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New Canaan's Silver Hill Hospital Adds Program To Treat Eating Disorders

Erin I. Kleifield of Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan. Photo Credit: File
Dr. Sigurd Ackerman of Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan. Photo Credit: Silver Hill Hospital

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan will begin the only eating disorders program with inpatient and residential treatment options in the tri-state area this month.

“Fifty percent of patients with eating disorders have another mental illness, or a dual disorder. The nature of the disease also means that many fight physical medical conditions as well, ” said Dr. Sigurd Ackerman, president and medical director of Silver Hill.

“Treating these together is essential if a patient is to have a positive outcome. As a psychiatric hospital, we can prescribe all appropriate pharmacological interventions. There is a psychiatrist on our campus 24/7, and we have a multidisciplinary team of specially trained psychologists, social workers, dietitians and nurses to work with each patient.”

The program will provide a full year of integrated treatment rather than the fragmented approach that sends patients to different facilities as the disease changes.

In addition to the inpatient and residential options, the program will offer a Recovery Support Follow-up Service. The service works with the patient's support network during the 12 months that follow departure from Silver Hill. It is during this year that relapse is the most common.

Erin I. Kleifield, who received her doctorate from Stanford and has more than 30 years of experience in treating eating disorders, will lead the program. She was formerly a staff psychologist at Cornell University Medical College's inpatient eating disorder unit.

“Disordered eating is an incredibly complex illness that requires many types of support,” said Kleifield. “A patient might need to move back and forth between the inpatient and residential programs. That Silver Hill has both makes the difficult healing process easier for the patient and their family."

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