Child Development & Family Relations  

       PhD in Medical Family Therapy -- Alumni & Student Spotlight

Director's Welcome About Our Program What is MedFT Admission Requirements Course Info Faculty Bios Alumni & Student Spotlight Military Family Therapy Modules
Dan Marlowe
Dr. Marlowe is currently the Director of Behavioral Health for the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lillington, NC. Dr. Marlowe is responsible for the psychosocial well-being of Campbell’s medical students, health professional students, graduate students, and faculty at their Health Sciences campus as well as on main campus.
Patrick Meadors
Dr. Meadors is the Psychosocial Oncology Manager at the Levine Cancer Institute within Carolinas Healthcare System. Following graduation, Dr. Meadors joined a radiation oncology practice in Ocala, FL and developed an integrated psychosocial model of care for their patients over a four county region. Additionally, he was adjunct faculty member at the University of Florida and Assistant Professor at Pfeiffer University. He served as the President of the Unit Operating Board in Marion County, FL for the American Cancer Society and received the Hope Award for exemplary volunteer services that improved quality of life for cancer patients.  He has multiple publications in the area of compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and oncology
Keeley Pratt
Keeley J. Pratt, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University and an Independently Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Dr. Pratt graduated with her doctorate in Medical Family Therapy in 2010, and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship from 2010-2012 at Research Triangle Institute International (RTI) in a Metabolomics and Obesity Signature Program. For the past eight years Dr. Pratt has worked with Pediatric Obesity Treatment Centers.

Jackie Williams Reade
Dr. Williams Reade is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Medical Family Therapy Program at Loma Linda University. Upon graduating from ECU, Dr. Williams Reade was accepted as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Of her ECU experience, she said, “My time in the ECU MedFT program gave me a broad foundation as well as expertise in opportunities, challenges, and systems related to the greater medical world.”

Kenneth Phelps
Kenneth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. “The doctoral program (at ECU) allowed me the ability to understand the complexities of the mind, body, family and culture, which I can now pass along to budding psychiatrists and rotating medical students.”
First Year Students

Dan Blocker
Research Interests: The effect of the parent-child relationship on health outcomes, attachment, physician self-care, and risky adolescent behaviors.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I chose medical family therapy because I wanted to be involved in the next stage of couple's and family therapy. Medical family therapy provides the key to linking traditional couple's and family research to outcomes (health) that matter and demonstrates the importance of our field.


Mary Moran
Research Interests: Motor Vehicle Accidents and impacts of mental health and support regarding the recovery of survivors, integrated care, trauma, and substance abuse.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: The fact that the MedFT PhD program at ECU is the only accredited Medical Family Therapy program in the US was clearly a major influence into the decision to apply and attend ECU. My research interests are completely focused in the medical profession and I needed a program that would build on my knowledge and skills of MFT and systems theory to integrate the medical piece that is missing from research on dyadic relationships of MVA survivors. The supportive and nurturing environment of the faculty and MedFT program was a large driving force into my decision to attend the MedFT program at ECU. The enthusiasm, passion, and leadership that the faculty offer within the MedFT PhD program at ECU is unparalleled and I cannot emphasize how inspired I am each day to be working with leading professionals of the MedFT field.


Amelia Muse
Research Interests:  Childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, parents with children with chronic illness.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I chose MedFT at ECU because of the valuable and rewarding relationships I cultivated at ECU during my master’s program, and because MedFT is a perfect fit for my research interests and professional goals.


Claire Bell
Research Interests: HIV/AIDS, neuroscience, cross cultural relationships, relationship dynamics.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I chose MedFT at ECU because I appreciated the specificity of the degree. Since I have been working in a hospital for the past five years, I wanted a degree that would expand my knowledge about couples and families from a biopsychosocial-spiritual framework. I also felt that the mission statement of the program aligned with my professional goals and aspirations. Impressed with the passionate and dedicated faculty, I look forward to learning about the growing field of medical family therapy.

Second Year Students

Francisco Limon
Research Interests: I am interested in research in the area of minority health disparities. In particular, I want to work at expanding our understanding of how minorities are disproportionally affected by, and experience the worst outcomes of chronic conditions such as depression and diabetes. I also want to conduct research on how current and proposed legislation and institutional policies impact minority health.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I became interested in MedFT because of the program’s focus on the intersection of behavioral and physical health and the interplay between the biological, psychological, social and spiritual components of health and illness.


Ashley Maag
Research Interests: Pediatrics, obesity, attachment in health care, filial play therapy, and therapy models in integrated care.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I chose MedFT at ECU because of the sense of community and care exhibited by the staff and students which leads to a great learning environment. Also, the program has a great relationship with the community, providing excellent opportunities for research and clinical training. I am truly grateful to be at ECU!


Irina Kolobova
Research Interests: Integrated care in primary care settings and the psychosocial needs of Adolescent and Young Adult patients with cancer and their caregivers/support persons. I am particularly interested in program development and evaluation to better address healthcare disparities in primary care and oncology settings.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I chose ECU because of its endless opportunities to develop as a researcher and advocate for change. The program provides the perfect balance of rigor and unconditional support. 


Meghan Lacks
Research Interests: Integrated care for military personnel, couples, and families. In particular, I am interested in developing evidence-based policy that supports the biopsychosocial-spiritual health of our military community.

Why I chose MedFT at ECU: I chose MedFT at ECU because I also completed my master’s in MFT at ECU and during that time I realized how important it is to work with faculty that believe in a cohort model, facilitate creativity and individuality, encourage personal and professional growth, and provide countless and diverse opportunities. These characteristics coupled with the fact that the MedFT program expands our current understanding of health, emphasizes health disparities, and is focused on research make it a well-rounded and exceptional program. Also, this program provides students with the opportunity to be whatever they want to be - educators, leaders, policy makers, supervisors, researchers, and all of the above!

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