MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A national eating disorder treatment center based in Minnesota is making some changes. Some patients and staff will be transitioned out of the Emily Program.

The business was started by a Minnesota man in honor of his sister, Emily, who battled an eating disorder. The Emily Program has inpatient and outpatient services in four different states.

The company is re-shuffling and some patients will be discharged from the program.

Across the country, 5,000 men and women rely on the Emily Program for eating disorder support. Becky Morrow of Woodbury is one of them, she sees a counselor there every week.

“She’s been critical, she’s been absolutely critical,” she said.

Becky’s suffered from binge eating disorder since she was young.  She’s been at Emily since 2012.

“It’s really hard because I feel like I’m getting cut off right as I’m finally starting to make progress,” she said.

Becky says her counselor was part of the program’s nationwide restructuring. We went to the corporate office in St. Paul to find out more. Dr. Jillian Lampert is the Chief Strategy Officer at The Emily Program.

“It will require some moving around of staff, it will require some moving around of clients and getting them into the best place for them,” she said.

“We are still mid-process in implementation, so have no firm numbers, but expect it to be a small percentage of the over 5,000 clients we serve. Some staff will be transitioning roles within TEP as we reconfigure programs and responsibilities, but not out.”

Dr. Lampert says this isn’t a money thing, they are streamlining the care so that it is the same at every center around the country and they can offer the best care to patients with the most acute needs.

“Some clients will be referred out to community providers with a very thoughtful referral process to make sure that they’re getting what they need,” Lampert said.

Dr. Lampert says each patient has different needs and there is no set timeline for treatment.

Becky will soon be starting at another center, with another therapist.

“That’s my worry, my worry is that a lot of people either A, aren’t going to be able to find a therapist, or B, that they’re just going to give up,” she said.

The Emily Program says now their biggest fear is that people won’t think their needs are severe enough to seek services.  But Dr. Lampert insists they want anyone who thinks they may have an eating disorder to come to the center and they will work together to find treatment.


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