NOURISHING PLACE South Hill Eating-Disorder Center Will Care for Patients Who Need Intensive Treatment

By Rogers, Adrian | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), May 7, 2013 | Go to article overview

NOURISHING PLACE South Hill Eating-Disorder Center Will Care for Patients Who Need Intensive Treatment


Rogers, Adrian, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)


An eating-disorder treatment center opening in June on the South Hill aims to fill what its operators call a gap in services in the Spokane area, offering care for patients who need more than an hour or two a week of therapy and dietary counseling but less than 24- hour treatment in a residential program or hospital.

The Emily Program, set to open June 3, will assess patients for eating disorders, providing individual and group therapy and nutritional counseling along with psychiatric and medical services.

It'll serve adults and children who might just need an hour or two a week with a therapist and dietitian, but it'll also offer more intensive outpatient programs. Patients in its "partial hospitalization" program might spend 40 hours a week at the center.

The Spokane location is the Emily Program's second in Washington; the Seattle location opened in 2011. It also has eight locations in Minnesota.

The program expanded to Spokane because professionals here who work with eating-disorder patients expressed a need for it, said Jillian Lampert, the Emily Program's senior director for business and community development.

Its operators also heard about Spokane patients who had to move temporarily to the Seattle area or out of the state for treatment they couldn't get at home.

"Historically, if you had an eating disorder and outpatient wasn't enough, you needed to go somewhere else for treatment outside of Spokane," Lampert said.

The program has hired four therapists, two dietitians and other staffers, with plans to expand.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY CARE

Guidelines for treatment of eating disorders call for a multidisciplinary approach, with therapist, dietitian, medical provider and maybe psychologists coordinating their care of patients, said Dee Myers, a Spokane mental health counselor who specializes in eating-disorder treatment.

Myers is a board member of the Inland Northwest Coalition on Eating Disorders, a nonprofit group that's been working to boost the number of care providers in the region qualified and willing to treat eating disorders.

In the past, she and other professionals tried to work together to get patients the care they needed in offices throughout the city. It was complicated and difficult, both for patients and providers, she said.

"To have the option of intensive programming for people who need more than just once-a-week therapy is so important, and it's so wonderful to have that in the Inland Northwest," Myers said. "Treatment programs have emerged in the Seattle area over the last several years - there used to be pretty limited resources over there, too - but it's difficult for people who have jobs and go to school to uproot and have to get treatment somewhere else. …

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