A recovered individual who desires to offer a message of help and hope to those struggling with an eating disorder. Jen is a former high school French teacher, and currently the busy stay-at-home mother of three children. She has been trained as a NEDA Navigator and has connected with dozens of struggling individuals who have reached out to her for help. Jen has given her testimony of recovery in many area churches and schools, and is teaching Transformed: An Eating and Body Image Bible Study which meets at Calvary Nondenominational Church here in Grand Rapids.
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 also in the process of becoming 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.
Karen graduated in 2012 from the University of Michigan with a dual degree in Psychology and Communication Studies. As an anorexia survivor she is passionate about spreading eating disorder awareness, education and prevention within the community. In her free time she enjoys fitness, journaling, travel and learning about neuroscience.
Michael and Susan Coles
Michael and Susan Coles both graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Michigan State University (Food Systems Economics & Management) in 1989/1990(respectively). Michael is a 25 year veteran of the Food Brokerage business, and currently, Vice President at Acosta, Inc. Susan had a very successful career in sales with Nestle and Playtex Apparel; but then made a very personal decision to leave the work force and become a stay at home mother when their first son was born.
Michael and Susan have been caregivers to a son who was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 12. They have used different approaches for different stages of their sons illness. They had success with the Maudsley approach when their son was first diagnosed. Upon relapse their son took part a Dr. Daniel Le Grange clinical study at the University of Chicago. Once their son hit his growth spurt he struggled to gain weight/maintain weight and needed to be admitted to an out of state residential treatment program. Each approach has had success and was important during the various stages of his eating disorders journey. Currently, their son has maintained weight and has finally taken back his life from ED. Recovery is possible although not as fast as a caregiver hopes!
Susan and Michael bring a unique perspective to the Board. Often they heard, "how old is your daughter?," when seeking treatment options. Resources for males are limited, thus making an already challenging illness even more difficult. Michael and Susan’s goal is to de-stigmatize Eating Disorders, and to correct the false impression that characterizes ED as "female only” disorders . Their passion is that everyone will get early diagnosis and access to better treatment.
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.