- Dr Gabriella Heruc, Accredited Practising Dietitian
- Dr Kim Hurst, Senior Psychologist & Clinical Lead
Chair: Professor Tracey Wade, Clinical Psychologist; Teacher & Researcher
Webinar Overview: There is limited guidance around the depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and experience required by eating disorders treatment providers to manage these complex presentations. To enhance workforce development, the Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) convened an expert group of eating disorder researchers and clinicians to define the clinical practice and training standards recommended for mental health professionals and dietitians providing treatment for individuals with an eating disorder. This presentation outlines the eight overarching eating disorder treatment principles: (1) early intervention is essential; (2) coordination of services is fundamental to all service models; (3) services must be evidence based; (4) involvement of significant others in service provision is highly desirable; (5) a personalised treatment approach is required for all patients; (6) education and/or psychoeducation is included in all interventions; (7) multidisciplinary care is required and (8) a skilled workforce is necessary. In addition, it describes the seven general clinical practice standards, including: (1) diagnosis and assessment; (2) the multidisciplinary care team; (3) a positive therapeutic alliance; (4) knowledge of evidence-based treatment; (5) knowledge of levels of care; (6) relapse prevention; and (7) professional responsibility. The implementation of these standards aims to build competent practice in the eating disorder sector by bringing treatment closer to best practice, and consequently improve treatment outcomes, reduce financial cost to patients and services and improve patient quality of life.
Dr Gabriella Heruc is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with Honours in Psychology, Master of Nutrition & Dietetics and PhD in Medicine with over 20 years clinical experience in mental health and 15 years focused on eating disorder treatment in public and private inpatient, day program and outpatient settings. She has also served on the Executive Committee of the peak professional body, Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders over the last 9 years, in the member-elected roles of Executive member, Treasurer, President-Elect, President and now Past-President. In this time, she chaired the 2012 Annual Conference, established the now annual Autumn Workshop Series, improved ANZAED’s financial management and strategic planning, was the first dietitian invited to join the National Eating Disorders Collaboration Steering Committee and served on the Medicare Implementation Committee for the establishment of the Medicare Items for eating disorder treatment and has provided education to the sector on their use. She also led the development and publication of the first ever treatment principles and clinical practice standards for dietitians and mental health professionals providing eating disorder treatment (Journal of Eating Disorders), which aims to increase capabilities among health professionals to improve outcomes for consumers. These are providing the framework for a national credentialing system currently being developed to standardise care across health practitioners.
Dr Kim Hurst is a Senior Psychologist and is the Clinical Lead of the Robina Private Hospital’s Eating Disorders Service, she also is in Private Practice. Prior to this Kim was a founding member of the Gold Coast Child & Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS), Eating Disorder Program (EDP). Kim has worked across a range of eating disorder treatment settings including psychiatric and medical inpatient units and outpatient services. She has developed specialist eating disorder clinical policies and is focused on service improvement strategies to enhance treatment delivery. Kim is also passionate about early intervention programs and has delivered workshops to school children, guidance officers and teachers on positive body image. Kim was previously the member of the Queensland State-Wide Eating Disorders Advisory Group and is a member of the NEDC Steering Committee and is leading the credentialing project in partnership with NEDC. She has coordinated a national eating disorder conference, ANZAED AWS and smaller workshop events. Kim has a solid record of presenting at local, national and international eating disorder conferences and has several published works within the field. She is also the current President of ANZAED.