Walden Medical & Clinical Leadership

Medical Leadership

James M. Greenblatt, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer & Vice President, Medical Services
Dr. James M. Greenblatt is chief medical officer and vice president of medical services at Walden. He provides medical management, leadership and oversight of Walden’s eating disorder programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Working with thousands of children, adolescents and adults, Dr. Greenblatt found that each individual has a unique biochemical profile, range of behaviors and treatment needs. Dr. Greenblatt is board-certified in child and adult psychiatry. He received his medical degree and completed his adult psychiatry residency at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. In addition, Dr. Greenblatt is a clinical faculty member in the psychiatry department at Tufts Medical School as well as the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He lectures extensively throughout the United States and Canada on integrative therapies for mental health. He is the author of six books: Answers to Anorexia (2011), The Breakthrough Depression Solution (2012), Answers to Binge Eating (2014), Integrative Therapies for Depression: Redefining Models for Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention (2015), Nutritional Lithium: The Cinderella Story (2016), and The Breakthrough Depression Solution 2nd eds. (2016). His latest book, Finally Focused, describing integrative therapies for ADHD, will be available Spring 2017.

Alexandra Natova, M.D.

Medical Director, Medical Services
Dr. Alexandra Natova is the medical director of medical services. In this role, she is in charge of the nonpsychiatric medical care provided to the patients admitted into Walden’s eating disorder, psychiatric, residential and partial hospitalization programs. She works in close collaboration with attending psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, social workers and counselors. She completes patients’ initial medical evaluation upon admission and provides medical consultations for the management of patients’ medical problems during hospitalization. She is an active member of Walden’s Infection Control Committee, which serves to minimize patient and employee risk of infections. Dr. Natova received her medical degree from the Pavlov Higher Institute of Medicine in Bulgaria and completed internship and residency in medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Boston. Dr. Natova has extensive experience in hospital-based internal medicine and primary care. She has worked as an attending physician at Northeast Specialty Hospital, Braintree, Mass., and Kindred Hospital, Waltham, Mass. She has a private primary care practice at Natov Medical Associates, PC, Weymouth, Mass., and is also an assistant professor in medicine at Tufts Medical School.

Lucille Force, MSN, MHA

Assistant Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer
Lucille Force is responsible for providing 24-hour accountability for the professional practice, administrative and clinical operations of Walden’s psychiatric and eating disorder units and its residential program. Ms. Force has more than 20 years of nursing leadership experience, most recently as chief nurse executive at Universal Health Services – Arbour Health Systems in Boston. Before that, she was an associate chief nursing officer with Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster. Ms. Force also served as director of Women & Children’s Health at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, and as nurse manager at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, R.I. She is currently an adjunct nursing professor at Bristol Community College, where she provides clinical instruction for nursing students in psychiatric nursing.

Debra Foti-Flynn, M.S., RN, CPNP

Associate Medical Director, Inpatient
Debra Foti-Flynn is the associate medical director on for the inpatient eating disorders unit at Walden. Her responsibilities include coordination of care for complex, medically compromised eating disorder patients, daily collaboration with a multidisciplinary treatment team and daily medical and psychopharmacological evaluations. She also conducts ongoing assessments of patients for physical and emotional safety, psychiatric evaluations and physical exams. Before joining Walden, she was a full-time visiting professor of nursing at Regis College, where she also earned her master’s degree in nursing.

Jane Sullivan, PMHCS, BC

Associate Medical Director, Inpatient
Jane Sullivan is Walden’s Associate Medical Director of Inpatient Services at Walden’s Thoreau unit. Her job responsibilities include coordination of care for complex, medically compromised eating disorder patients, daily collaboration with a multidisciplinary team, daily medical and psychopharmacological evaluations, ongoing assessments of patients for physical and emotional safety, psychiatric evaluations and physical exams. She formerly worked for many years at Walden’s Thoreau Center for adult psychiatric care. She has worked in many outpatient clinics and partial hospitalization programs,and held a faculty position at Troy State University. She began her career as a Captain/staff nurse in the United States Air Force. She received her BSN from University of Vermont and her Master’s Degree as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Specialist from Rivier University.

