Our Partnership Story
Monte Nido & Affiliates includes three distinct eating disorder treatment programs: Monte Nido, Oliver-Pyatt Centers and Clementine. What binds Monte Nido & Affiliates together is our shared histories, vast overlap in mission, language, models and approaches, treating those who present with eating disorders as people first, patients/clients second, dedication to best-in-class eating disorder treatment, commitment to being industry leaders and a belief in being fully recovered. Our collective mission is to save lives while providing opportunity for people to realize their healthy selves.
Monte Nido & Affiliates now operates programs across the country. Monte Nido and Oliver-Pyatt Centers provide residential treatment for women, with Monte Nido providing day treatment programs for women and men. Clementine provides residential treatment for girls aged 13 – 18 (and 17 in some states). Monte Nido’s residential locations are located in Malibu, CA, Agoura Hills, CA, Eugene, OR, Irvington, NY and Boston, MA. Monte Nido’s day treatment locations are located in Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA, Eugene, OR, Portland, OR, New York, NY, Westchester County, NY, Boston, MA and Philadelphia, PA. Oliver-Pyatt Centers residential programs are located in Miami, FL. Clementine’s residential programs are located in Miami, FL, Portland, OR, Malibu Lake, CA and Briarcliff Manor, NY.
We save lives while providing the opportunity for people to realize their healthy selves.
Our Core Values
We provide the best possible care to our clients.
We practice compassion and collaboration and achieve breakthrough results.
We evolve to the future while celebrating our history and culture.
We work together as a team, give benefit of the doubt, push for excellence, and mentor junior members of the team.
Our Monte Nido & Affiliates Leadership
Candy Henderson, MS | Chief Executive Officer
Candance “Candy” Henderson is the Chief Executive Officer of Monte Nido & Affiliates. Candy has spent over 20 years in numerous operating roles at large behavioral heal companies, including eating disorder programs. She received her Master of Science from Troy State University in Counseling and Psychology, and her Bachelor of Science from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in Psychology and Criminal Justice.
Doug Bunnell, PhD, FAED, CEDS | Chief Clinical Officer
Doug Bunnell is an expert clinician and leader in the eating disorder field. He brings over three decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge to his role as Chief Clinical Officer. A graduate of Yale University, Doug did his doctoral training at Northwestern University. He is a former board chair of the National Eating Disorders Association, a fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders, author and frequent presenter at national and international conferences. He is passionate about research and the latest advancements in the field, and equally committed to individualized client care. Doug’s ability to put the latest scientific research into practice creates a successful program and a milieu that fosters trust and respect from both staff and clients alike.
Jennifer Gallagher | Chief Development Officer
Jennifer comes to Monte Nido with three decades of experience growing leading healthcare companies. Over the last 10 years, she has led the geographic expansion of behavioral health providers who were innovators in their fields. At Monte Nido, she works closely with the clinical and leadership teams to bring Monte Nido’s trusted clinical care into new markets either through start-ups or acquisitions. Prior to entering the field of behavioral health, Jennifer was a founder of one of the first diversified post-acute healthcare companies in the U.S. She received an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA in Psychology from Connecticut College.
Joel Jahraus, MD, FAED, CEDS | Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Joel Jahraus is well-known and respected for his two decades of specialization in the medical management of patients with eating disorders. A board-certified physician for over 30 years, he is a recognized expert on diabetes and the medical complications of eating disorders. Dr. Jahraus came to us directly from Park Nicollet-Melrose Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he most recently served as Executive Director, with program oversight and direct management of patient care. He has been associated with the Melrose Institute (formerly the Eating Disorders Institute) since 1992. In addition to his experience with hospital-based programs, he also served as Medical Director at Remuda Treatment Centers in Phoenix, Arizona, from 2002 to 2004, where he worked with residential and outpatient levels of care.
Dr. Jahraus graduated from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri, and has a background in family medicine. He entered an academic career as Associate Director of the University of Minnesota Family Medicine Residency Program. He then took a position as the Predoctoral Director at the University of Minnesota Medical School. During his teaching career at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Jahraus received the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. He co-authored a chapter on eating disorders in Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine, published by the American Psychiatric Association, and has been featured in various national media, including two public television documentaries on eating disorders. He testified at a United States Congressional Briefing on the need for health insurance coverage for eating disorder treatment. For his outstanding contributions to the field, he received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011, and was named a Top Doctor of 2013 by U.S. News and World Report.
Carrie Hunnicutt, MA | Senior Vice President of Marketing
Carrie is the Vice President of Marketing for Monte Nido and Oliver-Pyatt Centers. She completed her undergraduate degree in Business at Western Connecticut State University and went on to earn her MA in Counseling from the University of Arizona. Carrie has close to twenty years experience working in the behavioral health business development area, and presents on a variety of topics related to the behavioral health business development industry. She previously served as the Secretary for IAEDP Connecticut Chapter. She has received numerous awards for her work in the field included the Unsung Hero Award at the Caron Foundations Award Breakfast, and she was the recipient of the David Brumer Excellence in Education Award.
Liz Mershon | Senior Vice President of Business and Operations
Prior to joining Monte Nido & Affliliates, Liz Mershon was the Vice President of Business Development and Operations at Miami Broadcast Center, independent television studios in South Florida. Liz led the studios to becoming the largest independent premier film and television studios in the Southeast. She established anchor clients such as Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, NBC / Telemundo as well as Paramount Pictures and Columbia Tristar. During her time at Miami Broadcast Center the company’s revenue increased significantly which led to the sale of the business to NBC / Telemundo.
In June of 2008, Liz shifted her business development to start up Oliver-Pyatt Centers. She was instrumental in developing the business and creating systems that positioned the company for growth. Liz has worn many hats throughout her time working in behavioral health; from running admissions, billing, contracting and operations. Her vast knowledge of the business has positioned her as a Senior Vice President of Operations for Monte Nido & Affiliates, the position in which she currently serves, overseeing operations and business functions for the company’s 22 national facilities.
Keesha Amezcua, MA, LMFT, CED | Vice President of Clinical Programming
Keesha Amezcua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist. She has over 10 years of experience working in the eating disorder field and is trained in EMDR. She has worked at Monte Nido in various roles including Primary Therapist and Clinical Director, and she recently served as the Director of Residential Services. Keesha earned her bachelors degree in Journalism from Texas A&M and went on to earn her masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, she is the Vice President of Clinical Programming overseeing all Monte Nido & Affiliates programs.
Keesha presents nationally at various conferences including the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) Conference and the ICED conference for the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED). She is co-author of the Dads & Daughters chapter in Carolyn Costin’s book “Your Dieting Daughter” and is a contributor for various articles and books in the eating disorder field. Being recovered herself provides additional passion and purpose for this work.
Melissa Spann, PhD, CEDS | Vice President of Admissions
Melissa Spann, PhD, CEDS is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in working with women and families to effectively engage them in the treatment process from their initial point of contact. Her previous clinical work has included serving as a primary therapist at Oliver- Pyatt Centers, The Renfrew Center and Life Counseling Services in Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, master’s degree from the University of Miami, and her doctoral degree from Drexel University. Dr. Spann has served as our Director of Admissions since 2014. Dr. Spann has presented nationally on topics related to adolescent development and body image issues. Her clinical interests include the intersection of trauma and eating disorders, body image development, proactively building for health, and women’s issues across the lifespan.