Hope and help from our admissions department

Thursday, Apr 13  •  


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.

The right “fit” between a program and a patient is incredibly important.

We encourage patients/caregivers/families to call and ask questions. Asking specific questions to any eating disorder program you are researching is critical and empower everyone involved in the treatment process.

Examples of questions we encourage and often hear are:

  • What sets your program apart from other programs?
    • Avalon Hills treats to outcome. I’ll be honest, I naively assumed that all programs treated their patients until they were better and discharge was appropriate. Sadly, as I have taken admission calls I have too often heardfrom patients and families that are seeking treatment as they were only at a program for a couple of days to weeks and their insurance stopped covering and they were discharged-Often that same day! Avalon Hills works hard to keep our patients in treatment despite the barriers that insurance often presents.
    • Other than treat to outcome I would say we are different in how we combine experiential work into more ‘traditional’ therapies. The program is rich with experiential work that helps our patients move from the information and insight stages they go through and move into new experiences to help them successfully make the transition to recovery.
    • Our applied neuroscience department is fully integrated into our treatment team.We acquire a qEEG (brain map) at admission, 30 days, and at discharge.This brain map is then utilized to provide individualized neurofeedback specific to the needs of that individual’s brain patterns.
    • Private ownership allows us the flexibility to be driven by clinical outcomes rather than timelines or the bottom line of a large corporation.
  • Insurance questions such as: what happens to me or my loved one when insurance denies residential care and I am not ready to discharge? What does it mean to use my out of network benefit? Can I go out of network and still get insurance coverage?
    • I am amazed at the hard work and efforts that everyone goes through to help our patients get coverage. Since all insurance companies and benefits vary from patient to patient we check each person’s benefits individually and provide information to them on what to expect.
  • How is the family involved throughout the treatment process?
    • Family support and involvement is important and often critical to our patient’s treatment. Our hope is to provide enough information to the families to help them feel as though they are part of the team. I love how Avalon Hills tries to partner with support systems in our efforts to move towards sustainable wellness. Families often need help and support too. We try to provide recommendations for their own work when indicated.
  • How does Avalon Hills transition from residential care to lower levels of care? How will I transition effectively to outpatient care?
    • One of my favorite things that I like to talk to people about is our graded transition process for patients as they move towards stepping down. I love that we encourage home passes for our patients so that they can have real home life experiences to help gauge readiness to discharge. I have heard from families that have completed the program that this aspect was so helpful and supportive.
  • Do my outpatient providers at home play a role with my team during my residential treatment stay? What if I don’t have outpatient providers at home with experience in eating disorders care when I discharge?
    • Yes, providers at lower levels of care have to be involved in the process of residential treatment.Avalon Hills does a pre-admissions clinical and medical clearance process for each of our patients prior to admission. Clinical information gathered by a licensed professional is an important step in our admission process.
    • We do our best to keep outpatient team members updated and ready to receive their patients back when they are stepping back down.I personally appreciate that I get the opportunity to talk to many of the outpatient providers before their patients admit to our program.

Also, I wish I could help people understand that there will be days in treatment, no matter the facility, where hopelessness and despair invade the mind and soul. Eating Disorders are serious mental health conditions that require extensive treatment. But, with the expertise a committed skilled program offers-you can recover.

Not only is it important to feel that Avalon Hills is the best fit for you, we want to know we are the best fit for you as well. Given that there are different levels of care for the treatment of eating disorders. We want to ensure you are at the proper level of care by consulting with you and/or your outpatient provider.

What happens when you have made the decision to admit…

Once a patient has made the decision to admit to Avalon Hills we have you complete an online application. This allows us to gather information and further get to know you so we may advocate for you and coverage for treatment with insurance.

We work hard to help you understand your insurance benefits and understand any other financial considerations to allow you to make an informed decision prior to admission to Avalon Hills.

Many people who contact us have had prior failed treatments. This can be a great source of discouragement. Thomas Edison said- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

So please keep fighting (from what we have heard recovery is totally worth is) and if residential treatment is a fit for you, we want to be a resource.