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What a difference a year makes

Dr. Neil Anzai
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Ontario Shores is quite fortunate to have Dr. Neal Anzai heading up our Eating Disorders Program. In this guest blog, he shares thoughts about his first year and a half with us as we mark Eating Disorders Awareness week.  

With the start of the annual Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), I thought it would be good to give everyone an update of the changes on the Eating Disorder Unit (EDU) at Ontario Shores. Spoiler alert; there is some good news at the end of this blog.

It’s been a little over a year since I arrived here at Ontario Shores in October of 2022. I recall that, on my arrival, I was immediately deluged with stories of the overwhelming challenges presented by very complex patients. Many of these problems stemmed from our referral process and we quickly realized we needed to refresh.

Over this past year we have dedicated resources to redesigning the EDU treatment program to better focus on our charge from the Ministry of Health:  To treat patients suffering from a primary Eating Disorder who have failed to benefit from available treatment.  We’ve initiated better pre-admission evaluations to confirm a primary Eating Disorder diagnosis and the likelihood of benefit from treatment.  The co-morbid diagnoses that our admitted patients suffer from are more likely to be amenable to Live-in treatment and we have enhanced our areas of expertise to treat these co-morbidities: depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD and PTSD. We have also responded to the fact that teenagers inherently need more structure and consistency in order to create a positive space for recovery. 

Looking to the future, we’ve recognized that we’ll need to focus more on outcome-based measures and results.  Towards this end, we’re diligently trying to increase our research capabilities with the goal of becoming the unquestioned leader in research on adolescents with eating disorders in Ontario.  

And now for the promised good news. New data has revealed patients who’ve graduated from our EDU in the past year are showing amazing progress. Stay tuned, we will be doing a deeper dive into the numbers and share the results with you in the near future including some wonderful testimonials from former patients. 

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