Residential Treatment

Residential Treatment:

Rogers is a comprehensive psychiatric hospital, nationally recognized for specialty residential treatment programs for eating disorders, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders for children, teens and adults.

Life. Worth. Living.

September 14, 2016 - 2:55pm

Christo Rey High School Draft Day 2016Four students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Milwaukee have joined the staff at Rogers Memorial Hospital–Brown Deer as part of their work/study program this school year. Through the nationwide network of 32 Cristo Rey schools, students receive professional work experience and defer the cost of their education by working one to two days per week at local businesses.

“We’re so excited for Rogers–Brown Deer to be a part of this program and get to know our students on a personal level,” says Carole Carter-Olkowski, academic and community engagement liaison at Rogers Memorial Hospital. “Our two high school freshmen and two sophomores are helping out in our staff development, purchasing and dietary and food services departments.”

According to staff, the Cristo Rey students and their enthusiasm have been a breath of fresh air. “They have been excellent,” says Ryan Geller, manager of culinary and nutritional services at Rogers–Brown Deer. “They have spent their first few weeks learning about Rogers and our services, along with what goes into the daily operations of a hospital.”

The students’ tasks include cost comparison, data entry, spreadsheets and invoices; filling orders; making deliveries; helping facilitate employee orientations and other administrative duties. “Often when students consider healthcare positions, they think they can only be a doctor or nurse,” says Carter-Olkowski. “But this program allows them to see the variety of positions involved in healthcare—especially the behavioral aspect—such as social work and counseling.”

Cristo Rey reports 32 percent of their 2008 graduating class have earned bachelor’s degrees, which is twice the national average for low-income students. “It’s important for us to help develop their skills, build their resumes and motivate them to attend college,” says Carter-Olkowski. “If they already have a sense of a career path they’d like to take and solid work experience, they’re more likely to finish college.”

But how do high school students prepare for these positions? In a five-week summertime business boot-camp, students receive training at Manpower, a human resource consulting firm. “Many of the students are already computer savvy,” says Carter-Olkowski. “But through Manpower, they receive additional technical classes in Excel, Word and Outlook, as well as confidentiality training through OSHA. At Rogers, they continue their training and gain lifelong skills.”

This August, Cristo Rey held a sports-inspired Draft Day, a special event where students found out which businesses they would work for. “To make sure each student has a positive experience, they complete a resume describing their interests and previous work history, and Cristo Rey matches them with an employer,” says Carter-Olkowski. “It was a really special day and we made Rogers hats and t-shirts with their graduation dates on the back.”

For Rogers, the Cristo Rey program offers a way to develop and keep valuable talent. “Next year, the students will decide if they’d like to remain at Rogers or experience a new business,” says Carter-Olkowski. “Sometimes, businesses offer their students internships or part-time positions because they’re so pleased with their work.”

Next year, four to five teams of students will also work at Rogers–Oconomowoc. “Now that more businesses in the area are participating, Cristo Rey will be able to bus students further west,” says Carter-Olkowski. “Our Oconomowoc managers have shown high interest in the program and we’re considering positions in our human resources, staff development and revenue cycle departments.”

Before officially joining the program, Brown Deer staff members were able to hear from Cristo Rey graduates who are now employed locally, as well as from employers who participated in the program last year. “It’s so inspiring to see the program keeps giving back to the kids,” says Carter-Olkowski. “The students build lasting relationships with their employers and as one of the leading behavioral health systems in the United States, I’m proud we can give back to the community in this way.”

Overall, there is a sense of excitement for what this new partnership will bring, especially among the students. “Everyone is very welcoming and take their work seriously,” says Jacki, a Cristo Rey student. “I really respect the work they do here at Rogers and I know this experience is going to be one for the books.”

September 6, 2016 - 8:10am

By Michael M. Miller, MDMichael M. Miller, MD, medical director of Herrington Recovery Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital–Oconomowoc

While methadone, naltrexone and other medications were approved decades ago to treat alcohol, opioid and tobacco use disorders in the United States, the controversy surrounding their inclusion in treatment plans unfortunately still remains.

Some clinicians believe medications are never appropriate and they simply substitute one addiction for another. Some grudgingly accept them as part of current approaches. Others view them as a major advance and new opportunity that wasn’t previously available to help individuals with substance use disorders. However, recent research and policies from professional and government organizations, such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), explain the best patient results occur when integrating medications and psychosocial treatments. In short, these methods are better together and the mindset that one is the right method is not helpful.

