Ohio Eating Disorder Clinic Achieves Gold Standard in Accreditation

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Athena Software is proud to celebrate its tenth anniversary by highlighting the stories and achievements of our clients. The majority of our clients are non-profit behavioral health and social services agencies, each making a valuable and measurable impact in communities around the world. We believe their achievements and contributions deserve to be more widely known. One such example is the Center for Balanced Living, a non-profit freestanding organization in Central Ohio that has become a recognized leader in evidence-based treatment, education, prevention and research in the area of eating disorders.

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"When patients and families are seeking care, CARF certification can give them some confidence in the quality of care they can expect."

It's an exceptional achievement for an exceptional organization.

On Dec. 5, CARF International announced The Center for Balanced Living, a Worthington, Ohio-based non-profit clinic specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, had been accredited for three years for their outpatient comprehensive services, their two Intensive Outpatient Programs for Eating Disorders (IOP) and their Partial Hospitalization Program for Eating Disorders (PHP) and other mental health issues.

This represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and is the result of a five-year commitment by The Center to review, develop and implement CARF standards.

CARF is an independent, non-profit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that focuses on enhancing the lives of the persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

"CARF is the gold standard for excellence in organizational management and delivery of behavioral health program services," says Cheryl Ryland, chief financial officer at The Center for Balanced Living.

The three-year accreditation was achieved through a rigorous peer review process conducted by CARF assessors, who reviewed The Center's services on over 1,200 standards at all levels of care provided by the organization. Staff at The Center demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit Oct. 24 to 26 the organization's commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable and of the highest quality. The accreditation period is from October 2011 to October 2014.

"When patients and families are seeking care, CARF certification can give them some confidence in the quality of care they can expect. In the professional community, this is recognition and validation that our programs and services have met quality standards of practice," Ryland says.

CARF surveyors identified 22 strengths at The Center, including three areas where the organization exhibits exemplary performance, serving as national models for the identified services in specialized treatment of eating disorders.

The Center was found to be exemplary in the following areas:

  •          Training and education opportunities offered to staff
  •     Provision of education and activities that promote the elimination of stigma around mental health issues
  •     Development of processes that adhere to research guidelines and ethics where clients are involved.

Among the strengths identified by CARF assessors were The Center's global presence in the treatment of eating disorders, including a presentation made by the organization's CEO and founder Dr. Laura Hill at the International Academy of Eating Disorders in Salzburg, Austria in 2010. Surveyors also cited the 2011 Lori Irving Award for Excellence in Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness given to Hill at a ceremony in Hollywood, California by the National Eating Disorders Organization in October.

In CARF's listing of The Center's strengths, surveyors noted "the persons served are the driving force for the entire program. They consistently express satisfaction with services and staff and view their experience as life-changing and literally life-saving."

As part of the accreditation process, CARF may recommend changes to programs at an organization -- The Center for Balanced Living received no recommendations for changes to their PHP program and no changes to either IOP program or any of their outpatient services.

Specific services for which The Center received three-year accreditation were:

  •          Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (adults)
  •     Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (children and adolescents)
  •     Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (adults)
  •     Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (children and adolescents)
  •     Partial Hospitalization: Mental Health (adults)

For more information on The Center for Balanced Living, please visit http://www.centerforeatingdisorders.org.
For more information on the CARF accreditation process, please visit http://www.carf.org.


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Cheryl Ryland

Neil McDonald
Athena Software
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