Our Team

Eating Recovery Center, Bellevue’s eating disorder treatment facility has been developed and is overseen by a compassionate team of experts across many behavioral health disciplines, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, mental health counselors, dietitians and other patient support staff. Together with Eating Recovery Center’s internationally renowned leadership team, Eating Recovery Center, Bellevue experts deliver evidence-based care to meet each patient and family’s unique recovery and disorder treatment needs.

Eating Recovery Center, Washington’s medical and clinical leadership work closely with Drs. Ken Weiner, Philip Mehler, Craig Johnson, Ovidio Bermudez and Emmett Bishop, Eating Recovery Center’s medical and clinical leadership who together possess over 130 years of specific eating disorders experience, to develop and implement innovative, evidence-based treatment strategies. Eating Recovery Center, Washington’s Residential program mirrors Eating Recovery Center’s Residential programs for adults and adolescents in Denver, Colorado to ensure effective delivery of Eating Recovery Center’s evidence-based treatment philosophies, processes and interventions in a 24-hour treatment environment.

Neeru Bakshi, MD, FAPA
Medical Director

Neeru Bakshi, MD, FAPA, is a Board-certified psychiatrist, and the Medical Director for Eating Recovery Center, Washington.

She is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). Dr. Bakshi has previously served as the Chairperson for the Overlake Hospital Department of Psychiatry, and she is a Courtesy Clinical Instructor with the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

She attended George Washington University where she received a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Biology and earned her medical degree from Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center College of Medicine. Dr. Bakshi completed her internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the University of Washington. Dr. Bakshi is a member of the Washington State Psychiatric Association as well as the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Bakshi has a wide variety of practice experience and is passionate about the treatment of eating disorders.

LaraSchusterEffland.jpgLara Schuster Effland, LICSW
Regional Managing Director - Clinical and Center of Excellence Leader for Insight Adult Services

Ms. Effland has been working in the field of eating disorders for 13 years in multiple levels of care throughout the country.  Ms. Effland received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oberlin College and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago with a concentration in clinical practice.  Ms. Effland specializes in co-occurring eating, mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders, with a focus primarily on mindfulness and evidenced based behavioral interventions, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and mindfulness meditation and theory. 

Ms. Effland became the Executive Clinical Director of Eating Recovery Center’s Washington site in March of 2017.  Her experience in co-occurring disorders complements the exemplary eating disorders care at Eating Recovery Center of Washington.  Ms. Effland regularly speaks and trains nationally on the topic of eating, mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders.   Her goal is to continue to bring compassion, competence, and integrity to patient care and to ensure that all staff at ERC are given all the support they need to be the best they can be.

Ramona Weatherford, LCSW, CEDS-S
Regional Vice President

Ramona Weatherford holds a master’s Degree in Social Work from Louisiana State University and has over 30 years of clinical experience. In the last 15 years of her career, Ramona has focused on the management and operations side of clinical practices. Prior to joining Eating Recovery Center, Dallas, Ramona spent 14 years managing the eating disorder unit at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Ramona joined Eating Recovery Center in May 2014 and was instrumental in the opening of Eating Recovery Center, Dallas in July 2014. She currently is responsible for management and operations of all Texas, California and Washington ERC/Insight locations.


Marsha Chenoweth, MD, FAAP, FAPA
Associate Medical Director

Dr. Marsha Chenoweth is a board-certified pediatrician, adult psychiatrist, and child & adolescent psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of comorbid psychiatric and medical illnesses affecting children, adolescents and their families.  She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in liberal arts honors and music. She received her MD from the University of Texas Houston Medical School in 2005. She then went on to obtain her post-graduate medical training at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, at the Triple Board Residency Training Program, where she completed her pediatric and adult psychiatry residencies, as well as her child & adolescent psychiatry fellowship.

After graduating in 2010, Dr. Chenoweth worked in an outpatient setting, where she provided psychiatric care to children ages 4 through young adult, as well as their families. Dr. Chenoweth has extensive training in individual and family psychotherapies, and has served as Volunteer Faculty at Brown University, where she provided psychotherapy supervision and psychopharmacology training to psychiatric and pediatric residents, as well as child psychiatry fellows, prior to moving to the state of Washington in 2014.

