Region’s only gender-diverse eating disorder center creates access to higher levels of care.
Veritas Collaborative, a specialty healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders, today opened its Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Center in Charlotte, N.C. The opening is a direct result of patient demand and community support for the approximately 416,000 North Carolinians affected by eating disorders.
The Child, Adolescent, and Adult Center is the region’s only gender-diverse, multidisciplinary eating disorder center to provide comprehensive medical assessments that diagnose eating disorders and other conditions that may require medical intervention. It offers level of care assessments, outpatient care, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization services at 1900 Scott Avenue in Charlotte.
“Charlotte needs this,” says Will Rickard, a parent, and advocate for eating disorders treatment. “I watched a family member fight an eating disorder that could have taken their life – and we had no appropriate higher level of care treatment option near our Charlotte home. Instead, we sought treatment three hours away to ensure the journey to recovery was successful, and we’re just one of many families doing the same thing. I’m thankful Veritas is opening its doors in the Queen City so that other families can fight this illness without the additional burden of travel.”
Breaking down barriers to treatment, like distance, is a core value that drives Veritas Collaborative to offer unique services like:
- School Instruction: Veritas is the only eating disorder treatment facility in the area to offer an on-site school instructor, lifting an educational burden many families face during treatment.
- Teaching Kitchen: Patients and their families can learn new culinary skills, enjoy classes with a sous chef while practicing meal prepping, and the opportunity to eat meals together since mealtime can be a challenging part of recovery.
- Pet Therapy: Ernie, a golden retriever certified by Therapy Dogs International, will assist in comforting, diffuse family conflicts, decrease tension and anxiety associated with therapeutic challenges, and increase patient endorphins to balance negative emotions.
“Breaking down barriers and creating access to eating disorders care is our passion,” said Stacie McEntyre, LCSW, CEDS, founder and CEO of Veritas Collaborative. “We firmly believe that everyone affected by this illness – both patients and their loved ones – deserve to receive best-practice, medically and behaviorally sound care. Opening the Charlotte center expands Veritas’ treatment offerings to serve the Queen City and its surrounding areas, a population totaling approximately 2.5mm people. ”
Veritas believes in treating a patient’s entire support system through family-based treatment (FBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), offering a full spectrum of care to each patient.
“As Charlotte’s first eating disorders center to offer higher levels of care for children & adolescents in a gender-diverse and inclusive environment, we are eager to welcome patients who need and deserve proven treatment options,” said Dr. Preeti Matkins, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, executive director of the Charlotte center. “We’re thankful to Charlotte’s medical providers, hospital systems, and community organizations for collaboratively partnering with us to deliver enhanced education, support, and hope for a health concern that affects more than 30 million Americans – many of which will never be diagnosed or properly treated.”
Veritas Collaborative opened its temporary Charlotte center in January 2018. During its first year of operation, the center saw 124 patients, about a quarter of them are males, and worked through nearly 2,000 appointments. The new 8,300-square-foot center has the capacity to treat 20 patients in higher levels of care at any given time by providing multidisciplinary care for children and adolescents 18 years and younger. Veritas added employees to its existing five, staffing its new site with a total of 20 employees to serve greater Charlotte, central and western N.C., and northern S.C.
Veritas Collaborative will host a grand opening celebration on August 1 for providers and community leaders to tour the facility and learn more about Veritas and its collaborative approach to eating disorder treatment.
About Veritas Collaborative
Veritas Collaborative is a specialty healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders. Veritas provides a range of individualized, evidence-based services for ages 8 and older, including inpatient, acute residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient levels of care in a gender-diverse and inclusive environment. Veritas envisions a world in which all persons with eating disorders and their families have access to best-practice care and hold hope for a cure. Our multidisciplinary team of treatment professionals includes physicians, psychiatrists, dietitians, therapists, nurses, teachers, culinary team members, and therapeutic assistants.