As clinicians, our own biases should not deprive people of alternative treatment options. To address this issue, a committee of national experts through the American Medical Association (AMA) developed performance measures for addiction treatment. Those measures state that every patient with an opioid use disorder should be informed by their clinician that both counseling and medications are available treatment methods.

Currently in the United States, most residential facilities for substance use disorders treatment don’t allow medications and some feel very strongly about defending the 12-step recovery method. At Rogers’ residential Herrington Recovery Center, we incorporate the 12-step recovery method and encourage involvement in 12-step groups. But, we also offer other evidence-based therapeutic methods in combination with medication management because we believe addiction treatment should not be an either/or approach to care.

Supporting the patient

We clinicians realize that many people with a history of prescription drug abuse don’t trust themselves with medications because they’re afraid they’ll lose control. But with structure and support from a well-informed treatment team, patients will be able to develop the confidence they need. Talking out the situation with the patient is also helpful, because it decreases the chances that he or she will act on those thoughts.

So how can we, as clinicians, provide the support our patients need and develop a balanced method for prescribing opioids? The AMA suggests developing a clear understanding of:

· The various forms of patient pain

· Addiction and the range of substance use conditions

· Balanced prescribing practices

· Connections among drug availability, patient vulnerability and addiction

· Improved pharmacotherapy of pain and pharmacotherapy of addiction

Of course, no one treatment works for every patient and medications are absolutely not a universal solution. Doing the hard work of therapy in combination with medication is the best, scientifically proven approach.

August 9, 2016 - 9:27am

Rogers InHealthIn a recent article published by Healthcare Business Insights (HBI), Rogers InHealth was acknowledged for its efforts reducing mental health stigma, prioritizing the voice of lived experience and improving quality of care through an evidence-based model.

“It was an honor for Rogers InHealth to receive recognition from HBI, considering their reputation for spreading best practice research and implementation resources across the healthcare industry,” said Suzette Urbashich, co-director of Rogers InHealth. “It’s a sign that we’ve been using an effective method to help people improve their outlook on mental health and eliminate the shame or stigma they were once challenged with.”

TLC4, the evidence-based model InHealth is based in, was originally created by the Illinois Institute of Technology and partnering behavioral health organizations. “TLC4 stands for: targeted, local, credible, continuous and change-focused contacts,” says Urbashich.


Targeted Contact
For people to feel comfortable reaching out for support and resources, our community must become aware of their biases toward people with mental health challenges. “People tend to experience stigma in different sectors of the community, such as a health care, faith-based, schools, workplace or civic groups,” says Sue McKenzie, co-director of Rogers InHealth. “Identifying sectors of our community that have a big impact on people’s lives and then targeting efforts to work directly with these sectors is crucial to any effort to increase inclusion and effective support.”


Local Contact
Every person has a method for learning which works best for him or her, because we process information differently. For InHealth, that means tailoring their approach for the various groups they serve. “One approach for reducing mental health stigma may not translate the same in a different community,” says Urbashich. “For example, we’re going to create a much different plan for Crivitz than we would for Racine, based on the different cultures of those communities.”


Credible Contact
Whether discussing mental illness or another topic, it always helps to talk to someone who genuinely understands what you’re feeling. “As humans, we’re more likely to accept what someone has to tell us when it comes from a trustworthy peer,” says McKenzie. “Someone who is a member of the targeted group will have the most profound impact on the rest of the group and will more easily shift others toward a more recovery-focused way of thinking.”


Continuous Contact
“When you’re trying to change the way you’ve been thinking about mental health for years, it takes more than just one event to change your mindset for life,” says Urbashich. Continuous contact emphasizes planning that offers many opportunities to get to know people in recovery over an extended period of time as a way to effectively change the way you perceive those with mental health challenges.


Change-focused Contact
The real test to determine if the targeted group has reduced their stigma during the process is to see if they act differently. “We might encourage a group to partner with local mental health groups, host a support group, or participate in another activity that has them spread the message they’ve come to accept,” says McKenzie.

“As we’ve offered consultation on the application of the TLC4 model to communities, they have found it to be very helpful guidance as they make plans to increase inclusion and support for all facing mental health challenges,” says Urbashich. “We’re looking forward to the positive mental health stories we’ll spread and the lives we’re going to touch in the future.”

