Board of Directors
Dr Jeremy Alford (PhD) – FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Dr Jeremy Alford PhD, is a clinical psychologist with 20 years of mental health experience working with people from multicultural backgrounds. He founded MEEDA in 2009, after noticing that there were no specialized services nor proper guidelines to assist people suffering from eating disorders in Lebanon and the Middle East despite clear observations of increasing number of cases.
Dr. Alford studied in England, he holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University College Kensington (UK), an MPhil in Psychology from the University College Kensington (UK), and a BA in Psychology. Between 2003 and 2014, he set up a behavioural health clinic in Lebanon. He consulted with several institutions namely Rizk Hospital, Bellevue Medical Center, Skoun Lebanese Addiction Centre. From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Alford also consulted in Kuwait at the Soor Centre, on a weekly basis. He has a multicultural experience and proven adaptability to international settings. He has experience in the application of learning in the UK and applying his knowledge in the Middle East and currently in Bali Indonesia since the end of 2014 where he offers a private personalized intensive integrative CBT and mindfulness based program. He consults with individuals, couples and families both in person and remotely.
As an eating disorders practitioner, he adopts an evidence based integrative approach and ensures his continued professional development through recognized organisations such as the NCFED, CEED, BPS; acquiring more skills such as CBT-E, DBT, ACT, EFT, along with other methods such as Clinical hypnotherapy, Biofeedback & others.
His hope is to see MEEDA become an established institution in the region. It is with a dedicated team of ED experts and professional members who are passionate to making a difference to the field of ED in the Middle East that better support and care will be accomplished.
Carine El Khazen – Vice-President
Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist MA, DESS, DEA
Carine el Khazen is a clinical psychologist. She has a Masters’ Degree in Clinical and Psychopathological Psychology (University of Saint Joseph, Lebanon, 2000), post-graduate degree (DESS) in Clinical and Psychopathological Psychology (University of Sorbonne, Paris V, France, 2002), and diploma in Profound Studies (DEA) in Clinical Psychopathology (University of Jussieu, Paris VI, France, 2004). After an initial 8 years of clinical experience and training in a variety of reputable general health care and psychiatric facilities in the UK (Institute of Psychiatry-The Maudsley Hospital), France (Sainte-Anne Hospital, Paris) & Lebanon (St Georges University Hospital), Carine moved to Dubai in 2004 where she has successfully worked as a clinical psychologist at the General Medical Center (GMC clinics in Dubai, UAE) for 8 years catering to the diverse needs of a multicultural clientele. In addition to her clinical practice, she was the school psychologist of two international schools and nurseries from 2004 to 2015.
Carine has joined the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology in Dubai in 2011 and as an Eating Disorders and Obesity specialist (Masters practitioner’s diploma in Eating Disorders, training in the treatment of Obesity and training in nutrition from the National Center for Eating Disorders- NCFED- accredited by the British Psychological Society, training in Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of Eating Disorders -CBT-E and training in The Maudsley Model of Anorexia Treatment in Adults- MANTRA), she has set up and is the director of a specialized multi-disciplinary out-patient Eating Disorders program based on evidence-based models. The program is currently under the supervision of Dr Riccardo Dalle Grave (Department of Eating and Weight disorder, Villa Garda Hospital, Italy) co-developer of CBT-E. Along with her team they have successfully helped children, adolescents and adults recover from their Eating Disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge-eating, ARFID, picky eating,…) and overcome their obesity.
Carine is the Vice-President and head representative for the UAE of the non-profit association MEEDA (the Middle East Eating Disorders Association) and dedicates her free time to raising awareness and training the general public and professionals on the subject of Eating Disorders in multiple schools, universities and general medical practices across the UAE. She ran campaigns for the prevention of Eating Disorders through articles in renowned middle-eastern magazines and interviews in leading TV networks in the region and was a regular guest at Sabah el Arabiya’s morning talk show for many years.
Dr Joumana Warde Kamar – Head Representative Lebanon
Dr Joumana WARDÉ KAMAR is a Medical Doctor specialized in Obesity, Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders.
She graduated from Necker Enfants-Malades Medical School (Paris V University) in Paris, and started her specialization in Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases in Paris at different hospitals affiliated with Paris V, Paris VI and Paris VII University Medical Schools.
She then completed her training in the Endocrinology and Obesity Department at Saint Luke’s Hospital Center (Columbia University) in New York, where she worked in the Adult and Pediatric Obesity & Metabolic Units. She also trained in the Bariatric Unit preparing obese patients for gastric surgery and taking their pre and post-surgical nutritional, medical and metabolic follow ups under her care. In that same hospital in New York, she also worked at the Obesity Research Center, conducting research studies in the Obesity and Metabolic fields.
To complete her knowledge about all pathologies related to Body Weight and Metabolic Management, she certified in Practitioner Skills for Eating Disorders with the British Psychological Society Learning Centre and the National Centre for Eating Disorders (United Kingdom).
Dr Wardé Kamar was also a Lecturer and Head of the Department of Human Nutrition at the Université Saint-Esprit Kaslik in Lebanon. She gave different lectures in medical conferences, schools and universities. She was published in Lebanese and American Medical Journals. She was also hosted in different TV and Radio programs, wrote articles and gave interviews to many Health Section Magazines in the fields of Nutrition and Obesity.
Dr. J. Wardé Kamar returned to Lebanon in 2005 and settled her practice at Trad Hospital Medical Center in Beirut; she also runs a private practice in Jounieh.
Rayane Chami – Secretary of the Board
Rayane Chami is a PhD candidate from King’s College London, where she works in the Eating Disorders and the Brain laboratory, examining novel treatments for binge eating by exploring the relationship between eating disorders and the brain.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Personal Fitness Training certification at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2014, she went on to complete a Masters of Science in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition degree at University College London (UCL). During her time at UCL, she took part in an observership at the Phoenix Wing of St Ann’s Hospital, London- a specialized eating disorder service. For her MSc dissertation, she returned to Lebanon to gather data from universities in Beirut in order to tackle the scarce research in the field. In September 2015, she underwent clinical psychology training for 9 months at the Medical Institute for Neuropsychological Disorders (MIND) at St Georges Hospital University Medical Center, Beirut. During this period, she was also a research assistant at the Institute for Development, Research, Advocacy & Applied Care (IDRAAC), in Beirut.
With MEEDA, she gives presentations concerning the dangers of dieting across schools in Lebanon to raise awareness of eating disorders. Moreover, she is part of MEEDA’s research team.
She is also a member of the British Psychological Society, where she dedicates time to attending workshops on a broad range of psychotherapies.