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RecoverED Eating Disorder Services earns state Center of Excellence designation

RecoverED Eating Disorder Services recently earned a first-of-its-kind designation from the Missouri Eating Disorders Council.


Feb. 28, 2024

We are thrilled to announce that RecoverED Eating Disorder Services recently earned a first-of-its-kind designation from the Missouri Eating Disorders Council. RecoverED has been named a Center of Excellence for treating eating disorders!

RecoverED, along with the Reconnect Program at the Ozark Center in Joplin, are the state’s first two eating disorder outpatient treatment programs in Missouri to earn the honor.

The news comes as we honor Eating Disorders Awareness Week, from Feb. 26-March 1. Across the U.S., someone dies every 52 seconds from an eating disorder, and only one in five people who have an eating disorder are receiving treatment for it. These are statistics that the team of 10 therapists, two dieticians, one youth community support specialist and two psychiatrists at RecoverED are working to change, said Stephanie Robbins, Program Coordinator (pictured below).

Stephanie Robbins, RecoverED Program Coordinator

Robbins’ passion for helping others stems from a lack of options that were available to her when she needed help, and her commitment to ensure no one in need is faced with barriers to care that she was. “I had a history of an anorexia diagnosis throughout childhood into adulthood,” Robbins said “I was born and raised in Springfield, and when I finally decided that I needed to get some help there was only one therapist in town who specialized in EDs, and there were no treatment facilities within a three-hour radius of Springfield (KC, St. Louis, Tulsa).

“My struggle motivated me to go back to school and finish my degrees so that I could work on making positive changes to treatment options for EDs in this area. From the time I entered treatment until I graduated with my master’s degree was exactly five years, almost to the day.”

Robbins shaped the RecoverED program with support from Brightli CEO CJ Davis. “He heard me and connected me with leadership who could help me build a program that has a solid foundation and would be something the people in our area could count on as a solid and dependable group of specialized clinicians.”

RecoverED’s Outpatient Program launched in February of 2020 with a total of four therapists and a dietician. As the team has grown, so has RecoverED’s reach. There are now intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) for adolescents and adults, and, in mid-March, RecoverED will begin offering virtual IOP services.

As a Center of Excellence, RecoverED trains and utilizes a multidisciplinary team to treat each patient, and integrates individual therapy, group therapy, dietician appointments, psychiatry, case management and healthcare home services into treatment plans.

The Missouri Eating Disorders Council (MOEDC), which honored RecoverED, resides under the Missouri Department of Mental Health and in 2010 began its mission to increase awareness and improve access to treatment for Missourians suffering from an eating disorder. Since its inception, the MOEDC has been focused on two programs: Training Missouri healthcare providers in the diagnosis and evidence-based therapies for eating disorders and an online program proven to support those suffering with a self-guided treatment program. All programs provided by the MOEDC are free of charge to participants.

To date the MOEDC has trained over 600 healthcare providers and screened over 14,000 participants for the online program. The RecoverED team has participated in the MOEDC curriculum and has trained a treatment team based on integrated care and varying levels of treatment to address this complex and serious mental illness.

“We are incredibly proud of the work Stephanie Robbins and the RecoverED team has done to create a multi-disciplinary team focused on addressing the unique needs of those suffering from an eating disorder," said Annie Seal, Chairman of the MOEDC. "We believe the RecoverED team will ultimately save lives in an area that previously underserved those who were suffering.”

RecoverED specialists work hard to collaborate with primary care doctors, physicians within the ER and any other specialists our clients are working with, many of whom could not receive similar, specialized care for their eating disorders.

Roughly half of RecoverED’s clients are either on Medicare/Medicaid or uninsured. RecoverED provides many of these clients with life-saving care at a time when no residential facilities in the state readily accept Medicaid as payment for eating disorder treatment.

“That means that without our program people in MO who have Medicaid or no insurance do not have an option to receive help if they need something higher than an outpatient level of care,” Robbins said. “This is the second-highest killer in the mental health world, but it’s just being overlooked in so many ways.”

At RecoverED, Robbins and her team strive to make sure eating disorders are no longer overlooked. Congratulations to everyone at RecoverED for the work they’ve done to earn their honor as a Center of Excellence.

You can help the RecoverED team celebrate this honor by purchasing a RecoverED t-shirt during Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The sale of this limited run will conclude on March 3, 2024!


24-Hour Crisis Line

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis, please call our toll-free 24-hour telephone line. Our team can help provide immediate assistance.

Southwest Missouri: 1-800-494-7355

Central Missouri: 1-800-395-2132

National Help Line: Call or Text 988