Treat to Outcome
Avalon Hills has a dynamic culture and “Treat to Outcome” is at its heart. One of the most common questions we get is ‘what is Treat to Outcome and why the paw prints?’
We define Treat to Outcome as a commitment to positive treatment outcomes that are sustainable when our clients return home. This commitment to sustainable success, is treating to outcome. We pioneered this concept to stop the revolving door of care among clients who so often cycle in and out of Eating Disorder treatment.
This definition may seem like a nice PR phrase and you may wonder how much we actually embrace it. For Avalon Hills, Treat to Outcome encompasses who we are, how we feel, how we treat patients and our advocacy efforts. We believe in it so much that we have trademarked the phrase.
We have made Treat to Outcome central to our philosophy because, sad to say, we have found that too many approaches to Eating Disorders merely focus on diminishing eating disorder behaviors before discharge, without also getting to the bottom of what causes the problem. Eating Disorders are often said to be behavioral disorders. But that is not all there is to them. People binge and purge, restrict food, or even starve themselves, for a reason. These behaviors arise from intentions, and not addressing these does not, in our experience, lead to sustainable progress.
Treat to Outcome allows the treatment team to design and follow a treatment plan . . . to the end. We don’t just treat the eating disorder symptoms. We treat the whole person. So we are not just suppressing symptoms, our goal is to help people to grow out of the need for them.
We’ve found that Eating Disorders are often caused by psychological blocks to healthy eating, personal development, and achieving one’s full potential. Often our clients don’t even know about these blocks when they come to see us. We employ all the known state-of-the-art techniques to diminish symptoms, but — even more important in the long run — we focus on these psychological issues and blocks. And when we do, we find that our clients grow and develop a newfound resilience and sense of self and have less need for Eating Disorder behaviors. Treat to Outcome means working with each client until she has developed the ability to transition to a lower level of care and sustain her progress through a graded transition back into her home environment.
While Eating Disorders have a lot in common, everybody is different, and so every treatment at Avalon Hills has a tailor-made component, unique to the individual. This approach gives us the ability to make changes to the plan as needed, follow up with patients, and help sustain their gains in the most productive way possible.
When we hire, we look for individuals who are attracted to our philosophy—because Treat to Outcome is woven into the fabric of the whole organization. From the leadership team, to the treatment team, to the business and billing office and throughout the rest of the organization, we remove as many barriers as we can to ensure positive outcomes for our clients. Ask any staff member at Avalon Hills what Treat to Outcome means to them and you will get a individualized answer, but find that all the answers have the same flavor. Our culture has created Treat to Outcome.
Why the paw prints? Avalon Hills has a love of animals and our four-legged friends have been with us since the beginning. We have found that horseback riding (the therapeutic way we teach it) and animal therapy help many clients to better empathize with not only the animals, but with themselves, and their bodily needs, with less negative judgment.
The paw prints are in memory of Bucky Bob, a Pixie-bob cat who helped us open the center many years ago. Their attitude, persistence, and love helped us coin a new term. When someone went the extra mile, or above and beyond, that person was being a ‘Bob.’ ‘Bob’ has become part of our culture, it is what makes us truly unique and it reminds us every day of our purpose, persisting until we get the proper outcome.