Gail Hanson-Mayer, APRN, CS, BC, MPH

Associate Medical Director, Ambulatory Clinics
Gail Hanson-Mayer is an advanced practice nurse responsible for medical and psychiatric management at Walden Behavioral Care clinic locations in Massachusetts. In this position, she coordinates care for patients with a variety of eating disorders. Working with a multidisciplinary team, Gail monitors and evaluates patient medication and provides ongoing physical and emotional assessments. Formerly, she was vice president of clinical operations at Walden and was responsible for the clinical operations of the inpatient and residential programs in Waltham. Gail has 35 years of nursing experience. Currently, she is the director of counseling services for Regis College with responsibility for the coordination of mental health services for undergraduate and graduate students. Previously, she was an advanced practice nurse at Comprehensive Psychiatric Associates where she provided outpatient services to a caseload of psychiatric, addiction, eating disorders and co-occurring disorder patients. In addition, Gail has worked in senior nursing and consulting positions at Sterling Resources LLC, Universal Health Services, Management Services Inc., Choate Health Management Inc. and Choate Health Systems Inc. She earned a nursing degree from Massachusetts General Hospital and a master’s degree in public health from Boston University School of Medicine.

Mariela Podolski, M.D.

Medical Director, Walden Eating Disorders Center at Rockville Hospital
Dr. Podolski provides direct patient care and medical supervision for the unit, ensuring the highest level of care for both adolescents and adults. Dr. Podolski has been with Walden since 2012, most recently as an attending psychiatrist at our South Windsor clinic. Prior to that, she was a child and adolescent psychiatry attending physician at ECHN Rockville Hospital. Dr. Podolski received her doctor in medicine and surgery from the Universidad de Costa Rica. She completed her fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin and residency at The Institute of Living in Hartford. Dr. Podolski is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is board certified from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Adolph Casal, M.D.

Medical Director, ACE
Dr. Casal is the medical director for the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders/Walden Behavioral Care, responsible for overseeing medical services, programming and staff supervision across locations in Dunwoody, Alpharetta and Decatur, Georgia. Dr. Casal brings more than 25 years of experience treating children and adults for a wide range of mental and emotional disorders. He also currently serves as medical director of psychiatry at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine and previously served as an instructor in psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Casal earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and bachelor’s degree from Emory University. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Susan Murphy, NP

Nurse Practitioner
Susan Murphy is a nurse practitioner at Walden Behavioral Care’s Thoreau and Alcott inpatient units for adolescents and adults. Her responsibilities include coordination of care for complex, medically compromised psychiatric patients, daily collaboration with a multidisciplinary treatment team and daily medical and psychopharmacological evaluation. She performs ongoing assessments of patients for physical and emotional safety, psychiatric evaluations and physical exams. Before coming to Walden, Ms.Murphy worked as an NP in family medicine for five years. She also was director of nursing for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Newton, Mass., where she supervised NPs and staff nurses and maintained a patient caseload. Ms. Murphy was also an NP at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In this role, she provided care to inpatient gastrointestinal and thoracic oncology patients, collaborated with attending physicians, residents and interns, formulated discharge plans and acted as a clinical oncology resource for staff nurses. Ms. Murphy is an adjunct faculty member at Simmons College, teaching clinical decision making to family nurse practitioner students.

