Why Hidden River?

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why

Hidden River opened its doors in July 2019 as the first residential treatment center for individuals with eating disorders in the state of New Jersey.  Our highly experienced interdisciplinary team is led by Kenneth W. Willis, MD, CEDS, Executive Medical Director.  Dr. Willis is an expert in the field of eating disorders, having worked for over 25 years at all levels of care.

We provide a program of recovery and healing for girls and young women struggling with eating disorders and related mental health difficulties. To achieve this, we offer a beautiful facility in a peaceful, natural environment, and utilize compassionate, goal-oriented clinicians working as a team to help motivate patients to confront barriers and resistance to change.

We treat patients with respect and dignity while acknowledging the seriousness of their illnesses and the sense of urgency required to expedite movement toward health.  We focus on interrupting the specific destructive symptoms and behaviors constituting the illness, while addressing and minimizing, whenever possible, the underlying causative or maintaining factors involved.  We emphasize family therapy and family education as important components of treatment.

About Eating Disorders

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Below is a list of eating disorders we treat. If you or a loved one suffer from an eating disorder, we can help. Please contact us today: jvargas@hiddenriverhealing.com or 908.895.4931 ext. 203

People with Anorexia Nervosa restrict their food intake relative to their needs, leading to significantly low body weight for their age, sex, level of development or general health. Often there is intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though one might be underweight. There is also typically a disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, excessive importance placed on weight or shape, or denial of the seriousness of the low weight despite the risk or presence of medical complications. Binge eating or purging may also occur during Anorexia Nervosa.

Meet Our Leadership Team

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James “Buck” Runyan, MS, LMFT, LCP, CEDSS

James “Buck” Runyan, MS, LMFT, LCP, CEDSS

Executive Director

James is well known within the professional arena for eating disorder treatment. Since 1994 he has developed many eating disorder treatment programs throughout the country. His many roles have included Executive Director, Chief Operations Officer, Clinical Director, Program Director, and Therapist. James has been an expert consultant for several treatment centers and has provided private…

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Burty Macwan “Mac”, RN

Nurse Director 

Burty Macwan ‘Mac’ brings to Hidden River a combination of emergency Nursing, behavioral care, and executive experience.  Mac received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center – College of Nursing. Mac has worked in the Emergency Department for more than 10 years and is Certified in Emergency Nursing (CEN). …

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Dr. Mariam Bekhit

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Mariam Bekhit is a thoughtful physician with a long history of providing excellent psychiatric care to a diverse population of children, adolescents, and adults. She facilitated eating disorder care within various hospital settings for several years. She is well versed in the unique features and care needs of those who struggle with eating disorders and their correlating dual…

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Jennifer Vargas Guerra, MA

Director of Outreach & Admissions

Jennifer Vargas Guerra brings a decade of experience working in various eating disorder treatment settings to her role as the Director of Outreach & Admissions at Hidden River. Jennifer received her Master’s in Clinical Counseling Psychology from LaSalle University and began her career at an inpatient eating disorder program in Pennsylvania where she was a…

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Treatment Setting

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Hidden River is located on 12 acres of beautiful grounds in the charming and bucolic town of Chester, in Morris County. Our 15-bed house, built in the 1920’s, has been completely renovated and modernized while maintaining its old-world character. The striking common areas feature large windows with panoramic views of our surroundings, the bedrooms and bathrooms are well-appointed, and multiple patios permit easy access to outdoor time.