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About Eating Disorder Hope

Our Mission

Eating Disorder Hope’s mission is to offer hope, information and resources to individual eating disorder sufferers, their family members and treatment providers. The organization began with the help and advice of colleagues, professors, and other organizations specializing in eating disorders. Eating Disorder Hope was founded in January, 2005.

Our Philosophy

Eating Disorder Hope promotes ending eating disordered behavior, embracing life and pursuing recovery. Our mission is to foster appreciation of one’s uniqueness and value in the world, unrelated to appearance, achievement or applause.

Who’s Behind Eating Disorder Hope?

Countless talented individuals have meaningfully contributed to the content and development of Eating Disorder Hope and its affiliated network.  It is their professionalism, integrity and creativity that have fueled the success of Eating Disorder Hope.  The organization is truly the expression of many wonderful hearts and minds collaborating to promote education, awareness and treatment of eating disorders.

Contact Eating Disorder Hope

Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC – Founder & President

Jacquelyn is President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. which conducts business as Eating Disorder Hope & Addicton Hope.  In addition, she is a fully licensed therapist with a closed private counseling practice specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.  Jacquelyn founWIN_20150911_141046ded Eating Disorder Hope in 2005, driven by a profound desire to help those struggling with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. This passion resulted from her battle with, and recovery from, an eating disorder.  She then founded Addiction Hope  in 2013 after recognizing that so many members of the Eating Disorder Hope online community were also struggling with co-occurring issue of addiction.

Jacquelyn has a Bachelor of Science in Human Services degree from The University of Phoenix and a Masters degree in Counseling/Psychology, from Capella University. She has extensive experience in the eating disorder field including advanced education in psychology, participation and contributions to additional eating disorder groups, symposiums, and professional associations. She is a member of the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), Academy of Eating Disorders (AED), the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) and  the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp).

Baxter Ekern, MBA – CEO

Baxter & Cowgirl in ForestBaxter Ekern is the CEO of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the management and operations of Eating Disorder Hope & Addiction Hope.  Baxter has been lending his services to Eating Disorder Hope over the past several years, but he came on board as the full time CEO in November of 2016.

Baxter began his college education at Texas Christian University, and transferred to Texas A&M University where he received a BS degree in Journalism with a minor in Marketing. He then went on to earn his MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Baxter enjoys watching football, playing tennis, fishing and spending time with his family. He also gives time to his church and immensely enjoys his Monday Night Football group.

 Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC – Director of Content and Social Media

Crystal KargesCrystal Karges is a contributor to the Eating Disorder Hope site and associated social networks and blogs.  Crystal is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Masters degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Saint Joseph.  Crystal has several years of experience working within the healthcare field, including nutrition education, medical nutrition therapy, and the nutritional management of eating disorders, both in an inpatient and outpatient setting.  Crystal is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group (PNPG), the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD), and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA).  Crystal’s contributions to Eating Disorder Hope are inspired by her own journey in recovery from an eating disorder and shared with a sincere desire to help and encourage those who are suffering with their own battles.

Courtney Howard – Director of Operations & Business Development

fullsizerender-11Courtney Howard is the Director of Operations & Business Development for Eating Disorder Hope. She is proud to be a passionate advocate for eating disorder awareness and recovery.

After graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Diego State University, Courtney earned her paralegal certificate in Family Law and became a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate through her work at a Los Angeles women’s shelter.

As a Certified Life Coach, Courtney launched Lionheart Eating Disorder Recovery Coaching in 2015. She also has a love for writing and regularly contributes content to Eating Disorder Hope.

Chad Iverson  – Director of Operations & Business Development – Addiction Hope

Chad - Yanks Game

Chad Iverson is the Director of Operations & Business Development of Addiction Hope.

Chad graduated cum laude from Menlo College School of Business with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Mass Communications.  He has experience as a Key Account Sales Rep, Business Development Manager and Sales Operations Manager in Global 500 and Start-up Companies.

Chad enjoys spending his free time with family and friends, especially in outdoor and athletic activities.

Jane McGuire – Publishing Manager

Jane McGuireJane McGuire is the Publishing Manager for Eating Disorder Hope.  Jane graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business.  She worked in management and as an Administrative Assistant for a Fortune 500 company for over twenty years when she decided to change gears and pursue her passion to work with people in crisis and recovery.  Jane believes that everyone has a story of trial, that when shared, can be used to benefit and encourage someone else who is struggling to find hope and direction.

Jane enjoys spending time with her husband, children and volunteering, as well as her two dogs, Maya and Pistol.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

jennifer jefferis April 23, 2014 at 8:36 am

Jacquelyn, I wanted to say hello and let you know how very proud I am of you. I can see by your picture you are happy and well. That makes my day! Seems like a million years ago that our families went boating together and we lived in the same neighborhood. I sure hope this writing finds that your parents are well also. I have not heard from them in years and have lost track of how they are. I would truly love to know. I wanted you to know I am just completing a dream of mine. I will be releasing my ebook soon. It is a book about how I needed to change my life and create a better one. I know God has led me all along to this place and I praise him for the healing in my life. The name of the book is: The Last Lie: Finding Love After Betrayal The book took me ten years to write so I am thrilled God brings me to this place. I am retired from my private practice now and plan on doing more writing.Hope to hear from you. Love to You and Yours and Blessings, Jennifer Jefferis

George Ficken July 6, 2015 at 7:53 am

Eating Disorder Hope,

I am emailing you on behalf of the Manna Fund, a non-profit dedicated to helping those in need who are struggling with ED. We are hosting our annual golf tournament in Kansas City at the Deer Creek Golf Club on August 2nd to help raise eating disorder awareness. We would love to have you all there, so please get back to us so that we can coordinate!

George Ficken
Manna Fund

Crystal Karges MS, RDN, IBCLC July 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Dear George,

Thank you kindly for sharing with us about the Manna Fund! We sincerely would love to attend the event but unfortunately will be unable to make in person. Please feel free to send us the information for the event. We would be happy to put this on our Event Calendar as well as share on our social media. Thank you for your work in the eating disorder community!

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