thin-is-in” advertisements off our blog. Arianna Huffington 4
  5. 5. “What will I be like in 5, 10 or 25 years?” This is a question posed by many eating disorder patients and families, and our central research project attempts to answer it. Since 1987, we have followed 246 women with anorexia and bulimia who sought treatment for their eating disorder. This seminal investigation maps the course and outcome of eating disorders, trying to determine how patients fare over time. Who gets better and how? What factors lead to a better or worse outcome? We gather data by interviewing our participants frequently about their eating behaviors, mood disorders, substance use, health, work, and relationships. The project has generated over 40 published articles about eating disorders, covering topics such as recovery and relapse, alcohol and substance use, depression, pregnancy, and medical complications. In 2011, the Harris Center received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to find out how our participants are doing 25 years after the launch of the study. We have exceeded our goal of conducting 160 interviews by December 1, 2012. We plan to report data from the 25-year follow-up study at the 2014 International Conference on Eating Disorders sponsored by the Academy for Eating Disorders. Our findings will ultimately contribute to improved treatment for these serious disorders. NEWEST RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS The Harris Center was founded based on our belief that interdisciplinary research is critical to understanding and treating eating disorders. Here are some examples of current projects: For over a decade, the Harris Center has teamed with MGH’s Neuroendocrine Unit to better understand the biological factors that play a role in anorexia nervosa and to develop interventions addressing bone loss and other physical consequences of the disorder, and more recently, hormonal interventions that also address the psychological aspects of this illness. The Harris Center continues to collaborate with 2011 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient Matthew K. Nock, Ph.D., in the psychology department at Harvard University to look at predictors of eating disorder behaviors and self-harm behaviors in adolescents. We will soon submit our manuscript on this project for publication. We continue to work with researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia to investigate the role of weight suppression in predicting recovery or relapse in bulimia, and we recently published a paper based on this collaboration in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. We are now pursuing a similar project investigating weight suppression in anorexia. Weight suppression is defined as the difference between a patient’s past highest weight and her weight at entry into the study. In an exciting new collaboration, Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D. is teaming up with MGH colleague, Jennifer J. Thomas, Ph.D., to conduct a field trial investigating the newly proposed DSM-5 eating disorders criteria. They are examining how well the revised diagnostic system applies to patients presenting for the treatment of eating disorders in three different hospital settings. This research study is already well under way! 5 SEEKING NEW KNOWLEDGE UPDATE: LONGITUDINAL STUDY
  6. 6. SEEKING NEW KNOWLEDGE UPDATE FROM DR. LAWSON Dr. Elizabeth Lawson conducts research in the MGH Neuroendocrine Unit on the biology of appetite regulation in anorexia nervosa. She has received numerous awards for her research, including the 2012 Early Investigators Award from the Endocrine Society. We interviewed Dr. Lawson last year in an effort to share with you our excitement about her work. Here is an update on the progress of her research: What is the rationale behind studying appetite pathways in anorexia nervosa? Anorexia nervosa is an inheritable illness but to date, little is known about the specific genes that are involved in this disorder. Identifying these genes would lay the groundwork for more targeted treatment strategies. Appetite hormones send signals to the brain to regulate the state of hunger or satiety. Our pilot data suggest that there are genetic differences in appetite-regulating hormone pathways in women with Elizabeth A. Lawson, M.D. anorexia nervosa. Release of these hormones can be imbalanced in women with anorexia nervosa, even after weight recovery, suggesting that this imbalance may have contributed to the development of the disorder. What is the focus of this research and what have you found so far? Our team is studying the role of genetics, endocrine, and neural appetite pathways in the development of anorexia nervosa. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we have demonstrated underactivity of brain regions involved in appetite in women with anorexia nervosa. We found that release of appetite hormones is abnormal in anorexia nervosa, even after weight recovery. Our data indicate that abnormalities in appetite pathways may predispose individuals to the food-related symptoms of anorexia nervosa. What is next? We are collecting additional DNA samples to investigate the genetic basis of anorexia nervosa, and using our food-related endocrine fMRI approach to examine the effect of a potential hormonal therapy on appetite pathways in anorexia nervosa. MISSION STATEMENT 6 The Harris Center at MGH focuses on education and advocacy in eating disorders. Through interdisciplinary research, we seek new knowledge to better understand eating disorders and improve their detection, treatment and prevention — and we strive to share that knowledge with the community at large. At the heart of the Center is a commitment to promote the healthy development of children, women, and all at risk. Find out more at www.harriscentermgh.org.
