Editor’s Note: This article discusses eating disorders.
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will stop admitting new patients for its in-patient residential care program to help people with eating disorders.
Starting this fall, UIHC announced that it will reallocate resources from its Eating Disorder Program to other mental health programs.
“Patients with eating disorders who have acute care needs will still be admitted to the hospital to receive care from a multi-disciplinary [sic] team within one of our behavioral health units,” Laura Shoemaker, the public relations for UIHC, wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan.
Current inpatients in the program will continue to receive care until they finish the program.
Medical professionals at UIHC will continue to treat patients with eating disorders, but only for emergency services and outpatient care.
“It is always difficult to decide how to allocate limited resources, and the decision to make changes to the Eating Disorders Program was not made lightly,” Shoemaker wrote. “Overall, this decision will allow UI Health Care to serve the greatest number of Iowans with acute mental health care needs.”
As of Sunday, over 7,000 signed a change.org petition to save the UIHC Eating Disorder Program.
Shoemaker wrote that UIHC will still receive emergency medical treatment for eating disorders, but will be referred to community services for ongoing support once their condition is stable.
“UI Hospitals & Clinics remains committed to providing compassionate specialty care to patients with eating disorders. The Eating Disorders Program will continue providing a range of services for people with eating disorders, including an intensive partial hospitalization program, as well as outpatient services.”
UIHC did not respond to additional requests for comment from the DI to clarify its initial statements.