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CHEO getting $4.4M in provincial funding for eating disorders program

"When a young person is admitted to CHEO with an eating disorder they're considered medically fragile, so part of what we want to do with these resources is to actually invest in services that will help us intervene earlier," Joanne Lowe, vice-president of CHEO, said. 
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CHEO (Photo/Dani-Elle Dubé)

Provincial funding of over $4 million couldn't have been more perfectly times for CHEO's eating disorder program, hospital vice-president of mental health and addictions Joanne Lowe said.

Lowe pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as being especially challenging for children and youth, with health care providers seeing a surge in the need to expand its eating disorders services. 

The $4.4. million is expected to provide 14 additional inpatient surge beds and to allow for 10 additional day treatment spaces for patients with eating disorders who are transitioning from inpatient care to community care.

The vice-president of mental and addictions also detailed what the process would look like, during a press conference at CHEO on Friday, December 3 alongside Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliot.

"We are looking to create a partial hospitalization that is essentially the same treatment that they would get if they were in the hospital but they don't sleep in the hospital — and our capacity to currently do that, is non-existent." 

It's vital for CHEO  to consolidate its program to one main unit instead of having the eating disorder's program being spread across the hospital, Lowe added.

Elliot said the provincial government is investing $8.1 million in financial resources to address the increased demand for services to support specialized care for children and youth diagnosed with eating disorders this year.

CHEO isn't alone in receiving funding from the province as three other children's hospitals located across the province are cited to receive funding for similar programs.

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