August 1, 2016 - 2:38pm

Barry Thomet, IOCDF Service AwardOn July 30, Barry Thomet, local outreach representative, received the Patricia Perkins IOCDF Service Award at the 23rd Annual OCD Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The award recognizes Thomet’s advocacy and dedication to individuals with mental illness and addiction through more than 20 years of service at Rogers Memorial Hospital. As the marketing liaison for the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), he’s made it his personal mission to acquire as many resources as possible to improve the lives of children, teens, adults and families affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

“Over the years, Barry has blazed a trail,” says Stacy McGauvran-Hruby, director of marketing at Rogers. “He served as Rogers’ first community outreach representative and spread the word about Rogers’ first OCD partial program, contributing greatly to the record number of people served.”

Not only is Barry invaluable to those he serves, but he’s a joy to his colleagues. “Barry’s overflowing, warm personality is contagious and his passion for helping those in need is inspiring,” says Jerry Halverson, MD, medical director of Rogers Memorial Hospital. “He’s gone above and beyond to ensure families experiencing a mental health crisis receive a clear picture about what they can expect in treatment at Rogers, as well as other local and national providers.”

“A little known aspect of Barry's work is that he is a great steward of treatment in general, not just Rogers,” says Paul Mueller, chief executive officer of Rogers Memorial Hospital. “His lightheartedness is complemented by the gentle demeanor he has with those who reach out to him. He knows the difficulty and challenges that individuals with OCD and other mental illnesses face, which makes him one of the best resources for guidance and understanding.”

Thomet also serves on the board of directors of OCD Wisconsin, an affiliate of the IOCDF. Last summer, OCD Wisconsin created a scholarship for local high school students with OCD in his name.

“It’s said that ‘everyone knows Barry,’” adds Mary Jo Wiegratz, national outreach manager. “Whether talking with a caller on the phone, touring a visitor, or connecting with patients and professionals who see his friendly face at the IOCDF annual conference, Barry Thomet has touched a lot of lives and made a difference.”

July 20, 2016 - 12:11pm

Theresa Rogers understood the benefits of gardening in the healing process. The wife of Rogers’ founder, Mrs. Rogers created a magnificent garden which, in the 1920s, drew busloads of people to visit what is now Rogers Memorial Hospital–Oconomowoc. Rogers was known throughout the Midwest for its beautiful landscaping and two miles of natural gardens.

Rogers in the 1920's

Rogers Memorial Hospital circa 1920.

Mrs. Rogers planted a living legacy which endures today. However, it took the perseverance of Rita Nolte to return the gardens to their glory and set the stage for an even greater vision which continues to evolve.

When Rita joined Rogers in the 1990s as a patient assistant, the gardens were dreadfully unkempt. She wanted our patients to have a serene view that could bring peace to their often chaotic health situations.

Moving Into Action

In 1990, Rita’s role was to monitor her patients’ emotions and assist in therapy. She would often look out the windows of the main hospital down into what was then called the kitchen garden, which was filled with raspberries, rhubarb and other produce grown in the era of Dr. and Mrs. Rogers.

But in 1990, the kitchen garden had grown wild. Rita was worried about what patients and visitors would think of the sight. “When patients are in distress, they don’t need more chaos,” she says. So, beginning in 1991, the then-patient assistant began volunteering two hours per day, two days per week pulling weeds with her own tools in what is known today as the center courtyard.

Finding Others Who Believed in the Mission

In 1992, Rita found two volunteers; she needed additional hands if big changes were ever going to be accomplished. “They did this all on their own time,” she says. “It was a real commitment by people who saw the spiritual nature of gardens, plant materials and how it could renew people,” she says.

Volunteers were given a free plant for every 2 hours of their time. “That particular practice is what I used throughout the rest of the restoration process,” she says, “If people helped, they went home with a plant.”

Rita took on another garden in 1993 located next to an old barn on the property, while still continuing to work on the center courtyard. By this time, Rita formed a sub-committee of volunteers and began planning a barn sale in September of that year to collect funds.

By 1994, Rita was forming a new dream and began collecting input for redesigning Rogers’ largest gardens—the Theresa Rogers Gardens. She formed a full committee to create an implementation process and in April, they held their first official meeting. By May, the center courtyard was complete and had a vegetable garden, grass center, flower bed and picnic tables for staff and patients to eat their lunches and enjoy the peaceful natural space. It was a total transformation from the weed-ridden patch Rita once looked at from the hospital’s window.