Emily R. Van Doren, PMHNP-BC

Nurse Practitioner
Emily R. Van Doren is a nurse practitioner at the Alcott Eating Disorder inpatient unit and at the Crescent Street Outpatient Clinic. Her responsibilities include coordination of care for complex, medically compromised eating disorder patients, daily collaboration with a multidisciplinary treatment team, daily medical and psychopharmacological evaluations as well as ongoing assessments of patients for physical and emotional safety, psychiatric evaluations and physical exams. Formerly, Ms. Van Doren was a nurse practitioner at Pediatric Associates of Lewiston in Maine where she worked with children, adolescents and young adults in a primary care setting providing consults to primary care providers, performing psychiatric evaluations, developmental-behavioral assessments and psychiatric medication management. Ms. Van Doren gained experience as a nurse practitioner while working in several practicum locations throughout New England including Cambridge Health Alliance, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Naval Health Clinic New England, Donald McKay School and Children’s Hospital, Boston. She has a master’s degree from the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College and is a licensed family-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and a pediatric nurse practitioner (C-PNP). She is a professional member of Sigma Theta Tau International – Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Chi Chapter; American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

Katie Kahn, PMHNP-BC

Nurse Practitioner
Katie Kahn is a board certified Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner that works primarily in Walden’s Adolescent Residential and the Waltham Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Program. In this role, she is responsible for performing psychiatric evaluations, prescribing psychotropic medications as needed, providing ongoing follow-up for close psychopharmacogical monitoring, and collaborating daily with multidisciplinary team to ensure safe, holistic care. Ms. Kahn began her career as a registered nurse on a general medical unit at Boston Children’s Hospital. While working there for four years, Ms. Kahn cared for patients with a range of medical and behavioral diagnoses, including patients with eating disorders that required medical stabilization.While pursuing her Master’s Degree, Ms. Kahn interned at the South End Community Health Center and the Blackstone Elementary School, both located in Boston, MA. During these experiences, Ms. Kahn provided individual and group therapy to a diverse population throughout the lifespan with a variety of mental health diagnoses. After graduating from Northeastern University, Ms.Kahn completed a behavioral health fellowship at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Cambridge, MA where she continued to gain experience providing individual therapy and prescribing psychotropic medications. Ms. Kahn has also worked as a clinical instructor for Northeastern University undergraduate and graduate nursing students studying psychiatric/mental health nursing.

Clinical Leadership

Robert J. Keane, Ph.D., LICSW

Assistant Vice President, Clinical Services & Training
Robert J. Keane is assistant vice president of clinical services and training at Walden Behavioral Care. He is responsible for the daily operations of clinical inpatient services, program coordination, utilization review and clinical training. Dr. Keane is a senior behavioral health administrator with more than 30 years of experience treating diverse patient populations within the mental health field. He is a former deputy commissioner at the state Department of Mental Health and was co-principal investigator of a four- year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which significantly reduced the use of seclusion and restraint in Massachusetts. He also collaborated with a team to design the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services strategic plan for the Department of Public Health. Before his work with DMH, Dr. Keane was regional director for Boston at the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, the managed-care carve-out company responsible for managing mental health and substance abuse benefits for Medicaid. While there, he was involved in the design and procurement of a service system that was responsive to the needs of consumers and their families. Dr. Keane earned his master’s degree and doctorate from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, where he is currently a faculty member.

Rebekah Bardwell Doweyko, LPC, CEDS

Assistant Vice President, Clinical Operations, Connecticut Region
Rebekah Bardwell Doweyko is the Assistant Vice President of Clinical Operations for Walden Behavioral Care’s Connecticut region. In this role, she is responsible for program development and clinical, administrative and fiscal oversight of ambulatory clinics in Amherst, Mass., South Windsor, Conn. and Guilford, Conn., as well as clinical oversight of Connecticut’s first inpatient unit for eating disorders in Vernon, Conn. While at Walden, Rebekah has developed and implemented various specialized treatment tracks to further aid individuals on their journey to recovery. This includes a survivor track for those who experienced trauma, a substance abuse track and most recently a bariatric track designed for patients who are pre-or post-bariatric surgery. Prior to joining Walden, she was an Intensive Care Manager at the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership (Value Options, Inc.) in Rocky Hill, Conn., where she conducted clinical trainings and managed CT Medicaid cases with complex eating disorder issues. Rebekah also founded and directed the Intuitive Eating Program (IOP) at Hollywood Pavilion Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., where she developed the “Real-Life Excursion” program allowing patients to begin their transition from Residential treatment, and held various clinical positions at The Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Fla. She composed the foreword to the highly acclaimed “Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders” self-help book by Naomi Feigenbaum and was featured in the Emmy Nominated HBO Documentary “THIN.” Rebekah earned her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Connecticut and is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.

