Medical Behavioral Inpatient Unit


Kyung (Kay) Rhee, MD, MSc, MA, FAAP

MBU Medical Director

Kyung (Kay) Rhee, MD, MSc, MA - photo

Dr. Rhee is a Professor of Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Vice Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Medical Director of the inpatient eating disorder unit at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego Medical Behavioral Unit and the UCSD Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR). She has special interest in childhood eating and weight related disorders and has multidisciplinary training in family-based behavioral therapy, parenting skills training (Incredible Years Program), motivational interviewing, epidemiology, and social psychology. She has been federally funded by NIH, USDA, and HRSA since 2009 to conduct research on the intersection of biology, cognition, and behavior and how this affects child development and health. She specifically conducts research on the behavioral, cognitive and biologic factors contributing to the development and management of childhood obesity. Her work focuses on identifying novel targets for obesity prevention and treatment including, parenting styles, parent feeding behaviors, child eating behaviors, executive functioning, gut peptides and the microbiome. Over the past several years, her work has expanded to include social determinants of health targets and food insecurity. Most recently, she became the Associate Director of the Master Clinician Program in the Center for Mentorship in Medicine, Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion and directs research activities to study the impact of these mentoring programs on physician and trainee well-being. Throughout her work, she strives to support junior faculty and trainees in their clinical and scholarly development, and create policies that promote equity and inclusion for underserved communities and underrepresented minorities.

Maya Kumar, MD, FAAP, FRCPC

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Maya Kumar, MD, FAAP - photo

Maya Kumar, MD, FAAP, FRCPC earned her medical degree from the University of Alberta Medical School in Edmonton, Canada and completed fellowships in adolescent medicine at University of Toronto and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She is board-certified in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP) and the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC). In addition to providing outpatient consultation for eating disorder patients, she cares for hospitalized eating disorder patients with severe medical complications at Rady Children's Hospital. From 2019 to 2023, she served as Chair of the Adolescent Nutrition Committee for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. She is currently the leader of the Eating Disorders Special Interest Group and a member of the Eating Disorder Committee for the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine. Dr. Kumar has published guidelines on adolescent nutritional disorders and numerous other articles, and book chapters related to adolescent health issues including eating disorders, substance abuse, and reproductive health. In 2022, she published a book on Fad Diets in Adolescents. She frequently presents scholarly work at international conferences and has won several research awards. She is also a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. At UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Kumar directs the adolescent medicine rotation for the Pediatric Residency Program. She is active in training medical students and residents in the care of adolescents using a biopsychosocial approach. In 2017, she was awarded the UCSD Whitehill Prize for excellence in clinical teaching. She is an active member of the San Diego County Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Adolescent Medicine, volunteering her time for community-based initiatives promoting pediatric and adolescent health. Dr. Kumar is enthusiastic and passionate about advocacy and community outreach and has been recognized with the following awards and recognitions : "Special Achievement Award" by the American Academy of Pediatrics (2017), "Doc of the Quarter" by the American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 3 (2018), "Early Career Physician of the Year" by the American Academy of Pediatrics California Chapter 3 (2021), and "Annual Chapter Recognition Award" by the Southern California Chapter of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (2022).

Kanani Titchen, MD

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Kanani Titchen, MD - photo

Dr. Titchen specializes in caring for preteens, teens, and young adults both inpatient at Rady Children's Hospital Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU) and outpatient in the UCSD/Rady Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine clinic, where she is director of the Adolescent Reproductive Medicine Clinic. She serves as faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Titchen earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and music from Tufts University before earning her premedical certificate from Columbia University and her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where she also completed her pediatrics residency. She completed an adolescent medicine fellowship at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, N.Y. and is double board certified in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Dr. Titchen's research and advocacy interests include trauma-sensitive care and human trafficking, resilience in at-risk and marginalized youth, as well as female athlete triad and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Dr. Titchen serves on committees for the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. She is a Nexplanon hormonal implant trainer with Merck/Organon and a consultant to the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gayathri (Gaya) Chelvakumar, MD, MPH

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Gayathri (Gaya) Chelvakumar, MD, MPH - photo

Gayathri (Gaya) Chelvakumar, MD, MPH (she/her) is an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Rady Children’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine. She received her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency, adolescent medicine fellowship, and Master of Public Health degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Clinically she has expertise in providing care to adolescents and young adults, with a focus on youth who are particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes including transgender and gender diverse youth, LGB youth, youth experiencing homelessness, and justice involved youth. As an educator, researcher, and advocate her focus is on promoting equitable, accessible, evidence-based care for all adolescents in partnership with the communities she serves. She has over a decade of experience providing inpatient and outpatient care to adolescents and young adults with eating disorders.

Stephanie Schmitt, MD


Stephanie Schmitt, MD - photo

Stephanie Schmitt, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician who earned her medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her residency training and chief residency in Pediatrics at University of San Diego/Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, California. She enjoys treating children, adolescents and adult patients alongside the incredible multidisciplinary team in the Medical Behavioral Unit.

Psychology Team

Tamara Maginot, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine Program Director

Tamara Maginot, Ph.D. - photo

Tamara Maginot “Tammy” works at the Medical Behavioral Unit at Rady Children's Hospital/ UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Program. Tammy has her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in pediatric health from the California School of Professional Psychology. Tammy completed her clinical internship at Sharp Healthcare in San Diego and completed her doctoral dissertation on the effect of weight on elementary school aged children’s social competence. Tammy’s clinical and research interests include working with children and adolescents managing chronic medical conditions, trauma-informed care, family-based treatment of obesity and eating disorders, and medical stabilization of eating disorders.

