Mary Ellen Trunko, MD
Associate Clinical Professor, UCSD Department of Psychiatry
Dr. Mary Ellen Trunko has worked with the UCSD eating disorders program since its inception, and has been involved in planning and development of services, delivery of patient care, and supervision and teaching of junior staff members. As associate clinical professor and medical director, Dr. Trunko performs comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, handles medication management, coordinates primary care and other medical services, and educates patients and their families on physiological, medical and psychological aspects of eating disorders. She also runs an outpatient practice that includes individuals with eating disorders as well as those with general psychiatric needs.
Dr. Trunko is board certified in both psychiatry and internal medicine, an unusual combination that is highly relevant to the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. She has used this specialty knowledge to advise primary care providers on the care of eating-disordered patients through presentations and consultation. She has written review papers and clinical case reports on pharmacological interventions for eating disorders. Dr. Trunko earned her MD degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed separate residencies in internal medicine and psychiatry at UCSD.
Christine Geneza, NP
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Christine Geniza is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, board certified (PMHNP-BC) with a spcialization in Addiction Medicine and Adult Psychiatry. Christine has worked for UCSD in the Neurobehavior medicine unit (NBMU) for 10 years prior to going back to school to obtain her advanced practice nursing degree. Christine obtained her addiction medicine specialty working at the VA in La Jolla’s Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program.
Christine attended California State University Bakersfield and received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and San Diego State University where she received her Bachelor’s Science in Nursing (BSN). Christine completed her PMHNP degree and MSN at California State University Long Beach and has taught nursing at Mira Costa College and San Marcos State University.
Christine lives in North County with her husband and two sons and enjoys the Padres and the Chargers (even when they are losing!)
Danica Torres, RN
Danica Torres, Registered Nurse joined the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program in December 2010. Her career as a nurse includes acute care experience and experience with adults and adolescent eating disorder patients in residential, inpatient and partial hospitalization settings. At UCSD, she attends to the medical needs of the patients along with assisting the physicians to coordinate care throughout the patient’s treatment process.
Leslie Anderson, PhD
Director of Training, Clinical Associate Professor
Dr. Leslie Karwoski Anderson is a clinical associate professor and training director at UCSD Eating Disorders Center. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas, and completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center. Before coming to UCSD, she held a clinical faculty appointment at the University of Washington, was a supervisor in Marsha Linehan's DBT training clinic, and was a staff psychologist at the DBT Center of Seattle. She currently oversees the training and clinical supervision of the UCSD EDC staff, and conducts individual, family and group therapy for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS. Her research interests are in treatment development, evaluation, and outcomes, especially with regards to adaptations of DBT and FBT, and she has published several papers in this area. She frequently gives talks and workshops on DBT, eating disorders, suicidality, and related topics in the community and at national conferences. She is currently serving as the co-chair of the Academy of Eating Disorders DBT Special Interest Group.
Anne Cusack, PsyD
Adult Program Manager
Dr. Anne Cusack is a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research and co-manages the Adult Treatment Program. As a graduate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital working with various psychiatric populations. Clinically, she has worked as a therapist on a research trial of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for eating disorders at the University of Chicago, as well as provided treatment of eating disorders, mood disorders, substance use disorder, PTSD and personality disorders in inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient settings. She is currently the Academy for Eating Disorders co-chair for the DBT special interest group. Her research interests include treatment development, acceptance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and self-injurious behaviors. Anne previously worked in the Adolescent Program and currently provides individual, group and family therapy for the Adult Day Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Programs. When she’s not at work, Anne loves traveling, adventuring and playing with the cutest puppy in San Diego!
Julie Trim, PhD
Adult Program Manager
Dr. Julie Trim has been working at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center since 2008, when she was hired as a postdoctoral employee. She developed the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) during her postdoc year, and has been managing this program since it opened on April 1, 2009 (which was NOT an April fool’s joke!). Dr. Trim has treated individuals with eating disorders for over ten years. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish Literature at the University of Michigan. After college, she spent a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to perfect her Spanish and experience life abroad. Dr. Trim went on to receive her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University and completed her predoctoral internship at UCSD’s Counseling & Psychological Services. Dr. Trim has treated individuals with eating disorders at nearly all levels of care ranging from residential to outpatient. She has a particular interest and specialization in treating PTSD and trauma. She was trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)—an evidence-based treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder--in 2010 and is the lead facilitator and supervisor of the CPT group in the clinic. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Trauma “Special Interest Group” (SIG) of the Academy for Eating Disorders. Dr. Trim has found that people with eating disorders tend to be very smart, sensitive, compassionate people who just need a little help in managing their emotions so that they can reach their full potential. She delights in seeing patients transform from living a life in “black and white” to living a life in color. Outside of work, Dr. Trim enjoys spending time with her husband (who is a psychologist at the VA), her two kids (a boy and a girl), and their yellow Labrador Retriever (that is incredibly sweet but doesn’t seem to know how to retrieve).
