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New eating disorder facility opens in De Pere

This 2018 photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

MARQUETTE — A new health program has recently opened at a health facility in De Pere, Wisconsin, to combat eating disorders.

Evolve Healing has introduced an eating disorder program at its De Pere location with a staff of counselors, dietitians, a leadership team and therapy animals.

The facility is based out of Appleton, which originally opened in 2005, but hopes to expand its reach in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac and maybe in the Upper Peninsula as well, Evolve Healing counselor Hannah Chase said.

“Personally speaking, I think it’s really important because when I went through all of this when I was in the U.P., I went to treatment in Arizona and Long Beach just because there wasn’t anything in the Midwest at the time,” Chase said. “So just to have this option for people is really cool.”

The program treats a variety of different eating disorders from anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders, Chase said, explaining that there is both PHP (partial hospitalization programs) and IOP (intensive outpatient programs) for clients.

The Evolve Healing Center of De Pere and Appleton, Wisconsin staff treat eating disorders and are the only eating disorder facility in the Midwest. The staff use different groups and programs to treat each patient along with the help of therapy dogs such as Buck (pictured above). (Photo courtesy of Hannah Chase)

“… There’s all sorts of different eating disorders and different tracks and trauma, it’s more specialized to what that certain client needs,” she said. “It’s not necessarily like a 12-week program or anything like that, it’s more based on what the client would need.”

PHP is for both adults and adolescents or children and it offers services from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. with a supervised, supportive breakfast and lunch and groups and workshops throughout the rest of the session, Chase noted. IOP sessions are offered for a shorter amount of time, which is typically around 3 hours, she said.

The center in De Pere sees a range of eating disorders and the staff incorporates different programs such as art therapy, cognitive behavior therapy skills and a trauma group to help treat the client, Chase said.

There is also a family session every other Friday to help clients’ resolve family issues and concerns, she said, noting that with a De Pere location, it’s more accessible for families to get involved.

“I think this is important because it offers a higher level of care for eating disorders and for the U.P. specifically. It’s so close. It can be traumatizing, especially for an adolescent, to be taken from their home or from their family and be sent to wherever they need to go for their treatment which can be far away from home,” Chase said. “Here we’re offering a weekly program where you can come and it’s not too far away from home and still give you that stability rather than having to travel across the country to get that help.”

For more information, visit evolvehealing.org or call the De Pere facility at 920-570-6339 or the Appleton facility at 920-364-9078.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.