Jacquie Corvan, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Jacquie Corvan, PhD - photo

Dr. Jacquie Corvan is a Pediatric Psychologist on the Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU) at Rady Children's Hospital. She graduated from the School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology. Dr. Corvan completed her pre-doctoral internship at Central Washington University at the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic and her postdoctoral training on the MBU at Rady Children’s Hospital providing individual, family, and group therapy for eating disorder patients and pediatric patients. Her research interests include prevention and interventions for weight related conditions, family based interventions, and incorporating evidence based treatments within medical settings. Dr. Corvan is also very passionate about teaching and currently teaches graduate courses in Family and Child/Adolescent Counseling.

Emily Capps, MA, LMFT


Emily Capps, M.A., MFTI - photo

Emily is a therapist on the Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU) located at Rady Children’s Hospital. She has her Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Previously, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. Emily completed her graduate school practicum traineeship gaining experience on the adult, adolescent, and pediatric programs within the UCSD Eating Disorders Center providing individual, group, and multi-family group therapy. She was hired on as a milieu therapist for the pediatric and adolescent programs upon completion of graduate school prior to transitioning to the MBU. Emily continues to work with children, adolescents, adults on the MBU providing individual, group, and family therapy for those struggling with feeding and eating disorders, among other psychiatric diagnoses. When she’s not at work, Emily enjoys outdoor adventures, reading, and spending time with her family and dog.

Kathryn Ward, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Kathryn Ward, PhD - photo

Dr. Kate Ward is a licensed psychologist at Rady Children’s Hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU). She completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. Kate completed her clinical internship at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT working with children, adolescents, and families with a wide variety of psychiatric needs. She then returned to San Diego to complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Rady Children’s Hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU), where she confirmed her passion for inpatient eating disorders treatment. Kate has also had specialized training in many challenges that co-occur with eating and feeding disorders, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and developmental disorders.

Alexandra Barth, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Alex Barth - photo

Dr. Alex Barth is a fellow on the Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU). She completed her PhD in counseling psychology at the University of Houston. Alex completed her clinical internship at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami/Miller School of Medicine. There, she worked with children, adolescents, and families in inpatient and outpatient settings in addition to conducting psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessments. Alex is currently completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship on the MBU at Rady Children’s Hospital/UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research as she has a passion for inpatient eating disorder care and treatment.

Deena Muno, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

Deena Muno - photo

Deena Muno is a licensed clinical psychologist at Rady Children’s Hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU). She earned her doctorate in psychology (PsyD) at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego with an emphasis on adolescent and young adult development. She completed her clinical internship training at PACE University in New York City and completed her doctoral dissertation on the relationship between Anorexia Nervosa and Orthorexia Nervosa. She returned to San Diego to complete her postdoctoral training on the MBU and further her clinical specialization in eating disorder treatment. In her spare time, Deena enjoys spending time with her family, being outside in nature, and reading.

Alexis Escalera, MA, LMFT


Alexis Escalera - photo

Alexis is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Rady Children Hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU). Alexis is a local San Diegan and loves working at Rady Children’s Hospital to serve her home community. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at UC San Diego, graduate training at University of San Diego, and practicum training at UCSD Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR) outpatient clinic. Alexis has also had training at UCSD Internal Medicine in an integrated care setting, and has worked in private practice. Alexis has experience working with adults, families, adolescents and children with eating disorders and various other psychological and interpersonal needs in the outpatient, day treatment, and residential treatment settings. Alexis has a strong interest in working with individuals with eating disorders and mood disorders, and has specialized training in family based treatment for eating disorders and evidenced based treatments for binge eating disorder. When not at the MBU, Alexis likes to spend time with her family and go to the beautiful beaches in San Diego.

Michael Manzano, MS

Pre-doctoral Psychology Extern

Michael Manzano - photo

Michael is a pre-doctoral psychology extern at Rady Children Hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU). He is also a graduate student in the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Michael has experience delivering Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Family Based Treatment, and mindfulness-based interventions to children, adolescents, and families. Michael’s research interests include the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions in pediatric populations, with a particular interest in health behavior change and eating disorders. Additionally, Michael is interested in studying how integrated-primary care, consultation-liaison services, and brief intervention approaches can help address pediatric health inequities.

Simar Singh, MS

Pre-doctoral Psychology Intern

Simar Singh - photo

Simar (she/her) is a pre-doctoral psychology intern at the University of California (UC) San Diego Eating Disorder Center and clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Drexel University. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a double major in Integrative Biology and Psychology. Simar has treated children, adolescents, and adults with mood and anxiety disorders, restrictive eating disorders (EDs), and binge-spectrum EDs using cognitive-behavioral approaches and family-based treatment (FBT) across various levels of care. Previously, with the UC San Francisco Eating Disorder Program, Simar investigated FBT outcomes for adolescent anorexia nervosa. In graduate school, with Dr. Michael R. Lowe, she has studied the psychobiological correlates of adult bulimia nervosa (BN). Her doctoral dissertation examines the association among weight suppression, bulimic behaviors, and brain reward activation to palatable food cues in adult BN. In future research, Simar aims to continue studying the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie EDs, to inform the development of precision treatments with optimal outcomes.