McLean Hospital Receives $2.5-Million to Open New England's Only Comprehensive Program Dedicated to Treating Eating Disorders in Teens and Young Women

Klarman Center Information

May 30, 2003

Public Affairs

Belmont, MA - McLean Hospital announces the receipt of a grant of $2.5 million to open the Klarman Eating Disorders Center, the only fully comprehensive program in New England dedicated to treating the complex emotional, nutritional, medical and educational needs of adolescent girls and young women with eating disorders, all in one clinical setting.

The gift to open the Center came about as a result of the personal struggle of a Brookline, Massachusetts family, forced to hospitalize their then 14-year-old daughter 1,500 miles from home due to a dearth of adequate resources in the region.

The Klarman's quest for comprehensive and coordinated care led them to a New Orleans program devoted exclusively to the treatment of eating disorders. Their daughter, over the course of seven weeks, addressed both her eating disorder and the underlying emotional issues which typically accompany such illnesses.

The Klarman's own experience convinced them that few families could, and no family should have to, send a child halfway across the country for appropriate treatment of an eating disorder. Their experience led them to establish the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital.

The Center, which treats young women from ages 13 to 22, is housed in its own newly renovated building on the McLean grounds. The program offers a continuum of care-inpatient, residential and partial hospitalization, with a referral network for outpatient care-enabling individuals to progress to less intensive levels of care as they become healthier. The same staff members follow patients throughout their entire course of treatment at McLean. A program director and a medical director lead a highly trained, multidisciplinary treatment team, including psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists, nurses and expressive therapists, to deliver state-of-the-art treatment.

A key aspect of the Center, said the Klarmans, is the depth of experience and expertise of McLean professionals who are available to address frequent co-existing psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, trauma and substance abuse. "When our daughter first got sick, we became extremely frustrated that her care was aimed only at stabilizing her medically and not at examining the root causes of her illness, a process which would ultimately provide the long-term restoration of her physical and emotional health," said Beth Klarman.

"The Klarmans' generous donation means that local and regional families with young girls suffering from eating disorders will not have to search far and wide for appropriate treatment. They'll have a program right in their own backyard, offering exceptional care, a highly trained and cohesive staff and a home-like environment that is conducive to recovery," said Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD, president and psychiatrist in chief for McLean Hospital. "The Klarman Center will provide much-needed services that do not otherwise exist in New England. We are deeply grateful to the Klarmans for their gift."

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