Original Urn

One of the original urns.

At the end of May, Rita spaded and weeded the front yard of the hospital. She planted flowers in two large empty concrete urns sitting at the hospital entrance, which were original to the grounds. Today, the urns, other original pieces and plants can be found in the Theresa Rogers Garden.

The Infancy of Horticultural Therapy at Rogers

In March 1995, Rita was approached by leaders of the adolescent residential program who found many teens enjoyed the outdoors and wanted to help Rita garden.

“Spending time in the environment was enjoyable for the patients,” she says. Adolescents wanted to help with everything from hauling brush to pulling weeds, all to enjoy the benefits of fresh air and planting.

Rita Takes her Cause to the Board

Rita made an appointment with the Rogers Memorial Hospital Board in April 1995 as her funds from the barn sale were quickly dwindling and she needed additional help to continue restoring the gardens to the original splendor that Theresa Rogers created. She explained her philosophy to the board, as well as the healing and spiritual properties of the gardens, saying, “We have 56 acres of property, we have trees, we have lake frontage, we have small ponds, but we have rack and ruined gardens.”

To Rita’s surprise, the board awarded her a large contribution for the renovation, which greatly surpassed her initial goal. She used these funds to maintain the landscapes she had created and worked diligently with patients and volunteers to keep up with the gardens.

In 1999, Nolte was awarded an even larger donation from the board and finally had enough funds to begin carrying out her master plan for the Theresa Rogers Gardens, which included a traditional English style matching the heritage of Dr. and Mrs. Rogers. The design process began that year and was developed by Margaret Harvey, landscape architect of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Dorset, England.

Keeping the Gardens Traditional

Like Dr. and Mrs. Rogers, Rita has English heritage. In 2000, she traveled to England for an authentic experience of English culture and to study the traditional gardens for her work in Oconomowoc. “Sometimes, we had to find similar alternatives to the English plants because the climate is different in Wisconsin,” Rita says.

Realizing the extent of the work ahead of her, in 2000 Rita moved from her recently acquired position in the purchasing department into a solely gardening position. She worked four to six hours per day, five days per week from March until November on her life’s passion of transforming the gardens to their full potential, which was finally reached in 2001. “Early on as a child, I read hero stories and I really wanted to do something to make a difference in this world, and I truly didn’t know that this was it until it was done,” she says.

Working in the gardens wasn’t just smelling the roses. The biggest challenge Rita faced was getting water access in the gardens. Before a pump was installed in 2012, she and other volunteers had to haul hoses to the gardens.

Stature dedicated to Rita

Statue dedicated to Rita Nolte.

Rita’s Final Reflection

Volunteers and patients not only helped build the gardens, but many have experienced the healing properties of nature that Rita stands by. She says one patient told her, “Pulling these weeds is like pulling the trouble out of my life.”

Another patient made discoveries about her own perfectionisms by working in nature. Rita notes, “She learned some plants die no matter what you do, and that’s not failure, that’s just the natural life cycle of a plant,” says Rita. “You can do the best you can and things don’t always turn out. She knew the gardens were still beautiful even though they may have had a few weeds or dead flowers.”

Rita credits her passion and knowledge of gardening to the teachings of her mother, grandmothers and grandfather. Regardless of the amount of time and work she put into the gardens at Rogers Memorial Hospital, she insists,

“The real story is the garden, I just happened to be in it and it was my privilege.”

July 1, 2016 - 8:46am

Eric Storch, PhD Rogers Behavioral Health’s Tampa, FloridaNashville, Tennessee; and Skokie, Illinois; locations offer a variety of partial hospital and intensive outpatient programs for children, teens and adults with anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. The Rogers’ teams, however, often find their patients also dealing with comorbid conditions related to anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are quite common among youth and adults and these disorders frequently co-occur with disordered eating behaviors,” says Eric Storch, PhD, clinical director of Rogers Behavioral Health–Tampa Bay and a Morsani College of Medicine professor. “Although exact prevalence rates are difficult to specify for many reasons, we receive many calls from individuals seeking treatment for comorbid eating and anxiety symptoms.”

Matthew Brown, DO, child and adolescent psychiatrist of Rogers Behavioral Health–Chicago, explains that disordered eating habits can develop from a person’s fears. “Many eating issues stem from some sort of anxiety, such as feeling too fat to be loved, nervous that he or she will never be loved or desiring to be the ‘perfect’ weight,” he says. “Many eating disorders are about control and control tends to be driven by anxiety.”

