Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (2023)

Our Team

Community Connections, LLC is committed to providing the best clinical care and Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment experience for those struggling with an eating disorder. We are therapists, dietitians, behavioral health technicians who are seeking to make a difference in the lives of those with eating disorders.

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (1)

Elizabeth Rodgers


Co-Founder and Director of Operations of Community Connections. Sheearned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University ofKansas at Lawrence. She went on to earn a Master's degree in Social Work from KUas well.Liz has 29 years of professional experience combining therapy, health administrationand program development. Liz's experience includes seven years therapy incorrectional settings, Clinical Supervision, Clinical Director and Director of Operationsworking with Individuals with serious mental illness, developmental disabilities andeating disorders. Early in her career, Liz provided the guidance and direction in thedevelopment of a local residential program serving individuals with serious mentalillness, developmental disabilities and brain injuries, and now has more than 10 years ofeating disorder treatment experience. Additionally, Liz's therapeutic treatmentexperience includes closely working with children and adults in both residential andoutpatient settings. Liz was the driving force in the development and inception of Community Connectionsand currently serves as the Director of Operations, overseeing the day to dayprogramming of both the Residential and Intensive Outpatient programs at CommunityConnections."As a Social Worker, my passion has always been to serve the individual where theyare, provide the needed programs for those that have less opportunities for treatment inthe community and to maintain my focus on the individual". I remain very passionate inmy work and the treatment that Community Connections provides. It is important toprovide one service extremely well, rather than many services well". -Liz Rodgers,MSW

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (2)

Christine Carrillo


Christine Carrillo is a licensed Clinical Therapist from Chicago, IL.She has been living in Phoenix Arizona for the past 5-years. She completed amaster’s degree in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Practice, and a Doctoral program inPsychology - teaching track, her area of research is in patient motivation and success,Epigenetics and Traumatic Brain Injury. Christine is a registered yoga instructor and isschooled in yoga-trauma release poses. She is trained in Equine assisted therapy andutilizes meditation, mindfulness, DBT, CBT, and cognitive processing as therapeuticmodalities in treatment.Christine has 6-years of behavioral health experiences. Her background includesa specialization in Eating Disorders, Women’s Health, Postpartum Depression, Trauma,Self-harm, and Substance Abuse.Christine began her career in outpatient treatment centers and has worked inmulti-cultural communities, with clients of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and diagnoses.She was a clinical counselor and Equine specialist at Rosewood Ranch, Center forEating Disorders and has been a therapist at Community Connections for over 2-years.In her free time, Christine loves riding horses, hiking, practicing yoga, reading,and traveling. She has a passion for helping people resolve issues, learn positivecoping skills to grow, heal, and change. - Christine Carrillo, LAC, EMDR Therapist

(Video) Community Eating Disorders Service

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (3)

Adlin Morales-Aguilú


Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (4)

Adlin Morales-Aguilú is a bilingual (Spanish and English) licensed therapist (LMSW) with master's degree in Social Work (MSW).  Adlin has over fourteen years of experience working with patients of all ages with mental health diagnosis, substance abuse, and trauma. Adlin works with a variety of Evidence Based Practices such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Adlin therapeutic style is strength- based and person-centered with an integrated approach to recovery and wellness. Using these modalities, Adlin helps her patients to overcome depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, abuse, relational problems, attachment issues, and addictions. Adlin helps patients to develop realistic goals to achieve and provides the support needed to reach them. Adlin is committed to patient care and service. - “Recovery is about progression, not perfection.” – Adlin Morales-Aguilú, LMSW, EMDR Therapist

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (5)

Katina Jonovich


(Video) Webinar: Developing a Multidisciplinary Eating Disorders Treatment Team on Campus

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (6)

Katina attended Grand Canyon University to finish her nursing degree and graduated in December 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. In the years since, Katina has worked with a diverse patient population within the hospital setting. Upon graduation, Katina worked in various medical specialties that included neurosurgery and the orthopedic specialty floor for several years. Her most recent nursing assignment was working on a gastrointestinal, gynecology and palliative unit. Katina’s passion to give back wasn’t limited to the hospital, she also has nursing experience with private in-home elderly care and assistance. “The behavioral health side is new to me, but I am excited to provide a listening ear, education and to be an advocate to those in need.” An open communication style and empathy are at the forefront of Katina’s practice, and she is excited to become part of the Community Connections as the on-call Registered Nurse. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” - Leo Buscalgia – Katina Jonovich BSN, RN

