BY: Christine Peat, PhD
DATE: 25 October 2017
The UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED) is privileged to serve on a university campus and provide multidisciplinary care for eating disorders to students, faculty, and staff at the Carolina campus. We pride ourselves in being able to provide comprehensive treatment to the University community; however, our efforts to do so would not be possible without a thriving partnership with both UNC Campus Health Services and UNC Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Both are conveniently located right behind CEED’s location at the UNC Neurosciences Hospital!
Campus Health serves the university community by providing healthcare services ranging from routine primary care to specialty care including transgender health, radiology, and women’s health. In many ways, Campus Health is on the front line of screening for eating disorders in our student body given that many students will choose to seek care from their primary care providers prior to seeking specialty eating disorder care. In fact, CEED receives many referrals from Campus Health from primary care providers like Katie Gaglione, NP or the UNC Campus Health dietitian, Annie Penrose, RD. Both providers are a crucial component of providing multidisciplinary care to students that CEED might serve. For example, a student may be receiving psychotherapy services from a CEED therapist but may also receive nutrition counseling with Annie and medical monitoring from Katie. The three providers (e.g., CEED therapist, Katie, and Annie) would speak regularly to ensure consistent treatment across providers and to that goals are being met across psychological, nutritional, and medical domains.
In a similar vein, CEED often partners with CAPS to ensure that students who are in need of specialty eating disorders care (sometimes outside of the scope of what CAPS typically provides), can be referred in a timely fashion. Many students on the Carolina campus may choose to seek care initially at CAPS given their easy (and free!) access to services. In that way, CAPS is a critical component of screening and referring students to CEED. The triage services available at CAPS are quickly able to identify eating disorders and refer to CEED to determine the appropriate level of care. CAPS also offers group therapy sessions which many CEED students attend, including a body image group and a variety of mindfulness groups.
In an effort to ensure that care is coordinated for students seeking services at both CEED and Campus Health or CAPS, Dr. Christine Peat serves as the liaison between the two organizations. She regularly attends the Campus Health Eating Disorders Team meeting during which she represents CEED and any mutual patients between CEED and Campus Health or CAPS. During these meetings, the multidisciplinary team of providers (including primary care providers, dietitians, and psychologists) coordinates care for any students who are undergoing treatment for an eating disorder at UNC. This important meeting allows for busy professionals to connect with one another to discuss recent progress or setbacks in treatment and/or troubleshoot if challenges arise. It also reassures students that all of their treatment providers are on the same page when it comes to where they are in treatment and/or what next steps remain.
UNC Campus Health and CAPS are integral partners in CEED’s mission to comprehensively and effectively treat eating disorders in the university community. We are fortunate to have such an incredible network of professional allies with whom we can collaborate, and we look forward to continuing to serve students in the years to come.