Dr. Chenoweth comes to Eating Recovery Center with the strong belief that families hold the key to their children’s ability to heal and thrive. She is therefore committed to working side-by-side with families toward the common goal of facilitating change and restoring their children’s good health.

Bethany Block, MD
Primary Physician 

Bethany Block, M.D., is a Primary Physician at Eating Recovery Center, Washington. Dr. Block joins Eating Recovery Center, Washington’s multidisciplinary treatment team in managing the life-threatening consequences and debilitating health conditions that may occur for patients with eating disorders. Dr. Block will educates healthcare providers in the Pacific Northwest on best practices for the medical management of eating disorders.

A seasoned internist with nearly 30 years’ experience, Dr. Block most recently practiced internal medicine at the Fish Center for Women’s Health at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School’s second-largest teaching affiliate in Boston. She was the primary care provider for approximately 900 patients. During her prior 13-year tenure practicing internal medicine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Block spearheaded an effort to improve the clinical care of eating disorder patients.

Dr. Block is also devoted to teaching about eating disorders. While at MIT, she presented regularly on eating disorders to MIT Medical Department clinicians, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) internal medicine residents, and other members of the MIT community. She has supervised Harvard Medical School students, residents and fellows since 1989. For the past 10 years, Dr. Block has been precepting BWH internal medicine residents, educating the next generation of internists. Dr. Block also lectures on the medical management of patients with eating disorders for Continuing Medical Education courses.

Jenna Flagg, PsyD
Senior Clinical Director, Washington & California

Jenna Flagg, PsyD, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She is currently licensed as a psychologist in the state of Washington. Jenna completed her post-doctoral residency at the Renfrew Center of Florida, a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. Following her residency, she spent several years at the Renfrew Center working as both a therapist and treatment team leader.

Prior to becoming the Clinical Director of Adult Programs at Eating Recovery Center, Washington, Jenna was a Primary Therapist. Jenna has extensive experience supervising students, interns and residents who have a desire to gain knowledge and experience in the field of eating disorders. The therapeutic orientation she was trained in cognitive behavioral, but she is currently uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and this year is doing intensive training in RO-DBT well.

Avanti Bergquist, MD, MS, FAPA
Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist

Avanti Bergquist, MD, MS, FAPA is a physician with board certifications in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as Adult Psychiatry.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Duke University, a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Oregon School of Science and Engineering at OHSU, and received her MD from the University of Louisville. She completed both her psychiatry residency and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of Washington. Prior to coming to Eating Recovery Center she was on faculty at the University of Washington in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department and an attending psychiatrist on the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Bergquist is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) where she serves on both the Advocacy Committee and the Inpatient, Residential, and Partial Hospitalization Committee. She is also a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  She has many local leadership responsibilities. She is the president as well as advocacy liaison of the Washington State Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (WSCCAP) as well as the WSCCAP alternate delegate to the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) Behavioral Health Work Group. 

She is a member of the Washington State Speaker of the House of Representatives’ Mental Health Task Force. She is also a member of the Washington State Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association, and Washington State Medical Association.  As a community leader she serves on the boards of Renton Area Youth and Family Services (RAYS) and Friends of Renton Schools, and was recently appointed as a Director on the Renton School Board.


Ileana Calinoiu, MD
Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Ileana Calinoiu is an Adult, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr Calinoiu completed her adult residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center and her child and adolescent fellowship at University of Washington.  This training informed her deep regard for both evidence based treatments and optimum multidisciplinary team function. Prior to joining the Eating Recovery Center, Washington team, Dr. Calinoiu served as Assistant Clinical Instructor at the University of Washington and was the attending psychiatrist at the Eating Disorders Clinic at Seattle Children’s, as well as the attending psychiatrist for the adolescent residential program at the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood, WA. 

Dr. Calinoiu opened her own private practice after graduation from her fellowship training. She has been recognized as a Top 10 Psychiatrists by State and honored with the Patient’s Choice Award and the Compassionate Doctor Award yearly since 2008. Dr. Calinoiu has served the professional community as President (advocacy issues) for the Washington State Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Association in charge of advocating for mental health funding and parity in front of Senate and House representatives in Washington, DC.