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (7)

Leslie Work


Leslie is an RN having moved to the Phoenix valley from Pennsylvania last year. She was an LPN for seven years and then graduated from Gannon University / Villa Maria School of Nursing located in Erie Pa. with an Associate of Science Degree in Registered Nursing. Leslie has 43 years of nursing experience with a broad range of clinical practice. She has worked in many settings including Medical/Surgical, Intensive/ Cardiac Care, Post Anesthesia Care, Cardiac Cath Lab/ Interventional Radiology (Angiography). She also has nursing experience in Pain Management and GI/Endoscopy Lab. She previously was certified in critical care (CCRN) by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and is presently ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified by the American Heart Association." Although behavioral health is a new area of focus, I have always approached client care in an empathic and compassionate way. I am learning so muchabout behavioral health here at Community Connections. My time spent with the guests is so very meaningful".Favorite Quote:"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."Mahatma Gandhi - Leslie Work, RN

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (8)

Heather Suggs


Heather has been a counselor since 1997 having graduated from Oakland University in Michigan. Heather received her Master’s Degree in Counseling 1996 and became certified in Child and Adolescent Counseling, Psychological Testing and Couples and Family Counseling. In 1997, Heather earned her License in Professional Counseling.In the most recent years Heather held a private practice business in Michigan, Utah as well as Arizona. In addition to being the Primary Therapist for Community Connections’ Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program, Heather works at the University of Phoenix teaching the Counseling Residency courses to the graduate program students.Heather has an array of counseling experience with both adolescent populations and adult populations. She has a life long passion and a commitment to work with individuals struggling with various eating disorders and disordered eating. Heather’s commitment to those she serves is to truly understand an individual’s key issues impacting their eating disorder, like self-esteem, depression and compulsion.​“I truly love people and enjoy seeing them thrive and work through difficult issues. My clients are real SuperHeroes!” -H.A. Suggs, M.A., LPC

(Video) Eating Disorder Treatment - Priory Hospital Glasgow

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (9)

Christine Lewallen


Christine is a registered dietitian as well as a fitness instructor and a mother of twobeautiful girls. She has been a dietitian for more than 20 years and is CommunityConnections Lead Dietitian. Christine is a graduate of Chico State University atCalifornia where she earned her Bachelors in Dietetics & Food Administration and acertificate in Exercise Physiology.Christine’s scope of practice ranges from ten plus years in bariatrics and diabeteseducation along with nutrition education for all ages.She has had a private practice inCalifornia for several years where she also worked with individuals who were treated foreating disorders but relocated to beautiful Arizona where for the last seven years shehas worked at inpatient facilities, partial inpatient treatment programs, residentialtreatment programs, IOP counseling centers and out patient treatment programs. Christine is married and enjoys many outdoor sports and activities. She was an EliteSpartan obstacle racer for several years until a traffic accident ended her participation inrunning activities.Although Christine can no longer participate in short and longdistance races, she continues to motivate and inspire individuals by participating ingroup fitness through spinning, body combat training and body pumpclasses.Christine's expertise, enthusiasm and her passion to help individuals improve their lives& relationships with food are the right attributes to help motivate those struggling withED."I'm passionate about people and their lives and how they can be their best at whateverit is they do."- Christine Lewallen, R.D.

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (10)

Jordanna Riccitelli

BS, Dietitian

Jordanna is an Arizona native, with a passion for all things food and nutrition. She earned her Bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics, graduating from Arizona State University with honors, and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree in the same studies from Central Michigan University. Now working as a dietitian in her local community, Jordanna’s professional experience includes holistic care, elderly care, as well as disordered eating. Jordanna strongly believes that nutrition education is the key to maintaining a balanced intake and best see lasting optimal nutrition outcomes. Jordanna works well with individuals who struggle with mental health. ​Her approach to nutrition therapy in all realms of specialty focuses on understanding and connecting with the client to grasp who they truly are, beyond their circumstance. With a genuine compassion for her clients and an infectious positive outlook, she hopes that the joy she finds in food can be shared."Food is a connection point for people from all walks of life. Let's connect and let me help you become your best, most nourished self!" - Jordanna Riccitelli

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (11)

Joanne Gerster


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Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (12)