Gina M. Bongiorno, LMFT
Therapist, COD Coordinator
Gina M. Bongiorno is a senior therapist and manager of the Co-Occurring Disorders (COD) program at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center. Using her expertise in eating and substance use disorders, trauma, and grief as well as specialized training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Gina developed the comprehensive, evidence-based COD program. This integrative care model includes daily groups, individual and family therapy, meal support, as well as comprehensive substance/eating disorder assessment and treatment planning to our adult patients. Gina obtained her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego, where she was the recipient of the Award of Distinction and the Dean's Merit Scholarship, and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego and a consultant for trauma-informed care.
Emily Dailey, LCSW
Emily is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the adult program. She graduated from USC Social Work. She has 10 yrs experience with DBT. Emily was trained in DBT at Harbor UCLA where she worked in their outpatient DBT program. She started working with eating disorders in a residential setting and continues her work in PHP and outpatient settings. She also studies and practices Mindfulness and ACT, a mindfulness-based therapy. She has her own Mindfulness practice and feels passionate about teaching it to others. Some of her interests include spending time outdoors with her family.
Lauren Gomez, MFTI
Therapist, IOP Coordinator
Lauren currently provides individual, group and family therapy to adults with eating disorders in the Adult Day/Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology and received her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. Lauren helps in coordinating our newly enhanced intensive outpatient program which focuses on relapse prevention, hands out meal preparation and further development in patients careers and education and areas of interest. Lauren enjoys running groups such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- Enhanced for eating disorders and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Natalie Heller, MFTI
Natalie is a therapist at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program. Natalie graduated with a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego, where she previously received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Prior to becoming a milieu therapist, Natalie completed her practicum traineeship with the adolescent program at UCSD, providing individual and group therapy for teens struggling with eating disorders, self-injurious behaviors, and suicidality. While Natalie’s clinical interest and practice has been primarily rooted in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, both in individual therapy and multi-family skills training groups, she has also gained experience utilizing core features of Family Based Treatment (FBT) through participation in Saturday multifamily programming. Currently, Natalie works in the Adult Treatment program where she looks forward to extending clinical experience by providing individual, family, and group therapy for the adult population
JoJo Lee, PCCI
JoJo is a Milieu Therapist/ Psychiatric Technician with the Adult Program. She holds two masters’ degrees in mental health—she earned an M.S. in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology from Swansea University and an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of San Diego. She particularly enjoys working with ethnic minorities, which she had the opportunity to do on a regular basis when she worked at Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC) Counseling and Treatment Center. Prior to UCSD, she worked at Alvarado Parkway Institute’s inpatient unit and outpatient program providing risk assessment, crisis intervention, and individual and group counseling to adults who are struggling from acute and chronic psychosis. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, scuba diving, indoor rock climbing, dancing, and karaoke singing.
Araceli Leza is a practicum student at the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program. She is currently in pursuit of her doctoral degree at Alliant International University, where she received her master’s degree. Araceli is focusing on eating disorder prevention programs for adults for her doctoral dissertation. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. Araceli’s areas of experience include working with adolescents, children, and adults in medical settings with developmental disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and mood disorders.
Karen Miller, CSW
Karen is a certified drug and alcohol counselor with an MA in Human Behavior. She is working towards a second master’s with dual specialization as Marriage Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor. She has worked in the addiction treatment field for 15 years in both residential and outpatient settings including 5 years spent working with clients with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Karen’s interest in working in eating disorder treatment began when Karen worked in drug and alcohol treatment where there were patients with eating disorders that were not able to receive treatment for their eating disorders. Karen’s role at the UCSD Eating Disorders Program is as a therapist in the Co-Occurring Disorder track. Karen also volunteers at one of the county drug and alcohol treatment programs facilitating grief process groups, as well as speaks at San Diego City College on addiction and treatment.
Tiffany Nakamura, PCCI
Therapist, TFam Coordinator
Tiffany is a therapist at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program. She graduated with her BA in Psychology and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Asian American Mental Health from the University of San Diego. She previously interned at Urban Corps of San Diego providing individual and group counseling for at risk young adults. Tiffany currently works in both the Adult and Adolescent Treatment programs providing individual, family, and group therapy. She is also a certified yoga instructor and has specialized clinical training in DBT, FBT, Parent Management Training, and ACT. In addition she is involved in clinical research and has special interest in treatment outcomes and development. For fun Tiffany loves yoga, surfing, travelling, and animals – particularly a cavapoo named Chloe.
Erin is a doctoral student through the Clinical Psychology program at the University at Albany, SUNY and is a current Psychology Intern at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center. Erin received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include the identification of variables and processes that play a role in the etiology of eating disorders and patient response to evidence-based treatment, as well as novel treatment development based on these research findings. She has secondary interests in highlighting the application of novel statistics, measurement, and research methodology within the field of disordered eating. Her dissertation is a clinical analogue study examining the role of repetitive negative thinking in the maintenance of social appearance anxiety, using self-report, behavioral, and psychophysiological measurements. Clinically, she is interested in the treatment of disordered eating and anxiety-based psychopathology and how best to apply research evidence within “real life” settings.
