Walden Behavioral Care Expands Eating Disorders Program
Released on: June 11, 2008, 6:44 pm
Press Release Author: Dave Kowal
Press Release Summary: NORTHAMPTON, Mass., June 11, 2008 - One of the country's leading hospitals for treating eating disorders, is opening an outpatient clinic at 109 Main St.
Press Release Body: NORTHAMPTON, Mass., June 11, 2008 - Walden Behavioral Care, LLC of Waltham, one of the country's leading hospitals for treating eating disorders, announced today that it is opening an outpatient clinic at 109 Main St.
The new facility will provide a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient care and an adolescent program for patients as young as 13. Patients who need more intensive treatment will be treated at Walden's Waltham facility. Walden also has an agreement for Cooley Dickinson Hospital to provide emergency treatment for Walden patients.
Last year Walden-Northampton began providing an evening Intensive Outpatient Program for adults in a temporary site at 5 Strong Ave. Demand was high when it opened and the patient census had been increasing steadily, according to Jennifer A. Smith, who manages the Northampton facility.
Walden is among only a few healthcare providers in the country to offer a full "continuum of care" for treating eating disorders. It provides in-patient care, residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient care at its Waltham facility, in addition to psychiatric care.
"While eating disorders are common among women and men of all ages, they are especially prevalent among college students," according to Walden President and CEO Stuart L. Koman, Ph.D. "The demand for treatment is high in the five-college area and, until now, there have been few options for those seeking treatment."
Walden renovated 2,600 square feet of space on the ground floor to provide a welcoming environment for patients. The space, which formerly served as a branch office of Fleet Bank, is centrally located in downtown Northampton near the Hampshire County District Courthouse and is easily accessible using public transportation. With an entrance on Gothic Street, the space features separate office, treatment and kitchen areas for adults and adolescents, and is designed to maintain patient privacy.
In addition to Smith, program staff in the new location will include a nutritionist, a psychiatrist, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), social workers , mental-health counselors and an office manager.
Walden, which opened in 2003 at the former Waltham Hospital (now known as Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham), developed a "whole health" approach to treating eating disorders. Recognizing that many patients with eating disorders also have psychiatric disorders and vice versa, Walden treats co-occurring disorders concurrently. It also treats each patient's medical needs, as well as providing behavioral therapy and nutritional programs.
Koman and Walden Chairman David Fassler, M.D. were pioneers in developing the "continuum of care" approach as founders of the former Choate Health Systems.
"Our treatment adjusts to the needs of our patients, rather than expecting patients to adjust to the treatment they receive," Dr. Koman said. "Recovery from an eating disorder is gradual. It would be difficult to go directly from intensive inpatient treatment with 24-hour supervision to independent living at home. Instead, we adjust treatment as the patient advances or has relapses."
An interdisciplinary team examines each patient before the patient is admitted and a treatment program is designed based on the patient's specific needs. Because Walden offers a continuum of programs, it can design treatment for each patient, Dr. Koman said. In addition, as treatment needs change, the patient can remain at Walden, instead of moving from one program to another.
The Northampton program is Walden's first satellite program, but Koman said others are being planned.
Walden treats a variety of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, a psychological disorder characterized by an aversion to eating and fear of gaining weight; bulimia nervosa, a condition where sufferers typically purge food they have eaten by self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or other means, and binge eating disorder, which is characterized by uncontrollable, excessive eating.
"Eating disorders often are accompanied by other health issues, including substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma or self-harming behavior," Dr. Koman said. "Walden takes a 'whole health' approach and has the expertise to diagnose and treat not only eating disorders, but any associated healthcare problems the patient may have."
About Walden Behavioral Care Walden Behavioral Care, LLC of Waltham, Mass. integrates medical therapies and lifestyle changes for patients with mental illness, eating disorders and addictions. By treating mental and physical conditions concurrently, Walden helps achieve lasting results for those who seek a meaningful recovery. Additional information is available on Walden's Web site at www.waldenbehavioralcare.com. #####
Web Site: http://www.waldenbehavioralcare.com
Contact Details: Maggie Moran Walden Behavioral Care, LLC 781-647-6702 firstname.lastname@example.org