  7. 7. Here are examples of our 2012 research articles: Lawson, E.A., Miller, K.K., Blum, J.I., Meenaghan, E., Misra, M., Eddy, K.T., Herzog, D.B., Klibanski, A. Leptin levels are associated with decreased depressive symptoms in women across the weight spectrum, independent of body fat. Clinical Endocrinology. 2012; 76: 520-5. Shaw, J.A., Herzog, D.B., Clark, V.L., Berner, L.A., Eddy, K.T., Franko, D.L., Lowe, M.R. Elevated pre-morbid weights in bulimic individuals are usually surpassed post-morbidly: Implications for perpetuation of the disorder. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2012; 45: 512-23. Thompson-Brenner, H., Franko, D.L., Satir, D., Herzog, D.B. Clinician reactions to patients with eating disorders: A review. Psychiatric Services. 2012; 63: 73-8. PRESENTATIONS AND CONFERENCES We present our research findings at conferences all over the world. Here are a few of our 2012 presentations: JULY 24, 2012 Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, Australia Treatment of Eating Disorders: Panel of Experts Debra L. Franko, Ph.D. ~ “A longitudinal look at eating disorders over time.” MAY 3–5, 2012 International Conference on Eating Disorders, Austin, Texas Debra L. Franko, Ph.D. ~ “ longitudinal look at mortality rates in eating disorders A over time.” Dr. Deb ra Franko Meera Krishna, B.A. ~ “ Qualitative examination of impairment in women with anorexia nervosa shortly before death.” 7 SHARING OUR KNOWLEDGE RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS
  8. 8. ON THE ADVOCACY FRONT EATING DISORDERS COALITION In 2000, the Harris Center founded the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy Action (EDC) in Washington, D.C. The EDC is a group of professional organizations committed to raising national awareness and to improving access to care, parity, and research. Currently the EDC is promoting the FREED Act (Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders), comprehensive legislation addressing eating disorder research, treatment, and prevention. For more information, please visit eatingdisorderscoalition.org. EATING DISORDERS LEGISLATION IN MASSACHUSETTS In Massachusetts — as in many other states — insurance coverage for eating disorders has been very limited. For several years, the Harris Center has served as a consultant to Representative Kay Khan as she has sponsored legislation providing comprehensive coverage for the treatment of eating disorders. Rep. Khan’s H. 1187 was sent for study by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee and will be refiled in 2013. Representative Kay Khan LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION As part of our public awareness campaign, we continue to provide information to media outlets for their projects related to eating disorders. Here are some highlights from the past year: 8 For the second consecutive year, BizBash rated the Harris Center Public Forum among “Boston’s Top 100 Events.” On July 15, 2012, Boston Globe magazine’s lead article, “12 Bostonians Changing the World,” included “MGH’s Dr. David Herzog has Brought Eating Disorders Out in the Open.” Boston magazine named Dr. David Herzog one of the Boston area’s “TOP DOCS.” This is the 10th consecutive year he has received this honor. Vogue Daily highlighted the December 6, 2011 New York City reception for the Harris Center in an article titled “Spreading the Word: Health Is Beauty.” On May 9, 2012, The Atlantic published “What the U.S. Can — and Can’t — Learn from Israel’s Ban on Ultra-Thin Models,” which included comments from Dr. David Herzog. Posted by ABC News on March 20, 2012, “Israeli Law Eyes Super-Thin Models as Bad Examples” featured remarks from Dr. David Herzog.
