“We must find the best approaches to provide our patients with virtual eating disorder treatment options during this challenging time,” Stu Koman, Walden’s CEO and President said ten days ago. And with that, our ace clinical leadership team went to work and put our virtual IOP and PHP eating disorder programming in place for adolescents and adults.
One week into it, I asked them how it’s going.
“It’s been such a wonderful surprise, how seamlessly everyone has adapted, from our staff to the patients. We have 200 patients and families who shifted to our online platform and programs. More people are joining every day as word spreads about the benefits of our virtual eating disorder treatment,” according to Rebekah Doweyko, LPC, CEDS, and Emily Slager, LMHC, our Assistant Vice Presidents of Clinical Operations.
Our Georgia leader Kris Shock, NCC, MS, CACII, shared, “What has been key, is that we acknowledged from the start, this isn’t the same as an in-person program. That mindset from the beginning has been helpful for all. We have played off the advantages of the virtual experience, and it is evolving each day. We are soliciting a lot of feedback from our staff, patients, and families, daily, and this co-creation approach is helping everyone.”
Most folks seem grateful to have support during this time when anxiety is high, and people are confined to their homes with more time to dedicate to getting the care they need for their eating disorder.
We asked some clients about the best part of our virtual programming, and here’s what we heard:
“I love that I can have my dog sitting right next to me during treatment.”
“There is something personal and connecting about seeing everyone in their own home.”
“I like the comfort of knowing that I am still able to have my clinical team support me and we can connect individually too.”
It is important to note that all programs and sessions use evidence-based treatment models led by our licensed clinical professionals. Clients continue to have the 1:1 support they need with their assigned clinical team.
Stu Koman’s words to us this morning, “Our mission has not wavered in light of the COVID-19 restrictions. We are here every day to assure all individuals struggling with an eating disorder have the care they need and deserve. This has always been our mission, and it has never mattered more than right now.”