Last updated June 28th, 2021
A message from The Emily Program
Clients, Families and Friends,
We are continually monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and its spread. We know this crisis creates many anxieties and concerns. The Emily Program is committed to supporting clients, families, and staff as the situation evolves.
The Emily Program’s top priority is the safety of our clients and staff. We have implemented and are continually updating policies and processes to ensure that our sites and programs continue to create a safe care and work environment.
We offer telehealth services for OP, IOP, and PHP/IDP, preserving the integrity of our clinical care while allowing us to serve clients from their homes for these levels of care. Our residential programs remain open to serve clients needing that level of care. We have also added PHP/IDP programming back on-site at many locations, so clients have the choice of either in-person or telehealth programming. We continue to take stringent precautions around screening and enhanced preventative behaviors at our treatment sites.
On 5/13/21, the CDC issued guidance changing restrictions on mask-wearing and physical distancing for people who have been fully vaccinated. These changes are possible because vaccinations allow us to return to many activities safely. Although the CDC guidance does not apply to healthcare settings, The Emily Program has updated our safety protocols related to masks and social distancing for both clients and staff who are vaccinated and clients who are unvaccinated. Please refer to The Emily Program’s Safety Protocols document for full details.
Our task force of medical, clinical, and executive leadership meets daily, and as needed during each day, to ensure safety, update plans, institute new procedures, answer questions and keep all staff, clients and families informed. These efforts are working to ensure our teams can access the latest information and act quickly. We continue to take stringent precautions around screening clients entering treatment, enhanced preventative behaviors, and are ensuring we are informed regarding appropriate community resources.
Lastly, we are heartened by and so appreciative of the community support we’ve received in support of our continued delivery of care. From families sewing and donating hundreds of cloth masks for use by staff to help keep them protected while they are out in the community getting groceries to distilleries donating gallons of their newest product – hand sanitizer – to make sure we have an adequate supply, we know that the work we do is wholeheartedly supported by the communities we are honored to serve.
We will continue to ensure that we have the safest environment possible for all.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Medical leadership staff will be available to address any questions or concerns you may have:
Pacific Northwest: Kathleen Fugere, ARNP-BC Kathleen.Fugere@emilyprogram.com
Midwest: Mary Bretzman, M.D., Mary.Bretzman@emilyprogram.com
East: Mark Warren, M.D., Mark.Warren@emilyprogram.com
The Emily Program is committed to keeping clients and staff safe, keeping our sites open and continuing to provide essential and exceptional care to clients struggling with eating disorders.
We have established a COVID-19 Task Force which includes executive leadership, clinical, medical and operational staff. The task force meets regularly to monitor frequently fluctuating recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization and other resources to ensure our policies and procedures meet the latest guidelines to limit exposure to the virus. Our goal is to implement the most clinically-appropriate plans to detect, protect and respond should anyone in our care show symptoms of this virus.
Refer to The Emily Program’s Safety Protocols document for details.
Telehealth services are offered for intensive outpatient and day programs (PHP/IDP and IOP) and individual outpatient sessions to reduce traffic in and out of our sites and prevent the spread of infection.
These information sheets detail the telehealth process for intensive programs:
Visit our telehealth page for more information on services.
We have added in-person PHP/IDP programs back in many locations, including:
Telehealth services also continue to be available for intensive programming.
If I have a fever and cough should I still come to treatment at The Emily Program?
No, we are screening clients and these symptoms would indicate you should be home and resting until you are fever-free for 72 hours and no longer have a cough. We are screening all clients staff and visitors. Signs are posted at all entrances that ask clients, staff, visitors, and others not to enter if they have signs of illness (such as fever or cough).
Will I be asked to wear a mask if I attend treatment in person?
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated clients and staff are required to wear a face mask in public common areas. Vaccinated clients are not required to wear a mask while with other individuals who are also vaccinated, or in individual appointments. Vaccinated clients must continue to wear a face mask if unvaccinated individuals are present. Unvaccinated clients will continue to be required to wear a face mask at all times, except while eating/drinking or spending time alone in a private office.
How will COVID protocols at The Emily Program be impacted by the CDC guidance changes issued on 5/13/2021?
The CDC issued guidance changing restrictions on mask-wearing and social distancing for people who have been fully vaccinated. These changes are possible because vaccinations allow us to return to many activities safely. The CDC made clear that these recommendations do not apply to healthcare settings. The Emily Program has updated current safety protocols including those related to masks, distancing, screening, testing, and hygiene for both vaccinated and unvaccinated clients and staff. Like many healthcare providers, we will continue to evaluate the guidance and determine what we can change in the coming days and weeks. We are committed to keeping you updated as soon as we have more to share.
Can The Emily Program test for coronavirus at our sites?
No, all testing is done through the regional health departments in collaboration with the CDC. We do not have these capabilities and will direct clients to a medical healthcare facility.
Are clients and staff required to be vaccinated?
No, we are not requiring COVID-19 vaccinations at this time for staff or clients. We will, however, be tracking whether staff and clients are vaccinated so that we can keep people safe. We are working to determine our system to track vaccination among staff and clients. We will share more information on this system as it is ready.
How can I get vaccinated?
We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. Please contact your health provider or go online to search for vaccination availability near you. COVID-19 vaccination is free and/or covered by insurance. The Emily Program is not offering vaccinations.
Can visitors still come to The Emily Program sites?
Residential clients may have up to 2 visitors (parent/legal guardian, partner, sibling, etc.) visit at any given time. Visitors will be screened when scheduling the visitation. Visitors will be required to wear a face mask while in public common areas. If both the visitor(s) and client are vaccinated, masks are not required during family sessions, visiting hours, or while preparing, plating, or consuming meals and snacks. If the visitor(s) and/or the client is unvaccinated, masks are required to be worn for the full duration of the visit, and the visitor and client must remain physically distanced. We are supporting virtual visits to continue to support clients and families through these exceptional times.
Which levels of care are available in-person at this time?
Residential treatment takes place onsite. We are currently in the process of adding in-person PHP/IDP programs back in many locations. IOP and individual outpatient services are still being offering exclusively by telehealth. Call 1-888-364-5977 to learn what is available in your area.
Why did you decide to start offering in-person PHP/IDP again?
We believe we have the ability to offer in-person services safely by deploying numerous safety features including screening, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene/cleaning procedures, mandatory mask-wearing, and small group sizes. Given that in-person care can be delivered safely, and at the same time, many people prefer to receive services via telehealth, we are offering both options to meet the array of client needs.
When will you reopen for IOP/OP levels of care?
With the help of feedback from clients and staff, we are in the process of developing a plan for reopening that ensures we are doing everything possible to keep our clients and staff safe. The timeline for reopening may vary by site and/or state. We don’t anticipate a sudden shift back, but rather a period of time during which clients and staff can adjust to resuming in-person care, as needed.
Will my insurance continue to cover telehealth treatment?
We understand that insurance coverage for telehealth may be a concern. We do not yet have clear information on whether insurance providers will change their telehealth coverage policies. If there is a shift, we do expect to have adequate notice so we can, in turn, give adequate notice to our clients.