  9. 9. Over the summer, two of our terrific research assistants — Molly Davis and Meera Krishna — moved on. Both of them excelled in their work for the Center, not only in the research arena but also in our public outreach and education efforts. Molly, who played a central role in organizing our Public Forums, is now a graduate student in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. Meera was instrumental in moving our Teen Mentor Program forward and now works for a health care consulting firm. We look forward to staying in touch with these talented young professionals and we wish them the very best. In June, we welcomed two new research assistants. Ellie Hastings is a graduate of Brown University, where she majored in Psychology. Katie Edkins received her B.A. in Psychology and English at Dartmouth College. In addition to working on Harris Center research, Ellie and Katie are involved in event planning and finance management. GREETINGS FROM STEPHANIE ROSS Stephanie Ross was outstanding in her role as a Harris Center research assistant between 2009 and 2011. She is now a second-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, where she is also a research assistant in the PARTNERS Program, which provides free, evidence-based treatments to children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. Stephanie fondly remembers her time at the Harris Center and will forever be grateful to Dr. Herzog, Dr. Eddy, and Dr. Franko for their mentorship and for the education and opportunities she received under their guidance. MATINA S. HORNER, PH.D. FELLOWSHIP We established the annual Matina S. Horner, Ph.D. Summer Research Fellowship in 1997 to encourage young researchers in the field. The Center mentors these emerging scientists as they conduct independent research projects and participate in our current research activities. We had three superb Fellows in 2012. Nouha Georges graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in human physiology; for her Matina Horner Fellowship project, she wrote a literature review of research in alexithymia (difficulty recognizing feelings) in women with anorexia nervosa. Rebecca Patterson, a 2011 graduate of Muhlenberg College, works at the Klarman Eating Disorder Center at McLean Hospital. During her fellowship at the Harris Center, Rebecca conducted analyses to explore non-fat phobic anorexia; (continued on page 10) Matina S. Horner, Ph.D. 9 TRAINING TOMORROW’S SCIENTISTS HONORING OUR RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
  10. 10. TRAINING TOMORROW’S SCIENTISTS MATINA S. HORNER, PH.D. FELLOWSHIP (CONTINUED) her project will help inform assessment and detection of low-weight patients who report no fear of weight gain. Jessica Yu is a second-year clinical psychology doctoral student at Rutgers University. As a Horner Fellow, she examined the impact of daily stress on binge eating and purging in individuals with bulimia nervosa. Her study will help clinicians and researchers refine existing treatments for eating disorders. Many Fellows continue their independent projects after their Fellowships have ended, often resulting in published papers. Rebecca Shingleton, a 2011 Fellow, focused her project on a data set that involved investigating real-time data in patients with self-injurious behaviors, including binge-purge thoughts and behaviors. In 2012, Becca authored a manuscript on this study that has been submitted for publication. A number of our trainees have achieved academic positions in universities across the nation. Bryn Austin, one of our first Matina Horner Fellows, plays an important role in the Academy for Eating Disorders and serves as Director of Fellowship Research Training in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. Our Matina Horner Fellowship — the first of its kind — has now enjoyed 16 years of progress and sponsored 47 young scientists; our commitment to this program — to training the researchers of tomorrow — is stronger than ever. “ HAD AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE AS A MATINA HORNER FELLOW. I THE THOUGHTFUL SUPERVISION I RECEIVED, ALONG WITH THE COLLABORATIVE NATURE OF THE HARRIS CENTER STAFF, ALLOWED ME TO DEVELOP MY SKILLS AS A FUTURE EATING DISORDERS RESEARCHER.” — JESSICA YU, 2012 FELLOW STAYING IN TOUCH We value your feedback. What aspects of our work do you like? What could use improvement? Tell us what you think by e-mailing harriscentermgh@partners.org. 10
  11. 11. TO ALL OUR DONORS: THANK YOU! To protect the privacy of our donors, we have removed their names from the online version of this newsletter. 11
  12. 12. Doutzen Kroes (2nd from right) with Teen Mentors Maddy Welti, Lillian Pierce, and Jade Hollenberg Nancy Harris (left) and Dr. Jennifer Rathbun Janet David Coyle and Steve Lynch WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS! For further details on information covered in this newsletter, please contact us at: Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders Massachusetts General Hospital 2 Longfellow Place, Suite 200 Boston, MA 02114 617-726-8470 www.harriscentermgh.org E-mail: harriscentermgh@partners.org HARRIS CENTER AT MGH STAFF David B. Herzog, M.D. ........................ Founder Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D. ......................... Acting Director Debra L. Franko, Ph.D. ......................... Associate Director Aparna Keshaviah, Sc.M. .................... Biostatistician Pat Cable,R.N. .................................... Communications Director Sonja Swanson, Sc.M. ............................Research Consultant Heather Thompson-Brenner, Ph.D. ........ Research Consultant Jennifer Rathbun, M.D. ........................ Director, Teen Mentor Program Katie Edkins, B.A. ................................ Research Assistant Ellie Hastings, B.Sc. ............................. Research Assistant Emily Gray, M.D. ................................ hild Adolescent C Psychiatry Fellow, MGH Photo Credits Page 2: Both Public Forum photos by Roger Farrington Page 3: Harris Center Teen Mentor Program by Roger Farrington Thank You, Harvard Business School by Roger Farrington Page 4: Congratulations, Dr. Eddy by Roger Farrington Entering the Blogosphere by Roger Farrington Page 5: Newest Research Collaborations by Ivan Walsh Page 7: Research and Publications: Stacks of Books by Kate Ter Haar Page 8: Representative Kay Khan: Used with permission, Kay Khan Page 9: Fall Leaves by Diane Turner Page 10: Bryn Austin, Sc.D. Used with permission, Bryn Austin Back: Photos by Roger Farrington

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