But do anxiety disorders always revolve around food? “Youth and adults presenting for intensive treatment of anxiety disorders at our regional locations display a wide variety of difficulties. These difficulties range from social difficulties; to fears of specific places, people or things; to nearly anything imaginable,” says Joshua Nadeau, PhD, clinical supervisor of eating disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder services at Rogers–Tampa. “Eating disorders—that is, anxiety manifesting as disordered associations with weight, body shape, or eating habits—are one example of impairment related to anxiety.”

Dr. Storch explains that there currently is not enough research in the field to explain the cause of comorbid anxiety and eating disorders. “To some extent, we focus very little upon the ‘why’ of the disorder and very much upon the ‘what now’ in terms of setting goals and helping our patients to reach them,” he says. “Our treatment program focuses upon providing skills training, reducing ‘maintaining factors’ (those things in your environment that reinforce disordered eating behaviors) and providing ample opportunities for practicing the adaptive skills in multiple settings.”

According to Dr. Storch, it’s important that comorbid conditions like eating disorders and anxiety are treated at the same time. “It is not enough to simply change the specific eating disorder behaviors, as the incorrect thought patterns associated with anxiety will more than likely manifest in other areas, and decrease the patients’ motivation for change in the future,” he says. “Our treatment of eating disorders and comorbid anxiety addresses the full range of complexity that people with these problems experience with the goal of healthy lifestyle, happiness and improved quality of life.”

“The Rogers regional programs represent a shift towards more evidence-based methods of addressing patients with anxiety disorders that manifest in disordered eating behaviors,” adds Dr. Nadeau. “Specifically, our programs utilize an adaptation of extended cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to provide education, teach and build skill competencies in problem areas, ‘defusing’ maintaining factors and building generalization across settings through significant amounts of skills practice.”

Rogers offers one of a few eating disorder programs that practice not only evidenced-based treatment for eating disorders, but we also have experts in evidenced-based treatment for anxiety as well. “Here we are able to treat the whole patient with the goal of placing them in control of their own lives and teaching them that they can be healthy and they can be successful if they are willing to invest in themselves,” says Dr. Brown.

June 23, 2016 - 10:57am

Compassion FatigueEvery day, patients with trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), courageously work with therapists, nurses and other professionals to decrease anxieties surrounding horrific events. Over time, the trauma patients endure and the anxieties that come along with it can become harmful for care providers.

“Secondary PTSD, or compassion fatigue, are non-clinical terms used when describing distress caused by treating the trauma of others,” says Jennifer Parra-Brownrigg, professional adult counselor at Rogers Memorial Hospital–Brown Deer. “Unlike burnout, compassion fatigue occurs between the provider and the person they’re caring for, not between the provider and their job expectations and employer.”

In her first position out of graduate school at a women’s crisis center, Parra-Brownrigg found many staff members gravitating to her to share their concerns. “In a crisis center, the client can release the anxiety, whereas staff were bottling tension as long as they’ve worked there,” she says. “After really listening to their worries and watching them become run down, I wanted to find ways I could help and became more interested in secondary PTSD.”

Parra-Brownrigg offers presentations to nurses at Moraine Park Technical College. “Nurses, along with therapists, have historically been some of the most prominent professions with a high turnout of secondary trauma,” she says. “I offer techniques for dealing with the incredibly difficult things that we hear and help with on a regular basis, because we can’t assume they’ll go away on their own.”

Skills Parra-Brownrigg teaches to prevent compassion fatigue include:

  • Developing clear boundaries between work and home
  • Building a strong connection with other treatment providers
  • Keeping a list of self-care activities
  • Using personal values as foundation for motivation
  • Getting to know yourself, how you grieve and what you can control
  • Mindfulness activities

Parra-Brownrigg would also like to offer support her colleagues. “Hopefully we will be able to incorporate yoga, mindfulness walks or other self-care techniques into our work routine in the near future.”

PTSD therapists can rely on one another. “We can ask ourselves how we can be more effective in helping each other stay strong as a team,” says Parra-Brownrigg. “Accepting our limitations is difficult.”

Parra-Brownrigg says her goals are to first educate and then create preventive action. “We’re so present with our patients that we can’t help but invest part of ourselves,” she says. “We can refill our energy and lean on each other to stay strong, focused and able to provide care for the long-run.” 

