Lesle Dickey

Assistant Director of Programming

At Avalon Hills we provide nursing staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our nurses work as a cohesive team, which enables us to be fully present for the needs of our patients. Over the past several years, our team has been fortunate to work closely with Dan Siegel, internationally-renowned expert in Interpersonal Neurobiology, to better understand the inner workings of our patient’s minds. Throughout our time with Dr. Siegel we have discussed in depth how we can foster a secure attachment with your loved ones.
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Tags : Seen, Safe, Soothed, Secure
Category: Medical

DeeDee Parry

Admissions Coordinator

I have been working at Avalon Hills for 11 years. I started in the Direct Care Department which was an incredible experience. I got to see with my own eyes how the program worked, how it helped our patients, and what things were especially difficult. As I transitioned into the admissions department I was able to use that knowledge to help educate patients and families so they understand what to expect in the treatment process. I really appreciate being able to help patients and family members through their questions as they make the life changing decision to admit to residential treatment.
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Make peace not war…

Posted on Apr 04, 2017

Rachel Rood

Lead Dietician

A common response I often hear when people find out that I’m a dietitian is: “you must eat so healthy!” And I feel like I do, but probably not in the way that they are thinking. I love fresh fruit, a good quinoa salad and grilled fish, and I also enjoy french fries, ice cream and brownies. I strongly believe that all foods can fit in the definition of a “healthy” diet, which boils down to the basic nutrition principles of balance, variety and moderation.
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Hannah Sawitsky


For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the brain and how it impacts and is impacted by human behavior. Right now, my brain is reviewing memories, making sentences out of ideas, and controlling my fingers as I type on the computer. These tasks rely on the functioning of individual neurons (brain cells) as well as the larger structures they form in the brain and connections throughout my brain that allow it to function as a whole. Not only is my brain using its existing framework to create my thoughts and behavior it is also constantly forming new connections and adjusting its functioning based on experience. This is called neuroplasticity, a concept that describes the human brain as “changeable, malleable, modifiable” (Doidge, 2007).
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Chad Speth

Primary Care Provider

Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any of the psychiatric illnesses. They affect every organ system in the body. As I stated in my first post, many of the symptoms of an eating disorder go unrecognized by healthcare professionals. Increased awareness of the effects of eating disorders on the body is vital to helping those who suffer with eating disorders get the help they need.
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Susie West

Neurofeedback Technician

One of the unique things about Avalon Hills is the integration of biofeedback and neurofeedback training into our program. Biofeedback in general, refers to taking the trainee’s biological data, such as heart rate or skin temperature, and translating them into meaningful information, often in the form of games or other visuals. Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that uses the electrical activity of the brain as the biological input. The reason that biofeedback is such an integral part of treatment at Avalon Hills is because of the powerful insight it provides our clients. Our emotional world and physical state are inextricably linked and biofeedback gives us a glimpse into the connection between the two.
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Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Posted on Mar 06, 2017

Jill Jensen

Case Manager

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week has come and gone, but raising awareness about Eating Disorders is something we can do any day of the year. While working at Avalon Hills, I have become more aware of what this week truly means to me. In the past, I would see and sometimes read interesting and insightful articles or videos about Eating Disorders (ED) on social media. The past few years during NEDA week have been different. This week in particular has been a special time of reflection and encouragement, and I seek to know how to further support individuals in all different stages of an ED.
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Kori Astle

Case Manager

Most people know that exercising can help you improve your health, reduce stress, and stabilize mood. However, as with all good things, when used improperly or excessively you can actually cause more harm to your body and mind through misusing exercise. When patients first arrive at Avalon their relationship with exercise is often very clouded. I hear the patients talk about how they used to enjoy movement but their eating disorder twisted exercise as a way to burn more calories, isolate, and avoid being in their bodies and feelings. Learning to shift away from these thoughts and establishing a balanced mind-body connection allows the patients to enjoy the benefits of exercise in a healthy way.
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Supporting the recovery process

Posted on Feb 08, 2017

BreAnne Noland

Case Manager

I first learned about Avalon Hills while taking a physiology course at Utah State University and was immediately excited to apply. Unfortunately, I am no stranger when it comes to the topic of eating disorders. While growing up, my oldest sister had an eating disorder and it was very difficult to witness this. I have worked at Avalon Hills for over five years now and initially, I quickly learned that the position of being a direct care can be exhausting, yet very rewarding. As direct care we are hired to interrupt symptoms of eating disorders and model appropriate interactions between food and exercise.
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Category: Recovery

Mind, Body, and Recovery

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

Taylor Bird

Yoga Specialist

Yoga is the act of union, where we create connection and let go of separation. Yoga provides a safe and grounding space to explore the connection of the embodied brain-mind and body together. Yoga also offers a place to unwind and release through growth and understanding.
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treat to outcome




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