There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (email@example.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!
Vice President of Nursing
Stacey Brown (she/her) serves as the Vice President of Nursing at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program, Veritas Collaborative, and Gather Behavioral Health. As VP of Nursing, she oversees our nursing staff and helps learn how to be the best nurses they can be. Her responsibilities include staying updated on evidence-based practices for caring for clients with eating disorders, advocating for the needs of nurses within our organization, collaborating with executive and site leaders on quality assurance and clinical matters, and developing policies and protocols that reflect this collaboration. She also builds relationships with nurse leaders to facilitate training within their teams.
Before working in mental health, Stacey gained experience as an Intensive Care/Critical Care nurse, ER nurse, and Cardiac Cath Lab nurse. Since transitioning to the field of eating disorders in 2007, she has been involved in utilization review management, nursing administration, and consulting. Stacey is passionate about her work and takes pride in helping nursing teams develop strong clinical and critical thinking skills based on best and safe practices.
One of the highlights of Stacey’s job is visiting different sites each year and making personal connections with team members. She feels such tremendous appreciation for her colleagues and the significant work that each one does to ensure that each one of our clients gets the best care possible and the greatest chance for recovery.
Outside of work, Stacey loves to golf, travel, play the piano and organ, spend time with her very large family, and relax with her husband and watch a good movie.
MS, RDN, CD
Senior Regional Director, Pacific Northwest
Kelsey Thomas (she/her) is the Senior Regional Director, Pacific Northwest at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative. Kelsey joined The Emily Program’s Seattle Outpatient site in 2012 as a Registered Dietitian and transitioned over time into the Senior Regional Director, Pacific Northwest role. During her time working at the Seattle Outpatient site, Kelsey has worked with adults and adolescents in OP, IOP, and PHP levels of care and held the role of Site Director for three years. Kelsey has her master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, loves eating the food her husband makes, and enjoys playing cribbage as well as gardening in her outdoor and indoor gardens.
Senior Regional Director, Southeast
Becca Eckstein (she/her) is the Senior Regional Director, Southeast at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program, Veritas Collaborative, and Gather Behavioral Health. Becca is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, having earned her MSW in Social Work from New York University, and Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Violin Performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Becca’s experience helping individuals with eating disorders in various levels of care at Veritas and in Massachusetts, along with her training in FBT, ACT, CBT, and DBT, informs her evidence-based approach to treatment. She is passionate about empowering individuals to create a sustainable path to recovery that moves them in the direction of their values. She also firmly believes in treatment to outcome, to help ensure the best chance of a lasting recovery process for individuals and their loved ones. Becca specializes in family therapy and sees partners, parents, and other loved ones as essential advocates and allies in the treatment process.
Senior Regional Director, Midwest
Brittany Davis (she/her), MEd, LPCC-S, is the Senior Regional Director, Midwest at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program, Veritas Collaborative, and Gather Behavioral Health. Brittany began her counseling career as a graduate student at The Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) in 2009. After graduating, she joined the CCED team as the Adolescent PHP/IOP Program Coordinator and remained in this role for 9 years. In 2018, she transitioned to the Site Director for The Emily Program’s Cleveland Outpatient location. Over the years, Brittany has specialized in the treatment of adolescent eating disorders using the Family-Based Treatment (FBT) approach and has attended multiple intensive trainings in Family-Based Treatment (FBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Brittany is the mom to her daughter Isabelle and her son Tyler. She has a love for animals and recently adopted a golden retriever puppy. In her personal time, she enjoys being outside, spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on Cleveland sports teams.
Vice President for the Department of Adult Medicine
Dr. Mary Bretzman (she/her) is the Vice President for the Department of Adult Medicine at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program, Veritas Collaborative, and Gather Behavioral Health. She currently oversees the team of healthcare professionals who work with our adult patients at our inpatient, residential, and partial hospitalization (PHP) programs. Dr. Bretzman is deeply committed to delivering skilled and compassionate care to our patients and their families. She is also a certified eating disorder specialist.
Dr. Bretzman is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed a residency in Family Medicine at the University of Utah-Salt Lake City. Since residency, she practiced in primary care in Utah and Minnesota. Dr. Bretzman has been with our organization since 2010.
RDN, LDN, CERD-S, FAED
Vice President of Nutrition and Culinary Services
Leah Graves (she/her) is the Vice President of Nutrition and Culinary Services at Accanto Health, the parent company of The Emily Program, Veritas Collaborative, and Gather Behavioral Health. In this role, Leah establishes Accanto’s vision, direction, processes, and culture for client nourishment and nutrition care. She leads the development of nutrition and culinary best-practice systems, processes, policies, procedures, and protocols. Additionally, Leah serves as an Accanto Health nutrition content expert, collaborating with the corporate clinical team to ensure the delivery of evidence-driven eating disorder treatment across the organization’s full continuum of care.
Leah has been treating patients with eating disorders for over 30 years. Prior to joining the organization, Leah was the Manager of Eating Disorders Nutrition Therapy for the Laureate Eating Disorders Program in Tulsa, OK. She graduated with the highest distinction from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1985 and then began her work with individuals with eating disorders.
Leah is a founding member of the Academy for Eating Disorders where she has served on the Academy’s Executive Team and Board of Directors. She has also chaired the Academy’s North American Teaching Days for the International Conference on Eating Disorders, in addition to serving the Academy on the Nominating, Fellowship Selection, and Membership Recruitment and Retention Committees. She has also been honored with the distinction of Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders.
Leah has been involved in eating disorders advocacy with the National Eating Disorders Association as a member of the Conference Planning Committee and with the Oklahoma Eating Disorders Association where she served as President and Governance Committee Chair. She currently serves on the Clinical Advisory Board for Rock Recovery.
Leah has been invited faculty at many eating disorders conferences including the International Conference on Eating Disorders, Hispano-Latin American Congress on Eating Disorders, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Symposium, Renfrew Foundation Conference, Multi-service Eating Disorders Association Conference, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference, as well as numerous regional and local conferences. Leah has written several publications pertaining to nutrition and eating disorders and is highly respected within the eating disorders field for her expertise in medical nutrition therapy, nutrition counseling, clinical supervision, and research.
Throughout Leah’s career, her motivation for working with individuals with eating disorders centered around a mission to help clients and their supporters learn to eat in a manner that supports their ability to engage in life – work, love, and play. As she has transitioned into a leadership role, this passion has continued. Today, she is passionately engaged in collaboration with her Accanto Health colleagues to establish a specialty healthcare system where individuals with eating disorders and their families and community of support can access best-practice, client-centered care at each site, and the level of care which supports their recovery journey.