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UNDERSTANDING THE DISEASE AND GETTING HELP FOR YOUR PATIENTS

Successful treatment & recovery depends on comprehensive, integrated, coordinated and collaborative care.

What do I need to do to quickly refer my patient for treatment?
Who does The Healing Connection Treat?
How can The Healing Connection help my patient?
Does my patient have an eating disorder?


What do I need to do to quickly refer my patient for treatment?
To make a referral, please call our office manager at 585-641-0281.

The requirements for intake evaluation are:

  • A physical exam within the past 30 days
  • Lab work within the past 2 weeks
  • A signed statement from the primary medical provider that the patient is medically cleared for participation in the program

Regular medical follow up by the Primary Care Physician is also required during a patient's partial hospitalization program stay.

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Who does The Healing Connection Treat?
The Healing Connection provides eating disorder treatment to:

  • Males and females
  • Adolescents (12+) and adults of all ages
  • Individuals diagnosed with:
    • Anorexia Nervosa (AN)
    • Bulimia Nervosa (BN)
    • Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
    • Feeding and Eating Disorders Not Classified Elsewhere

The Healing Connection offers Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs.

Learn more about the various levels of eating disorder treatment.

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How can The Healing Connection help my patient?

  • Comprehensive, Integrated, Coordinated, and Continuous Care: The Healing Connection provides developmentally-appropriate care that is responsive to the patient's physical and mental health needs. Our team collaborates closely with the patient's primary care provider throughout the program stay and collaborate with the patient's outpatient team to ensure smooth transition to community living. The Healing Connection is an affiliate of the Western NY Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders (WNYCCCED) one of three NY State Department of Health-funded CCCED's. The Healing Connection collaborates with other providers in the WNYCCCED such as Golisano Children's Hospital and with providers in the other NYCCCED's such as The Outlook at NY Presbyterian Hospital, Albany Medical Center, and Four Winds Hospital to ensure continuity of care for patients and families. Learn more about who we treat.
  • Evidence-Driven Care: Treatments delivered at The Healing Connection are reflective of best practices informed by the best evidence available from clinical trials and contemporary clinical wisdom. Both the American Psychiatric Practice Guidelines and the NICE Guidelines inform programming. Additionally, The Healing Connection conducts outcome research with patients and families to continually improve its own programming and add to the knowledge base about evidence-based treatment in the field.
  • Specialty-Trained and Expert Multidisciplinary Staff: Treatment at The Healing Connection is delivered by an expert and specialty-trained multidisciplinary team committed to interdisciplinary collaboration. The Healing Connection staff includes doctorally and master's prepared, experienced therapists, psychiatrists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a registered dietitian, a meal-time psychiatric technician, case manager, chef, and office manager. We also collaborate with experienced, certified teachers from BOCES who provide tutoring for adolescent patients. The WNYCCCED case manager provides case management for patients and families.

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Does my patient have an eating disorder?
According to the American Psychiatric Association's Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Eating Disorders (2006), practitioners should recommend treatment when patients present with the following symptoms:

  • Weight changes of concern
  • Rapid or persistent decline in food intake
  • Inability to decrease eating disorder symptoms (purging, restricting, diet pills, laxative, diuretic, or emetic use, excessive or compulsive exercising, binge eating, etc.)
  • Lack of progress with current level of care
  • Co-occurring psychiatric disorder (Major Depression with or without suicidal features, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD, Substance Abuse, etc.)
  • Decreasing ability to function in daily responsibilities
  • Lack of support system; dysfunctional support system
  • Ambivalent or uncooperative with treatment recommendations
  • Physical symptoms such as lightheadedness, chest pain, syncope, palpitations, and GI bleeding

Medical Complications such as the following may indicate a need for intensive treatment:

  • Unable to maintain adequate weight
  • Acute weight decline with food refusal
  • Dehydration
  • Bradycardia (typically HR < 60 bpm)
  • Greater than a 20 bpm increase in HR with position changes
  • QTc interval > 440
  • BP 90/60 mm HG for adults and 80/50 mm HG for children
  • Orthostatic changes > 20 mm HG for adults or > 10-20 mm HG for children
  • Hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, or organ compromise
  • Glucose < 60 mg/dl
  • Potassium < 3 meq/liter
  • Other electrolyte imbalance
  • Type 1 diabetes (poorly controlled or involved with eating disorder symptom use)
  • Osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • Amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea in females

Primary care providers play a critical role in recognizing clinical and subthreshold eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Association recommends addressing the following questions in patient interviews:

Ask about:

  • History of weight fluctuations; low weight/high weight, desired weight
  • Actions taken to maintain, control, or alter weight
  • Dieting
  • Laxatives, enemas, diuretics, appetite suppressants, supplements
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive exercise
  • Periods of binge eating or feeling a lack of control over food intake
  • Comfort with current weight/shape
  • Report of typical daily food and water intake
  • Exercise habits (how much? how often? why?)
  • Menstrual history
  • Family history of eating disorders, depression, obesity, and chemical dependence

Remember, patients will be sensitive about weight. Check weight in a gown after voiding and facing away from the scale. When possible, do not make comments about their weight or appearance.

For additional information, see the Academy for Eating Disorders Report 2012 - Eating Disorders: Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders. http://www.aedweb.org

Learn more about eating disorder statistics, health complications and diagnostic guidelines for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and feeding or eating disorders not elsewhere classified (FED-NES), previously classified as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (ED-NOS).

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