Anja Gugel, MD
Primary Physician

Dr. Gugel, a regional provider of Family Medicine, brings 10+ years of practice in the greater Seattle community to Eating Recovery Center, Washington. Gugel completed her residency in Family Medicine at Seattle’s Swedish Family Medicine Center at Cherry Hill, and served as a Family Medicine physician at the Polyclinic (Northgate site) and at the Rainer Park Community Health Care Center (NeighborCare Health). Prior to joining the medical treatment team at Eating Recovery Center, Washington, Dr. Gugel was a Family Medicine physician at Qliance, a provider of comprehensive healthcare with six locations across Seattle, Washington. In addition to delivering compassionate, individualized care to patients, Dr. Gugel has participated in several clinical research endeavors.

As a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Dr. Gugel’s research focused on invasive fungal infections (Aspergillosis). She also served as a Research Scientist for the Department of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital, University of Washington (Seattle) with emphasis on HIV research for the Pediatric-Aids-Clinical Trial Group (PACTG).

Dr. Gugel earned her Medical Degree from the Medical School at the Albert-Ludwigs University, as well as a degree in Social Work from Fachhochschule fuer Sozialwesen in Freiburg, Germany. In an effort to serve the diverse patient population in Washington, she is fluent in English, German, French and Spanish.


Natalie P. Goodwin, PhD
Clinical Director Residential and PHP Child and Adolescent Programs

Dr. Goodwin is a native Seattle-ite whose interest in eating disorders began while she was in college at Seattle Pacific University.  Feeling committed to helping college aged individuals develop a strong sense of self, she implemented dorm programming, focusing on body image and mindful eating, and served as a volunteer for the National Eating Disorders Association.  Her passion for this area continued and she went on to continue her studies at the doctoral level and received her PhD from the University of Alabama, Birmingham with a focus on eating disorders.  She then completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, The Menninger Clinic where she served as the clinician for the eating disorder track, as well as a clinician on the adolescent and adult units.  Following the completion of her training she moved back to Seattle and joined the team at Eating Recovery Center, Washington where she now serves as the Child and Adolescent Program Clinical Director. She is happy to be in Seattle and pursuing her passion of supporting individuals to overcome their eating disorder.  Dr. Goodwin feels especially committed to the process of helping individuals establish a more accepting and positive relationship with their body.  In her personal life, she enjoys hanging out with her cats, the outdoors, yoga, and being an extroverted introvert. 


Rebecca Suess, LMFT
Clinical Lead, Adolecent Program

Rebecca Suess is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working in the eating disorder field since 2012. She earned her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University and has continued to pursue postgraduate training in eating disorders, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), trauma, and crisis management. Rebecca works from a systemic lens considering context and the role relationships have in the healing process. Rebecca’s experience includes working at higher levels of care and community mental health settings.

Prior to joining the Eating Recovery Center team in 2018, Rebecca worked at a residential treatment center for adolescents with eating disorders and specialized in helping equip families to support a loved one in treatment. Rebecca is passionate about walking alongside individuals and families in the recovery process and empowering them to take steps towards healing.

Kim Sue, MBA
Practice Director

Kim joined the Eating Recovery Center family in May 2019. As the Practice Director of Washington, she manages operations for the Bellevue and Seattle locations. Kim earned her Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University in Boston, and her Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University School of Business. She has been working in healthcare management for over twelve years. Her professional experiences include educational outreach at the Stanford University Cancer Center, multispecialty and interdisciplinary EMR/PM systems implementations, regulatory compliance consulting, private practice management, and operations management at Envision Healthcare in California. Aside from work, Kim is also dedicated to animal welfare and is looking forward to volunteering with the Seattle Humane Society.

Julia Patterson, MS, RD, CD
Nutrition Director

Julia Patterson, MS, RDN, CD is a dietitian nutritionist with a MS in nutrition from Bastyr University. Throughout Julia’s career at Eating Recovery Center, she has worked in residential, partial programming, and intensive outpatient care with the adult, adolescent, and BETR programs. Julia’s interest in helping people recover from eating disorders grew from seeing a family member’s lifelong suffering from anorexia. She currently works in the adolescent program and has a passion for helping families work together to navigate recovery. As a manager, she takes pride in continued leadership development and support for the dietitians at ERC. In her personal life, she enjoys martial arts and her golden retriever rescue named Ginger.


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Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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