Joanne has been working as a helping professional since 1997 after graduating from College Misericordia in Pennsylvania. Joanne received her Master’s Degree in Social Work 2001 from Arizona State University. In 2003, Joanne became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.Joanne has continued to work with vulnerable populations throughout her career, with a focus on trauma and crisis. She spent 12 years working as a crisis counselor in hospital ER’s throughout Maricopa County. She believes that crisis is a time of opportunity for change. Joanne draws upon an eclectic work experience and training with both adolescent populations and adult populations. She enjoys thinking outside the box when it comes to therapy and she is committed to helping others lead their best lives. Joanne is a Certified Health Coach, the only LCSW in the state of AZ listed on the American Diabetes Association Mental Health Provider site. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist in Sex Trafficking and Exploitation. She is also an EMDR therapist.“It’s not my job to fix things. It’s my job to show you the tools and skills to help you do it yourself. It’s not easy but nothing easy is worth it!” - Joanne Gerster, LCSW

Team | Arizona Eating Disorder Treatment | Community Connections (13)

Vanessa Derozan-Simpson

Vanessa is the Office Coordinator for Community Connections, LLC.She is a seasoned Administrator with more than 25 years in the field of BehavioralHealth with extensive experience in all Administration tasks. Before moving to Arizona,Vanessa was a California native and worked for NCADD/BHS for 15 years servingclients in the fields of Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation, Domestic Violence, FamilyPreservation and DUI.Vanessa has more than five years of experience working withindividuals that struggle with Eating Disorders, both adults and adolescents.When it comes to servicing potential clients as wellcurrent and past clients, Vanessatakes personal pride in making everyone feel welcomed and heard. Vanessaunderstandseach person's path to treatmentis unique and each person should bevalued once walking through the doors of Community Connections. Vanessa makesthe beginning of the treatment experience comfortable and successful for All.In addition to her duties as a Wife and Mother, Vanessacontinues to provide the samededication and commitment in working for a prominent company servicing individualswith eating disorders.“Be thankful for the things you have and the things you don’t”. - Vanessa DeRozan-Simpson

You can help someone turn their life around today.

We recognize that each individual has a unique story, and his or her own distinctive strengths and challenges. With input from the individual, his or her loved ones, and our experts, we develop an individualized eating disorder treatment plan for each individual.

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(Video) Special Report: Inside the world of child and teenage eating disorders


Who are the members of the treatment team for patients with anorexia nervosa? ›

Team members include a physician, a nutritionist, and a mental health professional. All should be experienced in the care of individuals with disordered eating. Each member of the treatment team has unique skills and responsibilities with respect to patient care.

What does a treatment team consist of? ›

Who Makes Up a Comprehensive Treatment Team? Treatment teams can vary in their makeup; however, they most commonly consist of a physician, nutritionist, and psychologist, providing care for the patient's medical, nutritional, and psychological symptoms.

Which of the following is the most effective treatment for individuals with eating disorders? ›

Psychological therapy is the most important component of eating disorder treatment. It involves seeing a psychologist or another mental health professional on a regular basis.

Is Ed a coping mechanism? ›

Understanding that an eating disorder is a person's coping mechanism helps those around the person to realise how frightening and difficult it is for the person to let it go as they recover.

What is the purpose of a treatment team? ›

1.3 Treatment Teams help to formulate treatment plans and provide clinical support by (1) allowing clinicians to gather and discuss relevant information with professionals also providing mental health care; (2) helping the inmate and clinician identify problems and agree to goals, objectives, and interventions; and (3) ...

What professionals work with eating disorders? ›

Who are the Professionals who Treat Eating Disorders? -- The Therapeutic Treatment Team
  • GPs and Local Doctors.
  • Pediatricians.
  • Psychologists.
  • Psychiatrists.
  • Dietitians.
  • Nutritionists.
  • Social Workers.
  • Occupational Therapists & Rehabilitation Therapists.


1. CONNECT Eating Disorder Service clinical pathways
(Leeds and York PFT)
2. Eating Disorders Meal Support: Helpful Approaches for Families (Full Video)
3. 219 Therapy with Eating Disorders
(Doc Snipes)
4. Virtual Eating Disorder Day Treatment Program
(BALANCE Eating Disorder Treatment Center)
5. Community Conversations: Understanding Eating Disorders
(Atlantic Health System)
6. Treating Trauma and Eating Disorders
(The Trauma Treatment Collective)
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