ACUTE's Mission Statement
ACUTE is on a mission to further improve access to expert medical stabilization care for all persons affected by the extreme medical complications of eating disorders, as well as those suffering with severe malnutrition stemming from advanced disease or infection.
Reflecting on ACUTE's Mission
Dr. Philip S. Mehler
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ACUTE
As I write this, the first people in the US have received COVID-19 vaccine. It is a tremendous milestone filled with hope for a better year ahead. It is too easy to look at charts and numbers and not fully realize the scale and human cost of this pandemic. We are all profoundly heartened and grateful to all front-line providers for how much they each gave and continue to give, both here, at Denver Health, and across the world. Having just rounded on ACUTE, on the final Sunday of 2020, and having seen almost every patient on our unit, I wanted to briefly reflect on what you are part of here, whether you are a patient, a referring provider or a teammate.
I voyaged, Columbus-like, into the new world of the first medical stabilization unit for those with extreme forms of eating disorders almost 20 years ago. At the time, the thesis of a paucity of credible medical care for this vulnerable patient population, impelled me, with the help of others, to witness the genesis of ACUTE as a formal unit on 4B at Denver Health Medical Center, where I was serving concurrently as Chief Medical Officer. ACUTE had a staff of 2 at that time, 1 RN and 1 part-time RD; truthfully, I never fathomed that ACUTE, as it now exists, would extend my vision beyond the parochial bounds of a small service at Denver Health. ACUTE has been designated as the singular Center of Excellence and the premier medical stabilization unit for these patients in the US. The images of the horribly malnourished patients admitting to ACUTE are stirring and indelible. Just last week ACUTE had yet another paper accepted for publication in the most respected eating disorders journal, International Journal of Eating Disorders. In my 30 years of academic work in this field, I have never seen a reviewer’s comment like I read last week. They kindly wrote, “The group from ACUTE carries well-earned and enormous clinical credence in the national eating disorder field. We appreciate them again sharing their always good data……” What an amazing tribute to ACUTE.
The integrity of ACUTE’s commitment to patients is unimpeachable. Our efforts buoy the spirits of our patients and their families and give them good reason to reclaim life; the beneficence, largess and acumen of our team of skilled providers literally saves the lives of young people, on a daily basis, who are afflicted with these highly lethal diseases. Every day, the ACUTE team shows our best, selfless selves and deep empathy for these fragile patients, many of whom travel great distances to trust our care.
When hope is enveloped in darkness, ACUTE maintains the solidarity we have gained and reputation forged across 17 years of compassionate excellence. We deliver hope for survival and recovery.