Rady Children’s Opens Inpatient Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

(San Diego, CA) – On Feb. 28, 2011, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego opened an inpatient program for the treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents. The unit will primarily treat patients with anorexia or bulimia based on a family-based treatment called the “Maudsley” model.

The new unit is housed in an inpatient area of Rady Children’s called Medical West. It will offer inpatient beds and be staffed by trained psychologists, nurses and other medical staff from Rady Children’s and the outpatient eating disorders program at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Walter Kaye, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Eating Disorders Program, is a nationally-recognized expert in the Maudsley method and will coordinate treatment of patients in the new unit.

“Treating patients in an inpatient setting allows us to offer intensive psychiatric therapy, which research shows has led to improved outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Kaye. “Using the Maudsley model, we work in alliance with parents to help them understand the symptoms of anorexia and bulimia and develop better ways of managing and interacting with their children.”

Before the advent of this unit, San Diego has not had an organized pediatric inpatient program for patients in need of treatment of anorexia and bulimia. Patients were treated on an outpatient basis or referred out of the area to receive services.

“Having this inpatient facility available to families in San Diego will be a tremendous resource for young people struggling with eating disorders,” said Erin Costa, Nursing Director of the new unit. “Whereas traditional programs only focused on treating the patient, our program involves the entire family, so they learn how to effectively care for their family member once they go home.”

Patients may enter and leave the program at any stage of care depending on their need for treatment. The unit will also treat children with psychosomatic illness. It is estimated that 1/3 of the patients will come from San Diego, 1/3 from Southern California, and 1/3 from the rest of the United States.

Rady Children’s is a research and teaching affiliate of the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, the largest children’s hospital in California, is a 442-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. On October 10, 2010, Rady Children’s opened the Acute Care Pavilion, a LEED-Certified (green) building that is home to the incredible Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, the state-of-the-art Warren Family Surgical Center, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for our community’s most fragile newborns. In May 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.