Collaboration Key in Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders

New State System of Care to Give Patients, Parents Clear Options

November 17, 2005

Richard Kreipe, M.D., chief of adolescent medicine

New York is the only state in the country which has had the foresight to establish a law mandating and funding the development of Comprehensive Care Centers for eating disorders. Rochester, with the pre-established collaboration between Unity Health System and the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Golisano Children’s Hospital, is home-base for the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders (WNYCCCED), serving 30 counties from St. Lawrence County to Broome County and west.

The aims of the WNYCCCED are to ensure comprehensive and integrated care for patients and families; provide case management services in western and upstate New York; provide education, outreach, referral and early intervention; and research innovative and effective means to treat and prevent eating disorders.

“The new system provides a clear path to treatment for patients from all over New York,” said Richard Kreipe, M.D., medical director of the WNYCCCED and chief of adolescent medicine at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong. “No longer will patients or providers have to search for more specialized care. It will be available to them no matter where they live in the state.”

The formal partnership between Unity and Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong grew out of a decades-old established system of care for people with eating disorders in Rochester in which Golisano Children’s Hospital cares for adolescents and children in inpatient and outpatient programs and Unity cares for adult patients in outpatient care and patients of all ages in the partial hospitalization program. The Rochester Area Eating Disorders Community Advisory Board comprised of providers, patients, families and professionals from area non-profits and the business sector joined with Unity and Golisano Children’s Hospital in the planning of the WNYCCC.

“We are very proud to work in Rochester, where patient care comes first and where providers, patients, families, and insurers like Excellus work together to make this a reality. This formal collaboration in the new state system demonstrates our commitment to health and wellness above all else,” said Mary Tantillo, director, of the WNYCCCED and Unity Health System Eating Disorders Program.

The state designation establishes a wider system of care that incorporates satellite offices in Buffalo, Syracuse, Watertown and Binghamton. Patients will be provided direct care in their own communities. Health care professionals in the satellite offices will receive support and training from the WNYCCCED.

The state Department of Health also distributed grants to one center in New York City that covers the downstate area and another to a center in Albany to cover the capital region. St. Joseph’s Villa, located in Rochester, will treat all patients in the state who require adolescent residential care. Sage House, a part of DePaul Community Services (initially funded by Wegmans, the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, and the Rochester Area Eating Disorders Network), will provide enriched housing for adult women with eating disorders across the state as well.

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Heather Hare
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