Gail Hall, LMSW, DCSW, CEDS - S
I have specialized in the treatment of eating disoders since 1990 in various settings. It’s been a blessing to support girls, boys, women, and men as they heal from their eating disorder and begin to grasp all God has in store for them in the future.
As exciting as that journey can be, however, it’s often long and difficult. How much better if we could prevent an eating disorder before it ever got started . . .
I attended my first eating disorders prevention conference in 1986 in Seattle Washington at the national headquarters of EDAP. MiEDA was founded so that funds raised locally could be used for prevention efforts right here in Western Michigan. Primary prevention involves impacting the societal forces which often trigger eating disorders in an attempt to prevent the problem before it begins.
Although we remain interested in primary prevention, we are also interested in secondary prevention, which involves early recognition and appropriate treatment. Our Board's new focus is on providing training for medical and mental health professionals.
Jennifer DiGennaro, LPC
Jennifer wears many hats in our community. She is a mother, a business professional, a volunteer, student, and an activist. In addition to pursuing a master’s degree in professional counseling at Central Michigan University, Jennifer has been volunteering at the Women’s Resource Center since 2014 and mentoring women as a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor at her own business, Nourished Energy, since 2015. She is a Certified Trauma Professional and a Certified Body Trust Provider. Jennifer's professional mission includes focusing on eating disorder awareness, prevention, and education to include embracing the wisdom of the body and uncovering the depth of suffering that is often not addressed by single pronged approaches. Continuing to bring awareness to the role both mental health and weight stigma play in the development and perpetuation of eating disorders is key part of her mission as well. In addition to serving on the MiEDA board, Jennifer is co-leader of the local non-profit Moms of Grand Rapids and a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals, the Binge Eating Disorder Association, and the Association for Size Diversity and Health.
Kelly Bopre, LMSW, CEDS
Kelly is an experienced therapist who joined the board in 2020. She has particular interest working with individuals who are struggling with eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, sexual abuse and spiritual issues. After recognizing the need for competent providers to treat eating disorders, as well as noticing the need to have a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of eating disorders, she completed her certification through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals to become a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS). Kelly treats individuals with anorexia nervous, bulimia nervous, binge eating disorder, other specified eating disorder, and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. “I desire to walk with you as you find peace and healing, freedom and acceptance in your body, mind, and in your relationship with food”.
Kelly also has experience working with adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders, as well as adult children of alcoholics, parent and child trauma, self harm, social anxiety, women’s issues, and spiritual concerns. Kelly is also certified in SYMBIS, a premarital assessment, and offers speciality services of premarital assessment over the course of 3 sessions.
Kelly earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Calvin College in 2005, and her Masters in Social Work from Grand Valley State University in 2009. She has worked in outpatient therapy with adults and adolescents at Pine Rest for over 7 years. Other professional experience included working with adolescents in residential treatment and outpatient services, working with families in crisis, and outpatient services with adults. She is also a busy wife, mom, and is active at her church.
Rachael Steil, BS
Rachael Steil began her blog in December 2012 in the midst of her binge eating disorder, and as a cross country and track runner at Aquinas College. Unable to find many stories about athletes dealing with eating disorders, Rachael decided to blog about her journey in the hopes that it might speak to others running in silence.
Rachael Steil is now the author of Running in Silence, founder of the Running in Silence 501c3 (www.runninginsilence.org), a nationally recognized eating disorder recovery speaker, cross country and track coach, 2010-11 All-American runner, and recipient of the Aquinas College Outstanding Young Alumni award. She has presented at coaching clinics, conferences, schools, and colleges with powerful stories of honesty and hope. Steil has appeared on The Dr. Nandi Show, WGVU’s Family Health Matters, and in Vogue Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Women’s Running, and has written for Runner’s World and Techniques magazine. Reviewed as a forthright, relatable speaker, Steil offers coaches the tools to help athletes to reach their potential in sport and in life.
Rachael is writing her second book and coaches high school cross country and track.
Emily Welles, MS, RD, CDE
Emily has been a Registered Dietitian for more than 8 years with a variety of experience. She started her schooling at Michigan State University and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in dietetics. She completed a 10-month clinical f focused internship at University of Michigan Hospital. Emily completed her Master's degree at Grand Valley State University in Clinical Dietetics with research focused on improving eating disorder care in Michigan.
Emily started her career working in mental health at Hope Network. During her time there she also started working at Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders (CTED) private practice part time. Emily also worked full time at Spectrum Health as a Diabetes Educator in the adult diabetes outpatient clinic. She has 4+ years of experience working with patients living with Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Recently she transitioned to owning her own private practice (Emily Welles Nutrition LLC) working with clients who struggle with eating disorders. Emily is a visiting professor and Supervised Practice Coordinator for GVSU. She and her husband recently welcomed their first child.
Emily has been involved in the dietetics community since college as part of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics boards (ACEND and student boards), Michigan Academy member and nominating committee and Dietitians of West Michigan member, secretary, social media chair and president. Emily joined the MiEDA Board in 2020.
Jason Wood, Author and Speaker
Jason Wood turned his battle with orthorexia into a mission to break the stigma around men’s mental health by publishing his memoir Starving for Survival. Jason is the Marketing & Communications Manager at ANAD and facilitates the organization’s new men’s peer support group. Through speaking engagements, his writing, and his work, Jason strives to start an important conversation that encourages everyone--especially men--to speak up, share their stories, and get the help they deserve. Jason joined the MiEDA Board in 2023.
For more information, or to contact Jason see his web site Orthorexia Bites
Lisa Lowery, MD, MPH, Ex-Officio, Emeritus
Dr. Lisa Lowery attended Michigan State University receiving her Bachelors of Science Degree in Microbiology, with honors. Dr. Lowery received her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. After medical school, she completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatric Residency program at Spectrum Health-Butterworth. Her desire to work with young people led her to complete a subspecialty research fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. While at the Johns Hopkins, she obtained a Masters of Public Health in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences with a Certificate of Concentration in Maternal and Child Health. Currently, Dr. Lowery is an Adolescent Medicine specialist at DeVos Children’s Hospital-Spectrum Health-Butterworth. She provides health care to teens in all areas including behavioral health, reproductive health, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and numerous mental health issues including eating disorders.