“Designed to give patients a sense of calm, comfort and safety,” the eating disorders unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, is unveiling its state-of-the-art renovations.
The RWJUH Somerset program, part of RWJBarnabas Health’s Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, is one of only two inpatient eating disorder programs in the state, the health care provider said in a March 6 announcement.
RWJUH Somerset is not disclosing the cost of the renovations, a representative told NJBIZ.
Designed to promote healing, wellness and recovery, the upgrades include:
“Eating disorders affect more than 28 million Americans and cases have significantly increased over the past few years due to stress and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among teens and young adults,” Frank Ghinassi, senior vice president of behavioral health and addictions services and president and CEO of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, said in statement.
In fact, the New Jersey Hospital Association reported in June 2022 that the proportion of eating disorder-related hospitalizations was about 2.5 times higher in 2021 compared with 2019.
“Eating disorders, if left untreated, can be life-threatening illnesses and in some cases, patients are also coping with other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. That’s why comprehensive medical care is so important,” Ghinassi continued.
RWJUH Somerset’s eating disorders program addresses the biological, psychiatric, psychological and social issues related to these conditions in patients ages 14 and older through services such as individual, group and family therapy; medication management and education; nutrition education; nursing education; self-help groups; occupational therapy; and creative arts therapy.
Additionally, because adults and adolescents struggling with eating disorders – including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders – have different care and treatment needs, RWJUH Somerset’s eating disorders unit is the only inpatient eating disorder program in New Jersey that includes separate spaces for these groups, according to the center.