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ACUTE Adds Services for Younger Patients

The ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health, a National Center of Excellence for the medical stabilization for patients with severe and extreme medical complications of eating disorders, is pleased to announce it has expanded medical and clinical care to include adolescents as young as 15 years of age as of May 1, 2019. The need for extensive treatment of adolescents is evident. Therefore, ACUTE now includes adolescent medicine specialists, pediatric intensivists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and five new, full-time hospitalists dedicated to ACUTE.  ACUTE has also increased its number of other ancillary professional disciplines to support this expanded patient capacity, including:

  • Child Life: Denver ACUTE will utilize the Child Life Specialty Team at Denver Health to enhance the pediatric-specific care for our adolescent patients.
  • Dietary: Patients will benefit from expanded Registered Dietitian care to now cover 6 days per week of 1-on-1 sessions.
  • Social Work: Inherent expertise with adult eating disorder patients and now also with the adolescent population.
  • Occupational & Physical Therapy: Patients will continue to receive personalized care from our dedicated Occupational and Physical Therapy team with their on-unit gym with ongoing support from our long-tenured PT-OT staff, Ms. Michelle Laging and Ms. Christina Logan, along with two new additional full-time occupational and physical therapy staff.
  • Pet therapy: Clinically indicated emotional support pet therapy will be increasingly available to serve all patients.

“Our team has witnessed amazing recovery stories because we integrate daily extensive medical care with additional robust ancillary therapy services and nutritional guidance to create positive outcomes," said Dennis Gibson, MD, CEDS, Assistant Medical Director at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders. "We’re excited to expand our space and our team.” 

With the expansion, Denver ACUTE continues to serve as the leader in the nation’s eating disorder treatment center community by providing comprehensive multi-disciplinary medical care for gender-diverse patients who suffer from the most extreme and severe medical complications. The collaboration and coordination with residential treatment center partners before admission, during medical stabilization care at Denver ACUTE, and post step-down back to the residential treatment center of origination sets our program apart and helps patients seek meaningful recovery. Denver ACUTE also serves the outpatient eating disorder provider community and every hospital nationwide who identify and admit patients with severe and extreme medical complications requiring its comprehensive, life-saving care. Air-ambulance transport is readily available for patients who are unable to fly commercially to the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health.

“Denver ACUTE is on a mission to further improve access to medical-based eating disorder care for all persons affected by the severe and extreme complications of the disease, and this expansion marks a further significant step in moving toward that goal,” said Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS, Denver ACUTE’s Founder and Executive Director. “The expansion is a direct result of increased patient demand and increased residential treatment center referrals.”

Denver ACUTE’s brand new and expanded space with a 30 bed capacity, with telemetry monitoring at Denver Health, allows it to continue to serve its mission to offer medically and clinically expert care; offering hope when other medical care has failed, or when patients are too medicaly ill to begin their recovery at lower levels of care. Patients receive a highly individualized treatment plan designed to:

  • Alleviate and prevent any medical complications associated with severe anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or ARFID.
  • Avoid and manage the potentially fatal risks of refeeding syndrome, regardless of extremely low percentage of ideal body weight.
  • Prepare the patient for a smooth transition into the appropriate next level of care at their originating or preferred residential eating disorder treatment program.

Denver ACUTE has treated nearly 1,800 patients since 2004, and it was recognized as the first-ever Medical Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders by Anthem, Inc. in 2018.

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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