June 20, 2016 - 1:36pm

OCD Awareness Walk 2016This Saturday, 20 Rogers Memorial Hospital team members participated in the second annual OCD Awareness Walk in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The two-mile walk around Fowler Lake was hosted by OCD Wisconsin, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).

Rogers was the lead sponsor for the event. Nicholas Farrell, PhD, clinical supervisor at the residential Eating Disorder Center, offered a few words before the walk.

Emphasizing the seriousness and prevalence of the disorder, Dr. Farrell explained OCD affects the overall quality of life of many families every day. “Most recent estimates suggest that OCD is present between 2 and 3 million American adults,” he says. “That’s roughly the population of Houston, Texas.” Approximately 1 half million American children and teens also have OCD.

“There is hope and with everyone’s efforts at this walk, we can spread the message that people are not alone in their struggles and there are several effective treatments available,” says Dr. Farrell.

A student with OCD was also awarded the $500 Barry Thomet Scholarship for her outstanding success in school and perseverance in treatment.

June 14, 2016 - 8:05am

Psychiatry residents treating eating disordersAccording to Mental Health America, eating disorders may occur with a wide range of other mental health conditions, including anxiety disordersdepression and other mood disordersposttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders. Because these conditions are commonly co-occurring, psychiatrists will likely have a patient who has an eating disorder at some point in their career, regardless of discipline.

Over the past four years, the eating disorder inpatient unit at Rogers Memorial Hospital–Oconomowoc has accepted four to six Medical College of Wisconsin residents for four-week elective rotations. In psychiatry, residency programs are four-year commitments. In July 2015, the Medical College approached Rogers to create a more formal agreement allowing eight residents each year to participate in a required eating disorder rotation at Rogers during the residents’ third year of training.

Mara Pheister, MD, director of residency education in psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin, says the relationship benefited both parties. “We found Rogers’ eating disorder unit to be very unique and one that we don’t have any experience with in our program, so that seemed to be something that would work well for both Rogers and the Medical College,” she says.

A recent graduate of the Medical College residency program was also coming on board at Rogers. “It was helpful that Dr. Elizabeth Hamlin, an adult psychiatrist here at Rogers-Oconomowoc, was also joining our team right as she was finishing up her own residency,” adds Brad Smith, MD, medical director of eating disorder services. “She was interested in helping train the residents and we knew she would be well-versed with the program. It all just came together at the right time.”

Even though the residents are only at Rogers for a few weeks, they gain a large amount of experience. “Our residents primarily work on the eating disorder inpatient unit because there is a higher flow of patients than in our lower levels of care, which creates more learning opportunities,” says Dr. Smith.

“The inpatient unit is also a familiar level of care for psychiatry residents, who typically come to us with extensive experience in various inpatient psychiatry settings,” he says. “They are very accustomed to the general work flow and demands of an inpatient setting, and now get to experience how to provide treatment for individuals with eating disorders in that level of care.” The psychiatry residents also gain experience in the residential level of care which is less familiar to them.

Residents are evaluated on their performance on the unit by Dr. Smith and Dr. Hamlin. “Each resident is assigned four to six patients to follow closely and keep the same normal routine that an attending psychiatrist would,” says Dr. Smith. “That includes labs, charting, vitals, medications and reviewing what has happened with each patient over the last 24 hours with Dr. Hamlin.”

Not every resident will treat eating disorders in their professional career. “Even if the residents aren’t planning on going into eating disorder work, we hope they have a positive experience with us and may find another area of psychiatry they would like to practice at Rogers,” says Dr. Smith. “They get an opportunity to see a very structured way of delivering cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and experience a private hospital setting, which may be different than their other experiences.”

“It’s a great setting to learn and increase their understanding about how exposure and response prevention (ERP) works in eating disorders treatment,” adds Dr. Hamlin. “Our treatment also has a strong focus on experiential therapy.”

Overall, the program helps residents become more familiar with the very best of the community’s resources. “The majority of our residents stay in the Milwaukee area to practice, so it’s important for them to have working knowledge of the different treatment options and systems that are available in our area,” says Dr. Pheister. “Each system participating in the program has different strengths, so it’s especially helpful for the residents to learn in the different areas of expertise at each location.”

