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ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health

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ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health

The ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders offers comprehensive stabilization and expert care for the most medically ill eating disorder patients in the country. ACUTE is uniquely tailored to help both males and females who cannot seek care in a traditional inpatient or residential treatment facility due to the severity of their weight loss or other medical complications. Led by renowned eating disorders expert, Dr. Philip Mehler, patients are offered the very best in medical treatment and stabilization, a compassionate & experienced nursing staff, individualized nutritional rehabilitation, daily psychotherapy and physical therapy and thorough discharge planning to help stabilize them medically on their path to recovery.

  • Males & Females, Ages 17+
  • Expert medical treatment, covered under the medical insurance benefit
  • Experienced 24-hour ACUTE dedicated staff on a specialized hospital unit
  • Highly individualized treatment planning and one-on-one care
  • Private patient rooms, attached private bathroom, wireless internet access, TV, DVD player, telephone and comfortable visiting areas.

Expert Staff

The ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders has a multi-disciplinary team of experts, all trained to work specifically with ACUTE patients to provide expert medical care and emotional support during this difficult period in the recovery process.

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS
Dr. MehlerDr. Mehler is the Director of the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders, Glassman Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado, and Chief Medical Officer of Denver Health. He earned his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1983 and has dedicated his career to the research and medical care of patients suffering from severe anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Dr. Mehler has authored over 300 publications including the textbook, A Guide to Medical Care and Complications (2010), and multiple articles on the medical treatment for the complications of eating disorders. Dr. Mehler is a member and Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders as well as the Eating Disorders Research Society. He has lectured extensively on a national and international level in this area. Dr. Mehler has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America for the past 13 years as well as multiple times by 5280 Magazine as the Top Internist in Denver.

Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS
Dr. GaudianiDr. Gaudiani is the Assistant Medical Director of ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders, hospital list at Denver Health, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado. She completed her undergraduate work at Harvard College, earned her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 2002, and completed her residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Yale. In her work with ACUTE, Dr. Gaudiani has lectured broadly on the topic of eating disorders and has published extensively on the medical complications of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. In her role as Assistant Medical Director of ACUTE, Dr. Gaudiani personally interviews all potential admissions, is one of five attending physicians for ACUTE patients, and acts as clinical liaison to update referring providers and coordinate transition of care.

Attending Physicians
Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS
Jennifer Gaudiani, MD, CEDS
Margherita Mascolo, MD
Carrie Brown, MD
Elissa Rosen, MD

Nursing Staff
Kim Carroll, RN, Nurse Manager
Experienced RNs
24-hour CNAs, Sitters

Susan L. Bennett, Ph

Registered Dietitians
Amy Winkelman, RD
Debbie Andersen, MS, RD

Physical Therapists
Beth Anne Carlson, PT, MPT, CSCS
Katherine Ogle, PT, DPT

On Call Specialists

ACUTE Highlights

Hospital Room at ACUTE CenterDepending on the severity of each patient’s case, typical length of stay is 14-21 days at ACUTE, with dedicated staff working to ensure continued authorization under the patient’s medical insurance benefit. During their stay, each patient receives:

  • Denver Health’s renowned quality of care
  • Daily rounds with attending internal medicine physicians with specific expertise in treating this patient population
  • 24-hour heart monitoring and the availability of 24-hour in-hospital physicians
  • 24-hour in-room certified nursing assistants (sitters) as needed to assure physical safety, prevent eating disordered behaviors, and provide continual patient support
  • Private meal time with supervision and encouragement
  • Regular individual sessions with a registered dietitian
  • Regular individual psychotherapy sessions
  • Three sessions weekly with a psychiatrist
  • 24-hour ACUTE dedicated nursing staff
  • Expert physical therapist evaluation and assessment of balance, fall risk and mobility along with reconditioning and muscle strengthening
  • Speech therapy with expertise in dysphagia and autophonia
  • Medial subspecialists on staff for daily consultation: e.g. endocrinology, neurology, gastroenterology, nephrology
  • Surgical expertise in placement of feeding tubes when needed
  • On-site intensive care unit

Admissions & Referral Process

Girl and Dietician Discussing Meal1.      To schedule an admission at ACUTE, call (877) ACUTE 4U to speak directly with an ACUTE team member. The admissions team will happily coordinate an assessment with the patient, family member or referring provider as needed. Patients do not need a direct referral from their primary care physician.

2.      The admissions team will conduct an initial assessment to gather a brief medical and psychiatric history and answer any questions about treatment at ACUTE.

3.      If the patient meets basic admission criteria, the team will begin to coordinate a timely admission, request medical records, and begin the insurance authorization process. If necessary, ACUTE’s Assistant Medical Director, Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, will call the patient to conduct a more in-depth admissions interview and answer any specific questions related to complex medical stabilization.

4.      Denver Health’s Private Patient Liaison (PPL) team will assist in coordinating the remaining details as well as the patient’s transportation to ACUTE. The PPL team will also assist in finding accommodations for family members and in coordinating private transportation from the airport, as needed.

Paying for Treatment

Treatment at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders is covered under the medical insurance benefit. The behavioral health benefit is reserved for transition to a long term inpatient or residential treatment facility for continued recovery.

Denver Health is contracted with most insurance companies and will assist in securing a single case agreement if necessary. Denver Health’s Private Patient Liaison team will assist patients and families throughout the process to secure the maximum benefit available. Please call 877 ACUTE 4U to start the admission process.

Location / Contact

ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health
777 Bannock St
Denver, CO 80204 (USA)
877 ACUTE 4U



Last Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on September 10, 2012

Page last updated: September 12, 2012
Published on, Eating Disorder Online Information

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