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Train patients of UI eating disorder inpatient program concerned about closure

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Changes are coming to the eating disorder program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The university says that the Eating Disorders Program will continue to provide services, including an intensive, partial hospitalization program and outpatient care. However, they will no longer be admitting new patients to the inpatient residential care part of the program. A petition has been started on Change.org, entitled “Save the Eating Disorder Program and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.”Lexie Olgren, a woman who used the program, is concerned because the University of Iowa program is the only inpatient treatment eating disorder facility in Iowa. She says the treatment at the Eating Disorders Program saved her life.”Without that treatment facility, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” Olgren said. “There isn’t enough resources out there, as it is. And they’re taking the only thing that people have.” University of Iowa student Lauren Whitesitt is concerned about how new patients aren’t being admitted to the inpatient residential care part of the program.”The people in my life are very, very scared. And it makes me emotional even thinking about it,” Whitesitt said. Whitesitt has several friends in the program. And while she says she’s grateful other services will still be available, she worries they are not enough.”People will die because of this. And I don’t think there’s any room to not be blunt about that. Because I worry about my friends dying. And I think that’s how serious this is,” Whitesitt said. Olgren says living in recovery is a daily struggle, but she hopes to raise awareness and bring more resources to Iowa.” and worry to stay alive without any resources,” Olgren said. “I hope that people realize how deadly this disease is and that they do more treatment facilities here in Iowa so people can get help.” The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has shared the following statement to KCCI regarding the claim that the program is being phased out,”UI Hospitals & Clinics remains committed to providing compassionate specialty care to patients with eating disorders. The Eating Disorders Program will continue providing a range of services for people with eating disorders, including an intensive partial hospitalization program, as well as outpatient services. In addition, people with eating disorders who require acute medical treatment will continue to receive inpatient services at our hospital. “Beginning in fall 2022 , UI Hospitals & Clinics is reallocating resources to provide life-saving access to the growing number of Iowans with acute mental health care needs. We will no longer be admitting new patients to the inpatient residential care part of the Eating Disorders program. Patients with eating disorders who have acute care needs will still be admitted to the hospital to receive care from a multi-disciplinary team within one of our behavioral health units. Once patients are stabilized and no longer in need of acute care, they may be referred to community services for ongoing support. These services could include our Eating Disorders partial hospitalization program, our outpatient program, or services provided by another organization. “It is always difficult to decide how to allocate limited resources, and the decision to make changes to the Eating Disorders Program was not made lightly. Overall, this decision will allow UI Health Care to serve the greatest number of Iowans with acute mental health care needs.”Eating disorders are the second most deadly mental illness, following opioid addiction. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reports that at least 9% of Americans — or nearly 29 million people struggle with an eating disorder.If you or someone you know needs help, you can go to edciowa.com for more information.Previous coverage:

Changes are coming to the eating disorder program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The university says that the Eating Disorders Program will continue to provide services, including an intensive, partial hospitalization program and outpatient care. However, they will no longer be admitting new patients to the inpatient residential care part of the program.

A petition has been started on Change.orgentitled “Save the Eating Disorder Program and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.”

Lexie Olgren, a woman who used the program, is concerned because the University of Iowa program is the only inpatient treatment eating disorder facility in Iowa. She says the treatment at the Eating Disorders Program saved her life.

“Without that treatment facility, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” Olgren said. “There isn’t enough resources out there, as it is. And they’re taking the only thing that people have.”

University of Iowa student Lauren Whitesitt is concerned about how new patients aren’t being admitted to the inpatient residential care part of the program.

“The people in my life are very, very scared. And it makes me emotional even thinking about it,” Whitesitt said.

Whitesitt has several friends in the program. And while she says she’s grateful other services will still be available, she worries they are not enough.

“People will die because of this. And I don’t think there’s any room to not be blunt about that. Because I worry about my friends dying. And I think that’s how serious this is,” Whitesitt said.

Olgren says living in recovery is a daily struggle, but she hopes to raise awareness and bring more resources to Iowa.

“I feel like it’s not fair that we have to struggle and worry to stay alive without any resources,” Olgren said. “I hope that people realize how deadly this disease is and that they do more treatment facilities here in Iowa so people can get help.”

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has shared the following statement to KCCI regarding the claim that the program is being phased out,

“UI Hospitals & Clinics remains committed to providing compassionate specialty care to patients with eating disorders. The Eating Disorders Program will continue providing a range of services for people with eating disorders, including an intensive partial hospitalization program, as well as outpatient services. In addition , people with eating disorders who require acute medical treatment will continue to receive inpatient services at our hospital.

“Beginning in fall 2022, UI Hospitals & Clinics is reallocating resources to provide life-saving access to the growing number of Iowans with acute mental health care needs. We will no longer be admitting new patients to the inpatient residential care part of the Eating Disorders program. Patients with eating disorders who have acute care needs will still be admitted to the hospital to receive care from a multi-disciplinary team within one of our behavioral health units. Once patients are stabilized and no longer in need of acute care, they may be referred to community services for ongoing support.These services could include our Eating Disorders partial hospitalization program, our outpatient program, or services provided by another organization.

“It is always difficult to decide how to allocate limited resources, and the decision to make changes to the Eating Disorders Program was not made lightly. Overall, this decision will allow UI Health Care to serve the greatest number of Iowans with acute mental health care needs.”

Eating disorders are the second most deadly mental illness, following opioid addiction.

Tea National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reports that at least 9% of Americans — or nearly 29 million people struggle with an eating disorder.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can go to edciowa.com for more information.

Previous coverage:

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