Lani Riedler, MFTi
Lani is a Milieu Therapist/Psychiatric Technician with the Adult Program. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2012 with a M.A. in Counseling Psychology and an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While at UCSB, Lani interned at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, where she received extensive training in sexual assault. That experience solidified Lani’s passion for helping others and confirmed her desire to become a therapist. Before coming to UCSD, Lani provided individual therapy at Planned Parenthood and also worked at a residential setting with adolescent patients suffering from eating disorders and other co-occurring issues. In her free time, Lani enjoys exploring all the fun San Diego has to offer, including beaches, restaurants, and local music venues.
Kimberley Schulz is a practicum trainee in the adult program at UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research, where she conducts psychological assessments. She studied Psychology at Chapman University and has her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, where she is finishing her doctorate. Her clinical interests include evidence-based treatments for mental health issues related to chronic and complex illness, including depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, insomnia, and bereavement, drawing from cognitive-behavioral and acceptance based therapies. Kimberley previously received training at UCSD Moores Cancer Center where she provided psychotherapy to cancer patients and families experiencing mental health issues related to the cancer experience. She also worked as a behavioral intern at Sharp Memorial Hospital's Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program and at San Diego Center for the Blind. She has a special interest in self-compassion and utilizing both compassion and mindfulness-based therapeutic techniques in mental health treatment. When not working, Kimberley especially loves yoga, aerial silks, going to the beach, hiking, visiting her home state of Hawaii, and exploring California with family and friends.
Inspired by her family’s pioneering non-diet retreat for women, Lesley Wayler is passionate about helping individuals struggling with disordered eating and body image. She received a Bachelors of Arts in media communications from Austin College and is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Lesley works to combat weight stigma and wants to learn about and contribute to furthering the treatment of binge eating to help individuals suffering from the disorder. She has extensive training in mindfulness, including workshops in mindful eating, self-compassion and stress management.
Dietary & Meal Support
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University. She came to the program with experience treating eating disorder patients in residential and partial hospitalization. Shortly after graduating from SDSU Stephanie passed the Examination for Diet Technician. As a Diet Tech at UCSD, she works with the Adult Day Treatment program by providing meal support for patients, teaching cooking class, and assisting the dietary and clinical staff to coordinate care throughout the patients' treatment.
Breana Janke, RD
Breana Janke is a Registered Dietitian who has been working for the Adolescent and Adult Day Treatment Program since Fall 2012. Breana earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University. Shortly after completing her undergraduate work, Breana was accepted into a dietetic internship program where she completed one year of supervised practice experience required to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Breana’s interest in eating disorders developed during her dietetic internship where she received experience treating patients with eating disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings. After earning her RD, Breana worked as a clinical dietitian providing medical nutrition therapy to many different patient populations including oncology, diabetes, renal and liver disease. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and San Diego Dietitians in Eating Disorders Group. Breana is thrilled be a part of UCSD’s Treatment team where she is able to pursue her passion of working in the field of eating disorders.
Dietary & Meal Support
Danika received her Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University. She joined the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment and Research program in July of 2016 upon completing her degree. During her undergraduate she worked in Public Health at San Diego State University, Nutrition Counseling for California State University San Marcos, and as a Dietary Aide within a clinical setting. As part of the dietary staff, she works closely with the dietitians and clinical staff to accommodate patient’s dietary needs, provide specialized meal support.
Erin Reeves, RD
Erin Reeves is a Registered Dietitian who works in the Adolescent and Adult PHP and IOP programs. Erin began working in the field of eating disorders, while earning her Bachelors of Science degree at California State University Long Beach. After graduation, she completed a yearlong dietetic Internship which lead to the Registration Examination for Dietitians through Long Beach State and received her RD. She has experience in working with adolescents, adults and families and has worked at all levels of care including inpatient, partial, intensive outpatient as well as private practice. Erin really enjoys working with patients to work through food fears and not miss out on wonderful life experiences. After moving to San Diego in the Fall of 2013 she is really thrilled to be a part of the UCSD team and enjoying the SD life. She especially loves taking her two wiener dogs to the beach and going on outdoor adventures with her husband.
Jaren Soloff, RD
Jaren Soloff is a passionate Registered Dietitian working with the Adult and IOP treatment programs. After completing her undergraduate education at San Diego State University in Nutrition Science and Feminist Studies, Jaren completed an accredited dietetic internship with Utah State University. Jaren has experience at residential, IOP, PHP and outpatient levels of eating disorder treatment in addition to clinical and community nutrition settings. Jaren is committed to eating disorder advocacy and treatment within the San Diego community personally and professionally. She maintains a leadership position as Public Policy chair with the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics- San Diego District, is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and the San Diego Dietitians in Eating Disorders group. Jaren is thrilled to be a part of the UCSD Eating Disorder program where she integrates her passion for mental health advocacy, counseling and patient care.