F.E.A.S.T.'s Advocacy Program: What we do, Why we do it, and How much it costs.

Did you know?
Part of F.E.A.S.T.'s Mission is to Advocate for Caregivers in the Professional ED Community.

Advocacy Budget:

Advocacy for Caregivers is one of our most expensive programs because it involves travel, registration fees, exhibition fees and membership fees.
F.E.A.S.T. is a member of the Eating Disorder Coalition and pays Membership fees for two directors to join the Academy for Eating Disorders. We attend and exhibit at the AED's Annual International Conference. F.E.A.S.T. also sends one representative to the bi-annual NIMH Alliance for Research Progress meetings in Washington, DC.

We would like to begin exhibiting beyond the ED field to child andadolescent medical professionals, for example, but do not have a reliable enough donor base to budget for this. F.E.A.S.T. has also done fundraising for other important initiatives. We raised $14,000 in 2014 for the Charlotte's Helix genetic database project, and we raised $2,600 to contribute to the first printing of AED's Guide to Medical Management for eating disorders in 2011.

EDC Hope Circle Membership $500/year
AED Membership Fees for 2 Directors $500/year
AED Exhibit Table $2000/year
AED Conference Registration, Travel & Hotel Costs $4,500/year
NIMH Travel $1,500/year
Hundreds of Volunteer Hours - PRICELESS!

Some Direct Results of
F.E.A.S.T.'s Advocacy Efforts:

Eating Disorder Coalition & F.E.A.S.T. Collaborations:
EDC Logo
EDC Lobby Days:
GatheringF.E.A.S.T. Members for EDC Lobby Days to visit and tell their stories at US Legislative Offices, including a special Lobby Day for F.E.A.S.T. Conference Attendees.

Congressional Briefing at the US Capitol:
"Facts and Concerns About School-Based BMI Screening, Surveilance and Reporting":
In 2014 F.E.A.S.T., BEDA, AED, and STRIPED worked together with the EDC to revise a 2009 "Talking Points" document to produce a new support document for a "Dear Colleague" letter sent to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).(view PDF)

Academy for Eating Disorder & F.E.A.S.T. Collaborations:

"Ask a Caregiver" Livestream Webinar
Leader of the AED FBT SIG proposed and helped to organize an "Ask a Caregiver" Webinarat our 2014 Dallas Conference.This event was livestreamed to more than 100 ED professionals and caregivers around the world. The recorded video has been viewed over 1200 times.

"Advantages of Brain Disorder Language from the Patient/Carer Perspective"
AED Panel Presentation by 

F.E.A.S.T. Founder, Laura Collins, at the 2012 AED Annual Conference in Austin, TX, leading to article,"The term 'brain disorder': a compass or a map?", in the journal: Advances in Eating Disorders: Theory, Research and Practice Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013
AEDGuide toMedical Management:
Parent Advocate, F.E.A.S.T. Founding Member, and F.E.A.S.T. Advisor, Mary Beth Krohel, helped to form the AED Medical Care Standards Task Force (now the Medical Care Standards Committee). She has worked tirelessly on the creation and distribution of the AED Guide to Medical Management: "Eating Disorders--Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders." F.E.A.S.T. helped raise funds for the 1st print edition of the Medical Guide, and distributes copies at professional and caregiver events.

"Do Carers Care About Research"
AED Panel Presentation byF.E.A.S.T. Founder, Laura Collins, at the 2010 AED Annual Conference in Salzburg, Austria

F.E.A.S.T. - AED Working Relationships:
F.E.A.S.T. members and volunteers actively participate on AED Task Forces and Committees, and have been invited to contribute to workshops, panel discussions, and journal articles.

AED Recognitions:
Mary Beth Krohel (2012) and Laura Collins (2014) were awarded the AED's Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy.
F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide Series

F.E.A.S.T.'s outreach to the Professional ED community has allowed us to create valuable educational resources about eating disorders fro the general public.

Each booklet in this series brings together an international group of leading ED researchers and clinicians to answer common questions by caregivers with factual, evidence-based information. These guides are available free for electronic download, and printed copies are available by visiting this page on our website.

Other Actions Taken by the F.E.A.S.T. Board of Directors:

Some Indirect Results
of F.E.A.S.T's Advocacy Efforts:

Building Trusting and Respectful Relationships by:
  • Bringing Caregivers and Professionals together at conferences designed for caregivers.
  • Showing up year after year at professional conferences and lectures.
  • Educating ourselves to effectively advocate for our children with ED professionals.
  • Standing up to ask questions that are important to caregivers in a room of professionals.
  • Adding a caregiver's perspective to discussions about treatment methodologies.
  • Understanding the limitations and constraints that professionals face and offering constructive solutions, not just criticism.
We know these efforts are making a difference by seeing:
  • Caregivers being invited to attend and participate at professional conferences.
  • Caregivers being invited to serve on planning committees.
  • Professionals asking to speak at our conferences.
  • Professionals reading our caregiver's forum and referring families there.
  • Treatment centers seeking experienced caregivers to provide peer mentoring to new families.
  • Treatment providers creating more resources for families.
  • New parents coming to the Around the Dinner Table Forum having already begun treatment services that involve families.
  • Professionals interacting with caregivers on social media, holding twitter chats and creating discussion groups, etc.
  • And, the list goes on...a list that would have been much shorter five years ago.


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