Rebecca Bernat, LICSW

Program Director, Residential Programs
Rebecca Bernat is the director of residential programs at Walden. She is responsible for ensuring effective and efficient clinical programming for the programs, while managing the staffing, selection, discipline, development and supervision of staff. Previously, Ms. Bernat spent several years as director of Walden’s Braintree clinic where she was responsible for providing clinical, administrative and fiscal oversight and development for the clinic. Formerly, she worked 10 years as a clinical administrator at Germaine Lawrence, a treatment center for adolescent girls with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges. During this time, Ms. Bernat obtained extensive understanding, training and skills in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy, family-based treatment and adolescent development. Over the past several years, she has managed an outpatient practice in Brookline, working with adolescent girls and facilitating DBT treatment. She also sits on a weekly consultation team at McLean Hospital and provides outpatient clinical supervision. She earned her master’s degree from Simmons College and has been DBT- trained through Marsha Linehan’s Behavioral Tech LLC.

Bob Bordonaro, LICSW

Program Director, Peabody Clinic
Bob Bordonaro is director at Walden’s Peabody clinic. He is responsible for ensuring effective clinical programming, program staffing, selection and supervision of staff, budgeting and compliance with all organizational and regulatory agency standards. Formerly, Mr. Bordonaro was Timberline Knoll’s professional outreach representative for the Northeast region. In this role, he collaborated with professionals in the mental health and medical field, specializing in eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders. Prior to that, Mr. Bordonaro was director of admissions at Laurel Hill and was responsible for managing all aspects of the admissions department. This included a high-volume call center; screening qualified clients; presenting psychiatric, clinical and medical information to managed care reviewers; supervising a multidisciplinary treatment team; attending eating disorder conferences; collaborating with senior leadership on strategic marketing plans and participating in the accreditation process. Before working for Laurel Hill, Mr. Bordonaro was Walden’s director of the partial hospitalization program for several years. In that role, he supervised staff clinicians, managed a caseload of adult patients on Walden’s inpatient psychiatric unit, developed discharge plans and interviewed potential candidates for the social services department. Before becoming director of that program, Mr. Bordonaro was an admissions coordinator at Walden interviewing and evaluating eating disorder patients to determine patient level of care and to obtain authorization for services. Formerly, Mr. Bordonaro worked for Deaconess Waltham Hospital as a crisis clinician/eating disorders admissions coordinator. In this role, he conducted in-depth mental health assessments, collaborated with medical doctors, psychiatrists and outpatient providers to determine level of care and develop treatment plans. Mr. Bordonaro began his career working as a mental health counselor at McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass., where he conducted weekend treatment for adults with mood disorders, substance abuse and eating disorders. Mr. Bordonaro earned his master’s in social work from Simmons College. He is the current president of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Metro Boston Chapter and has been a member of the National Association of Social Workers since 1998.

Julie Payne Britton, LMHC

Program Director, Amherst Clinic
Julie Payne Britton, LMHC oversees all programming and treatment services at Amherst’s clinic, including staffing, budgeting and compliance with regulatory standards. She also collaborates with healthcare providers and community partners throughout Western Massachusetts, providing invaluable resources and knowledge to ensure the most accessible treatment for residents across the region. Prior to joining Walden, she was the Supervisor for the Partial Hospitalization Program at Baystate Medical Center in Greenfield, Mass. Ms. Britton earned her master’s degree in Psychology from New College of California and bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College. She is also an active writing and poetry instructor for low-literary adults.

Linda Paulk Buchanan, Ph.D.

