Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hard at Work on Capitol Hill

Greetings from Capitol Hill. This is Jeanine Cogan the Policy Director of the EDC. I am excited to give you an update on our legislative progress. As you all know health care is on everyone's minds and the EDC is part of a broad based coalition that works hard toward making sure that mental health is included in health care legislation.

Great news on that front! The three committees in the House with jurisdiction over health care reform - Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce and Education and Labor - released joint draft legislative language for health care reform on Friday June 19. The legislation, known as the “Tri-Committee Health Reform Discussion Draft", would indeed include mental health services as part of what they are calling the essential benefits package offered by the Health Insurance Exchange.

There is so much good stuff in this 800 page bill (like prohibiting denials based on pre-existing conditions, requiring transparency and disclosure of terms and conditions in "plain language", etc, etc, etc) that I am only highlighting this one point which is so important to many of us!

For a concise summary of the bill go to http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/galleries/policy-file/HouseDraftHealthCareReform-BillSummary.pdf.

In the Senate draft bill definitions of the essential benefits package offered on the exchange would include mental health and substance abuse services as well.

I will keep you posted as new information emerges. In the meantime - we are advocating for the FREED Act and look forward to your involvement in our letter writing campaign and virtual advocacy week that we will launch in August once health care reform slows down and we can get Congress's attention.

That's all for now!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

EDC Lobby Day in September!

Capitol Hill is the Place for Eating Disorder Advocacy in September!

The Eating Disorders Coalition is hosting our second EDC Lobby Day of 2009 in Washington, DC. Come join us in building further momentum around the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act (FREED), the first eating disorders legislation to comprehensively promote research, treatment, education, and prevention programs.

Register early and get the best hotel prices! Details, costs, and links to register are available via our website: www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org. We hope to see you in Washington, DC this September!

Eating Disorders Coalition

FREED Act sponsors and co-sponsors

As a member of the Virginia lobbying team during the recent EDC Lobby Day I was delighted to learn that two of those we visited have signed on as co-sponsors to the FREED Act.

That makes 17 co-sponsors plus the original sponsor, Representative Patrick Kennedy!

Has your representative in the House of Representatives signed on yet?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hello from the EDC Junior Board!

On behalf of the EDC Junior Board, we welcome you to the new EDC blog and hope that you will check back here often. My name is Johanna Kandel and I am honored to be bringing you the latest information about all the wonderful things that are going on with the Junior Board.

For those of you who are not familiar with us, we are a board that represents a variety of backgrounds, stories, and experiences – all with one common goal in mind - to support the Eating Disorders Coalition in its mission. We are in our inaugural year and let me be the first the tell you, we have AMAZING members that are already working diligently to raise awareness and funds. I will be bringing you updates once a week (some times more) about local/national events, opportunities, and even fabulous items to buy to support the Jr. Board and the EDC.

Save the Date - Our kick-off event will start with the first official fundraising week the last week of June . We are currently in the process of planning, and it is promising to be a great week! Back sure to check back here soon for updates! Hope to see you all in DC in September J Until next time…

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

EDC Board Director Sam Menaged Hosts Conference on ED's in the Jewish Community

Distinguished EDC Board Director (and past President of the EDC) Sam Menaged was opening speaker at a conference entitled "Food, Body Image, and Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community" on Sunday, June 7 at the Ramaz Middle School in New York, NY. Sam is founder, President and CEO of The Renfrew Center.

The conference had over 300 in attendance and included workshops exploring the role of hunger, shame and body hatred in the development of eating disorders. Again, eating disorders do not discriminate. There has been a rise in eating disorders and related issues within the Jewish community.

Again, passage of the FREED Act will allow for the required research, education/prevention, and treatment of eating disorders. We are slowly adding more co-sponsors to this Bill. Thanks to all who have contacted your representatives to push them to sign on. Keep on pushing!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hello from EDC Board Chair Kitty Westin

Welcome and thank you for reading the new EDC blog! I am looking forward to staying in touch with you on a regular basis. The EDC Board of Directors appreciates your support and we intend to use this space to keep you informed on what we are doing on Capitol Hill. We are exited about moving the FREED Act forward and we need your help. Stay tuned for notices about EDC events and activities and please plan to join us in Washington DC in September.

Friday, June 5, 2009

EDC Board Director Ted Weltzin on Dr. Phil Today

Our distinguished Board Director Ted Weltzin was on the Dr. Phil show today helping Dr. Phil assess treatment options for a pair of young men suffering from eating disorders. Dr. Weltzin is the Director of Eating Disorder Services for Rogers Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a leading expert in the treatment of males with eating disorders and we are proud to have him serve on our board of directors. As we all know, eating disorders do not discriminate. They affect those of all ages, races, etc. More and more men are suffering and there are few specialized treatment options available. Passing The FREED Act will help us to bring more and better treatment to those in need!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

EDC Builds Momentum Around FREED!

The EDC is proud to announce that 35 organizations are now in support of the FREED act, and that we now have twelve congressional co-sponsors on the bill! The current co-sponsors include: Representatives Dan Burton (R, IN), Russ Carnahan (D, MO), Gerald Connolly (D, VA), John Conyers (D, MI), Joe Courtney (D, CT), Diana DeGette (D, CO), Jo Ann Emerson (R, MO), Steven LaTourette (R, OH), James Moran (D, VA), Todd Platts (R, PA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R, FL), Christopher Smith (R, NJ).

Many thanks to all of those who came out to support the cause on Lobby Day last April and who continue to support our efforts in a myriad of other ways. This progress is the result of your efforts! We at the EDC are continuing to work hard to build even further momentum around FREED, and with that in mind, we hope you’ll stay involved by joining us at our next Lobby Day coming up this September. Check out the EDC’s website for more details!