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Joining the Eating Recovery Center Family: Reflections from Theresa Fassihi and Deborah Michel

Eating Recovery Center of Houston's Theresa Fassihi, PhD, and Eating Recovery Center, The Woodland's Deborah Michel, PhD, CEDS, reflect on their experiences in joining the Eating Recovery Center family of programs.

Theresa Fassihi, PhD: I have been fortunate to do what I love for 16 years.  That’s how long I’ve been treating eating disorders and working with a team.  It just got better in June when our independent program, Houston Eating Disorders Center, joined the family of programs that make up Eating Recovery Center.  Calling it a family of programs fits for me because I feel like I have a great team here, and now, in addition, access to great clinicians and experts all over the country that I can call on for ideas, support and collaboration.  We also visit each other’s sites so we can get a first hand look at how other teams work together and develop great programming.  Fun and educational! HEDC was a well-run program, I think, with a great staff and total commitment to our patients.  We were CARF accredited and we took insurance.  Now, as ERC, we have access to much more sophisticated operations and all the clinical expertise of ERC, so we can offer so much more to Houston, a city that needs and deserves great care. This is pretty amazing, but it just got even better ---our esteemed colleagues at The Woodlands Eating Disorders Center have just joined the ERC family.  I have always had the highest respect for Deb Michel and her team and now I get to work closely with them every day.  Together, we can be an even greater resource for Houston and build and expand programs more quickly, with more convenient access for more people. I have to say, it can be a bit overwhelming at times to think of the possibilities… But in a very cool way. Deb, what do you think?  Deborah Michel, Phd, CEDS: I couldn’t agree more!  Like Terry, I have been privileged to accompany patients and their families on the journey of recovery for over 23 years.  It truly takes a village to combat such complicated illnesses and being part of the ERC family expands our village with the wealth of resources Terry already mentioned.  Our team in The Woodlands now hopes to further expand services so that we can reach even more individuals and families. Recently, Terry and I sat in my office celebrating this collaboration as well as reflecting on other joint efforts.  Both of us are founding members of Houston Eating Disorders specialists and serve on its board.  Both of us are former Co-Chairs of the Academy for Eating Disorders Advocacy and Communications Committee and continue to be active in other committees.  Finally, though we each led independent programs prior to joining ERC, we always worked together in the best interest of patient care, regardless of which program someone attended. So, yes, I think the possibilities are pretty amazing…

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