Senior Clinical Director, ACE
Linda Paulk Buchanan, PhD, is a Clinical Director and the founder of the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders (ACE). Dr. Buchanan is a licensed psychologist who has been treating individuals with eating disorders since 1983. She received her Master’s degree from the Psychological Studies Institute (now known as Richmont University) in Christian Counseling and received the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus Award for her work in founding ACE. Dr. Buchanan then went on to receive her Ph.D. from Georgia State University doing a residency at the Medical College of Georgia. In addition to overseeing clinical operations at ACE, Dr. Buchanan leads a number of ACE groups and provides individual, couples and family psychotherapy. Dr. Buchanan has developed and published a model for the treatment of eating disorders. She has conducted various research projects, including the diagnosis of eating disorders, personality variables and coping resources of individuals with eating disorders. Dr. Buchanan has been active in training other psychologists and mental health professionals in the treatment of eating and anxiety disorders. Her related specialty areas include anxiety problems, family and couples therapy and group therapy. She enjoys helping clients use and integrate their faith in the recovery process.

Kate Craigen, Ph. D.

Clinical Director, Binge Eating and Bariatric Support Services
Dr. Kate Craigen is the clinical director of binge eating and bariatric support services. She is responsible for the clinical development and consistent implementation of binge eating disorder programming across Walden’s inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient levels. Additionally, Dr. Craigen collaborates with various bariatric providers and partners throughout New England, ensuring both pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients gain the proper behavioral skills to enhance long-term outcomes. Previously, she was a clinician in Walden’s partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs in Waltham. She also served as a postdoctoral fellow and clinical instructor at the Eating and Weight Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Craigen received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her professional interests include the role of supervision and training in the field of eating disorders and the role of gender in the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders.


Renee Bazinet Nelson, Psy.D.

Program Director, Adolescent Services
Renee Bazinet Nelson, Psy.D, is Walden’s director of adolescent services. She has comprehensive responsibility for adolescent intensive outpatient programs including oversight of all ambulatory clinics, new program development, program staffing, selection and supervision of staff, budgeting and compliance with all organizational and regulatory agency standards. Formerly, she served as assistant director of Walden’s Worcester clinic.
She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology with a concentration in health psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and completed her post-doctoral training at the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center in Massachusetts.

Rick Kilmer, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President of Clinical Operations, ACE
Rick Kilmer, PhD, an ACE Clinical Director, is a licensed psychologist who has been treating people with eating disorders since 1982. Dr. Kilmer leads a number of ACE groups in addition to conducting individual sessions, family and couples treatment, supervising staff and developing new programming. He uses an integrated approach of cognitive, behavioral, and experiential techniques in helping people overcome destructive eating behaviors and beliefs. Dr. Kilmer’s related areas of interest include recovery from trauma and abuse, couples therapy and the changing roles of men and women.

Laura Roias, LICSW, CEDS

Program Director, Worcester Clinic
Laura Roias is director at Walden’s Worcester clinic providing clinical, administrative and fiscal oversight and development for the clinic.Formerly, she was assistant director of Walden’s partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs where she obtained extensive experience conducting individual, group and family therapy.

Ms. Roias employs a strengths-based perspective and uses a wide range of therapeutic modalities including cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral and interpersonal therapy. She received her master’s from the University of North Carolina.

Emily Slager, M.Ed., LMHC

Program Director, Hickory Drive Clinic
Emily Slager, M.Ed., LMHC, is director of Walden’s Hickory Drive Clinic. She is responsible for providing clinical, administrative and fiscal oversight as well as development for the clinic. Previously, she was director of residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs for adolescents and adults at Walden’s Waltham location. In that role, she oversaw all aspects of these programs including administrative, fiscal and clinical management. Formerly, she was a clinician on Walden’s inpatient eating disorder and psychiatric units. Ms. Slager earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from Boston College. Her professional interests include the development of eating disorders in athletes and in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.