NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell And Columbia University Establish Integrated Eating Disorders Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in affiliation with the New York State Psychiatric Institute, announced the creation of an integrated eating disorders center. Opening today is a key clinical component of this new center -- The Outlook at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division in White Plains. The only specialized inpatient eating disorders program in New York state, The Outlook will provide treatment for adolescents and adults with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, as well as binge eating and other eating-related disorders.
Also under the umbrella of the integrated center are outpatient treatment programs at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Westchester, the New York State Psychiatric Institute and on East 60th St. in Manhattan.
"Eating disorders seriously imperil the health and well-being of those affected, while also presenting a major challenge for their families. With the creation of this integrated eating disorders center, we bring together unprecedented clinical, research and educational expertise and resources so that we can better provide comprehensive and compassionate treatment that addresses each patient's specific needs in order to improve their health," says Dr. Jack Barchas, the Barklie McKee Henry Professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, and psychiatrist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division.
Appointed as director of the new center is Dr. Evelyn Attia, who currently serves as director of the Columbia Center for Eating Disorders at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A prominent researcher in the psychobiology and treatment of anorexia and other eating disorders, Dr. Attia was also named professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.
"One of our leading authorities on eating disorders, Dr. Attia has been a major force for improving care for patients with these challenging conditions. She has been instrumental in understanding the biological basis of anorexia nervosa and in developing effective new treatments," says Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and psychiatrist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
"I look forward to working closely with my colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell and Columbia as we develop and implement clinical best practices, new collaborative research projects and educational opportunities," says Dr. Attia.
The Outlook at NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester
NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester first established an eating disorders program more than 30 years ago. Now known as The Outlook, it has relocated into an expanded and enhanced facility. The spacious unit has 17 beds in total -- six for adolescents and 11 for adult patients -- and two full-time psychiatrists, including Dr. Parinda Parikh, who will serve as unit chief. The program's multidisciplinary team also comprises psychologists, social workers, nursing staff, nutritionists and therapeutic activities staff.
Designed with patients' needs in mind, the unit features areas for groups and activities, including meal preparation. And reflecting its bucolic park-like setting at NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester, The Outlook's refurbished interior space is decorated with nature photography by artist Nadine Levin, whose images of mountains, oceans, fields and streams imbue the unit with a sense of calm.
"For individuals with acute eating disorders, hospitalization is the best way to address what can often be life-threatening medical and psychiatric complications. As New York state's only specialized inpatient program for treating eating disorders, The Outlook offers patients and their families a level of care unavailable in a general psychiatric unit," says Dr. Attia. "Effectively treating eating disorders can be a challenge, and requires specialty training in treatments such as behavioral management. Alongside its treatment program, The Outlook will offer specialized clinical training, helping to fill a gap in this area."
Dr. Evelyn Attia
Dr. Evelyn Attia received a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed a residency in psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Attia is the program director for one of three New York stateā "designated Comprehensive Care Centers for Eating Disorders -- a joint program of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Schneider Children's Hospital in Long Island. She has received continuous funding from the NIH for her work since joining Columbia's Eating Disorders Research Unit in 1999 as well as grants from private foundations and industry. Dr. Attia is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and is currently a member of the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Eating Disorders Workgroup. She has received an award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), and a Scholars Grant for Faculty Development in Women's Health from Pfizer and The Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR). Additionally, she has received a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) for her study titled "Serotonin's Role in the Psychobiology of Anorexia Nervosa."
An eating disorder is marked by a disturbance in eating behavior together with psychological distress or impairment. This could include extreme food restriction, overeating or abnormal compensatory behaviors following food ingestion together with significant distress or concern about body weight or shape. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common of these conditions, which in severe cases can be life-threatening. Women and girls are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder, with an estimated 5 to 7 percent of U.S. females affected during their lifetimes. The conditions frequently appear during adolescence or young adulthood, and frequently co-exist with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse or anxiety. Individuals with eating disorders can suffer from numerous other physical health complications, such as heart conditions or kidney failure, which can lead to death.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division
Weill Cornell Medical College
Columbia University Medical Center
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