Upcoming Events Bring Attention to Eating Disorders

Noted Author to Speak at School of Nursing Feb. 22

February 18, 2014

"Many people have no idea of the heavy toll eating disorders take on individuals, families and the health care system."

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 23-March 1), the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders (WNYCCCED), based at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, is sponsoring several events to focus attention on the life-altering effects of eating disorders and create awareness of the interventions and support available for patients and families.

On Saturday, February 22, from 12 to 1:30 p.m., Harriet Brown, author of Brave Girl Eating, will discuss how eating disorders impact families, and share her own family’s journey to help her oldest daughter recover from anorexia.  Brown is associate professor of magazine journalism at Syracuse University and a frequent contributor to The New York Times science section on the topic of eating disorders. Free and open to the community, her talk takes place in the UR School of Nursing auditorium, 255 Crittenden Blvd.

“Harriet’s talk will be enlightening for patients, families, clinicians who work with eating-disordered patients, as well as anyone with a friend or loved one coping with the illness,” said Mary Tantillo Ph.D., professor of clinical nursing at the School of Nursing and WNYCCCED director.

Also on Saturday, February 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. there is an advocacy event open to the community at Lovin’ Cup Bistro and Brews, 300 Park Point Drive, at which patients in recovery will share their literary, artistic and musical talents. Brown will also be present for book signings. Donations at the door will support the Center’s work toward eating disorders prevention, education, outreach and research.

And, on Thursday, February 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., the WNYCCCED is holding a benefit concert at Nashvilles, 4853 W. Henrietta Rd., featuring The Morgan Twins (from ‘The Voice’), The Forseman Brothers, and Hartley Corsi. Cost is $10 at the door, with proceeds supporting the WNYCCCED and the Moon Shadows Spirit Foundation.

Tantillo, who has devoted more than 25 years to eating disorder treatment and research, says that many people “have no idea” of the heavy toll eating disorders take on individuals, families, and the health care system. Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating disorder)  have the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness, and are often accompanied by cardiac arrhythmias, substance abuse, depression and severe anxiety. Close to 20 million Americans suffer from eating disorders and – based on current population and prevalence rates – about 800,000 New Yorkers have had or will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.

The Eating Disorder Program within Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Adolescent Medicine division, led by Richard Kreipe, M.D., offers treatment and support for adolescent patients and families. For more information on the resources available,  click here.

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Christine Roth
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