Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at McCallum Place Eating Disorder Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at McCallum Place Eating Disorder Center.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

For Professionals

At McCallum Place, we appreciate the work you do with patients suffering from eating disorders. It is our primary goal in working with you that we maintain communication with you regarding your patient’s health. As your partner, we are committed to keeping you informed on your patients status while in the care of a McCallum Place program. Upon discharge from our program, we will provide all necessary paperwork to ensure a smooth transfer back to your care.

We provide many continuing education opportunities for medical and clinical professionals interested in receiving additional education in the field of eating disorders. We are also happy to discuss how to screen for medical complications of an eating disorder and how to evaluate which level of care is most appropriate for your patients.

Signs of an Eating Disorder

  • Unexplained weight loss or drop off in weight percentile
  • Weight loss more than expected in given period of time (if trying to lose weight or needs to lose weight)
  • Menstrual irregularity/amenorrhea
  • New bradycardia
  • Hypothermia
  • Unexplained electrolyte disturbances
  • Increased focus on exercise
  • Parental concern

When to Consider More Intensive Eating Disorder Treatment

  • Patient not making progress with recommendations (i.e., cannot gain recommended weight, unable to cut back on exercise)
  • Family stress not resolving with support
  • Physician unable to provide desired medical or psychiatric monitoring
  • Lack of good resources for multidisciplinary treatment or unable to establish solid outpatient treatment team
  • Weight loss ongoing or stagnant
  • Bradycardia, hypothermia, electrolyte disturbances not improving with outpatient treatment
  • Needs more than 1x/week monitoring

Tips for Working with Patients with Eating Disorders

Many adult patients with Eating Disorders do better if they do not know their weight early in treatment. Desensitization to weight is difficult and most Eating Disorders come with a fear of fat, preoccupation with body checking and rejection of natural body weight targets. Exposure to weight can precipitate restriction and increase dangerous behavior.

Recommendation: Weigh in gown, do not share weight with patient, and communicate info with outpatient therapy team.

If you know a patient has an ED, it is not typically helpful to say that the weight is “fine” or that you don’t see why they need treatment.

Remember – EDs can cause medical complications at any weight. It is important to understand that a severe energy imbalance along with electrolyte abnormalities, hypoglycemia, and poor cardiac out- put all contribute to ill health.

Remember – Even overweight patients may restrict, vomit, or use laxatives.

  • Don’t over focus on lab results as a sign of medical stability. Patients may misread this as a green light to continue dangerous behaviors.
  • Dietitians who work with ED patients should have special training in eating disorders to help address food rituals, screen for macro/ micro nutrient deficiencies, set weight targets, and guide re-feeding.

Remember – Many patients with AN need higher calories to even maintain weight, sometimes greater than 4000 calories per day.

  • Comments such as “That’s a lot of calories” aren’t helpful. It is best to explain the possible reasons for this apparent hyper-metabolic state.
  • Do not assume that high weight patients are over eating or need cut back on fat. Many are eating very little fat and are already restricting calorie intake.
  • Weight loss for overweight patients is difficult even for those are very motivated.
  • Asking about typical eating strategies and exercise load is the best way to understand barriers to change.

Recommendation: Attend a weight sensitivity training. Help reduce weight based shaming.

I really appreciate that the staff validates my thoughts and feelings before trying to work on them. They don’t just say ‘that’s irritational, just stop!

– A Former Resident
Marks of Quality Care
  • Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa
  • International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
  • RenewED, Eating Disorders Support
  • Residential Eating Disorders Consortium
  • Washington University in St. Louis