Meet our Eating Disorder Experts at the iaedp Symposium

Iaedp Symposium

We now know that there is a strong genetic component to eating disorders that makes individuals more vulnerable to the disease based on different temperaments and brain functions. We also know that there are many neurobiological factors that greatly influence the development of eating disorder behaviors and traits.

Co-occurring conditions such as trauma, mood disorders, substance misuse, and personality disorders are often present in many eating disorder patients. This complicates diagnosis, treatment, and treatment outcomes.

Eating disorder treatment teams are continually faced with the challenge of working with a more acute patient population, making a basic understanding of the diagnostics and functions of all types of eating disorders vital for the best possible treatment outcomes.

The annual International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) Symposium, which kicks off this week (March 23 – 26) in Las Vegas, Nevada, gathers health experts from many different disciplines together to share the latest knowledge and research on eating disorder and treatment. Medical and behavioral health professionals discuss ways to broaden their understanding and get ideas for integrating new knowledge into better treatment experiences for eating disorder patients.

We consider it a tremendous honor and privilege to have two of our eating disorder experts from The Meadows Ranch serve as presenters at the symposium and as leaders of the iaedp organization.

As an organization, iaedp develops educational opportunities and helps to establish a high level of competency for eating disorder professionals. It is the only organization that serves as the standard bearer for eating disorder professional certification.

The work of iaedp’s leaders and chapter members across the country helps to ensure that those struggling with eating disorders can receive the highest level of care and that therapists, dieticians, doctors, and nurses are trained to recognize the signs of eating disorders and help guide their patients to right treatment programs.

Our The Meadows Ranch and iaedp Leaders

Buck Runyan, MS, LMFT, LPC, CEDS
James “Buck” Runyan has a long history with iaedp. He started the first iaedp chapter in Orange County, California in 2004 and went on to establish several more chapters from there. He has also served as President of iaedp and as a member of their board of directors. He currently sits on the iaedp advisory board.

For this year’s symposium, Buck rewrote spearheaded the redevelopment of the core certification courses offered to those who want to begin the process of becoming a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS.)

He will be co-presenting the first certification workshop, Pre-certification Core Course 1 – Overview of Eating Disorders alongside Dr. Craig Johnson on Wednesday, March 22.

This workshop is designed as an introductory course in eating disorders. Participants will learn how to identify and diagnose eating disorders, gain an understanding of social and culture features of populations affected by eating disorders, and understand how neurobiological influences may factor into an individual’s likelihood of developing eating disorders.

Buck says that he’s looking forward to seeing his friend and colleagues at the symposium and to integrating some of the knowledge and ideas presented there into The Meadows Ranch program:

“This meeting is the largest gathering of thought leaders in eating disorder treatment in the world. Being able to teach alongside Dr. Craig Johnson and have conversations with other influencers like Phillip Mailer, Sondra Kronberg, and many others at the top of their fields is quite an honor. We also get to access some of the best clinical eating disorder education available anywhere in just one week’s time. I’m looking forward to using what I learn to help our The Meadows Ranch team members continue to rise above the highest levels of professionalism and industry standards.”

Vicki Berkus, MD, Ph.D., CEDS

Dr. Berkus is currently the medical director for, a telemedicine IOP, and a Senior Fellow at The Meadows Ranch. She has also served in many capacities within the iaedp organization and currently serves on the advisory board. She is a regularly featured speaker at iaedp events and conferences.

On Thursday, March 23 she’ll take part in a roundtable discussion at the iaedp Symposium titled “An Integrative Approach to the Psychological, Medical, and Nutritional Treatment of Eating Disorders in Special Populations.”

Dr. Berkus will be stationed at Table 8, where participants will get a chance to talk with her about the physiology of eating disorders and integrative treatment.

The roundtable discussions aim to help reinforce the fact that, more than any other disorder, the treatment of eating disorders requires a multidisciplinary approach. Medical providers, psychotherapists, dieticians, nutritionists, body workers, practitioners of eastern medicines, coaches and trainers, sufferers, family members and more will benefit from will benefit from understanding the varied approaches of their multidisciplinary team members. At the same time, the eating disorder patient is a multifaceted, biopsychosocially developed human being with key aspects that are essential for providers to understand.

Visit us at Booth 51

Stop by our booth to learn more about treatment options available at The Meadows Ranch and our exciting, newly enhanced programming for adolescent girls – Sunflower at The Meadows. Or, contact us today to learn why The Meadows Ranch is the treatment choice for adolescent girls and women with eating disorders and co-occurring conditions. 866-390-5100.

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