Walden Behavioral Care, LLC, which provides a full system of specialized care for individuals and families impacted by all types of eating disorders, announced the acquisition of the Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders (ACE) of Dunwoody, Ga.

The joining of these two organizations brings more comprehensive, individualized and accessible eating disorder treatment to those across the Atlanta region. Leveraging Walden’s proven experience in establishing a regional, full system of care, ACE will build off its 23 years of treatment excellence, expanding its community-based treatment services and programming into additional, intensive treatment settings.

Specifically, it is Walden’s intention to create programming to meet the needs of individuals who require comprehensive, coordinated care. ACE will continue to provide treatment at the partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient (IOP) and aftercare program (Outpatient) levels at its Alpharetta, Decatur and Dunwoody locations.

Thirty million Americans have eating disorders, including hundreds of thousands throughout Georgia. The combination of Walden and ACE establishes one of the region’s first full systems of care for adolescents and adults impacted by anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other specific feeding or eating disorders (OSFED).

“This acquisition is about bringing together two organizations with a shared vision and commitment to providing high quality treatment and support as close to home as possible, through all levels of care,” said Stuart Koman, Ph.D., president and CEO of Walden Behavioral Care. “We’re honored to become part of the Metro Atlanta community, giving individuals what they deserve: the best possible chance for a lasting recovery.”

All ACE clinical and administrative staff will remain with the organization, including. Clinical Director & founder Linda Paulk Buchanan, Ph.D., and Clinical Director Rick Kilmer, Ph.D. Likewise, there will be no other changes to Walden’s staffing, locations or operations.

“Words cannot do justice for the high level of respect and admiration I have for Linda, Rick and their highly accomplished team,” added Koman. “This partnership is because of them. We’re excited to work together and build on the outstanding care they have become known for throughout Georgia and beyond.”

With the acquisition, Walden will now have 14 locations across Massachusetts, Connecticut and Georgia, including two inpatient units, one residential facility and 11 ambulatory clinics.

“Rick and I are so excited to join Walden – we immediately felt a connection with Stu, Walden’s staff and its treatment philosophy,” said Paulk Buchanan. “Our longstanding mission has been to provide intensive treatment to people with eating disorders, while minimizing disruption to their normal lives. By offering a full range of services for those in need, we now have an opportunity to build on that promise.”

Covington Associates, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Walden Behavioral Care. The Braff Group served as exclusive merger and acquisition advisor for Atlanta Center for Eating Disorders.