But what do the residents think about the program? “Since the residency program at Rogers is still new, we’ve only had about six residents rotate through so far, but the response has been very positive,” says Dr. Pheister.

Marc Gunderson, MD, a current resident with the Medical College, is among those who value their residency program at Rogers. “I have a new appreciation for the pathology and comorbidities associated with eating disorders,” he says. “I have a better sense of what treatment for these patients involves and will be better able to assess whether a patient requires an increased level of treatment.”

The challenging experience helps residents prepare for conditions they will likely encounter. “This is a pathology we get little exposure to on many of our other rotations,” says Dr. Gunderson. “Eating disorders are complex and often comorbid with other disorders, which makes for multi-faceted treatment.”

Dr. Hamlin explains that the residents are educationally prepared, but have not had much previous experience working with patients with eating disorders. “All the residents know how to talk to patients and handle medications, but not all know eating disorder pathology or how to approach patients separately from their disorder,” says Dr. Hamlin. “They’re surprised about the variety in each patient’s eating disorder. Each disorder is as different as each person.”

In a world where face-to-face psychiatry is getting harder to find, the additional time spent with psychiatry residents most importantly helps patients. “They feel good that someone is learning from their journey with an eating disorder and they really benefit from the extra one-on-one time with another clinician,” says Dr. Hamlin.

Rogers partners with various universities, colleges and professional organizations to offer graduate placements and practicums in multiple disciplines throughout the system.

June 10, 2016 - 8:45am

Stephanie Eken, MD and Amy Mariaskin, PhDHosted by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), the 23rd Annual OCD Conference gathers a unique group of researchers, therapists, families and individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) from around the globe to share research, techniques and personal experiences with OCD. Over the years, acceptance to present at the conference has become more competitive and attendance has steadily risen.

For this year’s conference in Chicago, Ill., IOCDF received 400 proposals for 140 available workshops, support groups and evening activity slots. Fifteen Rogers representatives will present, including Stephanie Eken, MD, regional medical director, and Amy Mariaskin, PhD, clinical co-director of Rogers Behavioral Health–Nashville.

Sharing New Resources and Experiences

“There are few OCD providers spread out across the country and even across the world,” says Dr. Mariaskin. “We rarely have an opportunity to be in the same place and share knowledge.”

Both doctors have previously presented at the event and enjoy gathering new, enriching knowledge each year—and sharing it as well. “It’s important for us to present because Rogers offers levels of care that very few in the country provide,” says Dr. Eken. “I’ve presented to both clinicians and families because each group wants to know what the treatment experience could be like.”

In addition to academic and clinical presentations, the family member and personal testimonies keep the true purpose of the conference at the forefront. “I love to hear the parent and child presentations,” says Dr. Eken. “I think they’re amazing.”

A Preview of Select Presentations

In collaboration with other professionals, Dr. Mariaskin will help children develop their own powers in the workshop “Superheroes vs. OCD-Villains: Using ACT to Conquer OCD.” “The workshop is based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and this will be the second year we’re offering it,” she says. “Kids will get to build their own masks and see themselves as superheroes after we give them tools to fight their OCD. Last year the kids had a great time.”

With their peers, Drs. Eken and Mariaskin will also present “Treatment of OCD in Young Children.” “As hard as it is to get anyone on board with treatment that requires confrontation with feared stimuli, with kids it’s even more difficult because they live in the moment,” she says. “It’s hard to convince children that facing their anxiety—which feels terrible at the time—will help them feel better in the future. We will talk about these challenges in treatment and how to make it fun and developmentally appropriate.”

Symptoms of OCD can also present differently in children than in adults. “It’s developmentally appropriate for children to have some rituals and strong preferences,” says Dr. Mariaskin. “We’ll offer advice on how to tease out these symptoms from typical development.”

In the presentation, Dr. Eken will discuss medications for children with OCD and how to avoid overprescribing. “Sometimes, children are given medications that could probably be avoided if therapy was also a component of their care,” she says. “We’ll also offer creative ideas for getting a child to take their medications.”

In a second presentation “Family Accommodation in Children and Adolescents with Co-Occurring OCD and Anxiety and Depressive Disorders,” Dr. Eken will discuss how parents can limit accommodation to their child’s disorders. “So many people with OCD have depression related to their lack of regular functioning,” she says. “We’ve offered a presentation on this topic a few years ago, but now we have more data and research to offer.”

Go online for a complete schedule of Rogers’ OCD Conference presentations.

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