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Collaborative Conversations:Getting to Know TJ Raney

April 30, 2016

Creating access to extraordinary, best-practice, and comprehensive care for persons with eating disorders is our passion. Leading the Veritas Collaborative team in this endeavor is a true visionary – Dr. TJ Raney.

When TJ joined the organization last year, he brought with him a fresh perspective, a wealth of knowledge, and enthusiasm for clinical excellence. Read ahead to learn more about him and the leadership role he plays at Veritas.

chief clinical officer at veritasName: TJ Raney, PhD

Title: Chief Clinical Officer at Veritas Collaborative

Tell us about your experience treating patients with eating disorders.

I have been working with patients with eating disorders for over 18 years. I started seeing adolescents with eating disorders in an outpatient clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder program. Then, I moved to North Carolina in 2005 and joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders. Over the years I have provided individual therapy, family therapy, and couples therapy and have led groups for eating disorders patients in inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs.

In addition to practicing as a therapist, I have a passion for the training and supervision of therapists and psychiatrists regarding clinical best-practices for the treatment of patients with eating disorders.

What interested you in working at Veritas Collaborative?

I joined Veritas Collaborative because I wanted to be a part of a system that is focused on expanding access to care for more people. Before joining Veritas, I could see that the individuals working here shared a passion for providing the very best care, while treating each individual with compassion and dignity. I felt excitement when I met with Veritas staff and realized that we shared a vision – a world in which all persons with eating disorders and their families have access to best-practice care and hold hope for a cure. I was honored to be asked to join the team as the Chief Clinical Officer.

What is your vision for the clinical department at Veritas?

The clinical department is responsible for making sure that every individual treated in our system receives the highest quality or “best-practice” care individualized for their specific needs. Best-practice care is a constantly moving target as treatment innovations are occurring all the time in this field.  It is an essential part of our job to stay abreast of the newest clinical research, evaluate it, and integrate it effectively into our treatment program.

As we create more access to care by opening new treatment facilities, the clinical team must also ensure that the care received by patients at every Veritas location continues to be the highest quality care. It is my vision that our clinical program will excel at taking state-of-the-art clinical knowledge and translating it to individual patient treatment so that each person we treat has the best chance at recovery.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I most enjoy working with the people at Veritas Collaborative – the staff, the patients, and their families. The staff have all embraced the culture of compassion, competence, and integrity that makes this environment so supportive and enriching. Caring for individuals and families who are struggling with an eating disorder can be hard work, and that work is so much more fulfilling when it is done in an environment full of genuinely caring individuals who support each other. And, the most satisfying part of the job for any clinician is seeing individuals and their families return home happier and healthier, with hope in their future.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I like to spend time with my family hiking, camping, bike riding, and going to movies. I am a huge science fiction/superhero geek and never miss a comic-inspired movie that comes out. When I can, I also like napping on my screened-in porch with my dog.

What is your favorite recovery quote?

I had a young woman tell me that she was inspired by the question,

“What would you attempt to do if you knew that you could not fail?” 

From her point of view, it was so empowering because it cut through all of the fears and promises of the eating disorder and left her focusing on what she valued and wanted to accomplish in life. That focus is so essential for recovery.