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The Kartini Difference

At Kartini Clinic we do aspire to be different. It begins with your very first phone call to us. We work very hard to answer each and every call with a real live, caring human being. You won’t get an answering machine or phone queue because we know that every call to us is vitally important. We understand the urgency you feel when it comes to your child’s health. That’s why we often spend a great deal of time answering questions during the initial intake process, including what we like to call the Top Three, or Everything You Wanted to Know About Eating Disorders (but were afraid to ask!):

  1. Is this going to work (and how)?

  2. How long will it take?

  3. How much is it going to cost?

All families deserve honest answers to these important questions. That’s why every new family at Kartini has the opportunity for an individual, in-person consultation with Kartini Clinic’s founder and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Julie O’Toole. Unlike most programs, we never admit families to our program over the phone. You will always have a chance to meet with a Kartini pediatrician before any treatment begins.

Our Treatment Philosophy

Another distinct difference is Kartini Clinic’s treatment philosophy. Since our founding in 1998 we have always practiced in the knowledge that parents don’t cause eating disorders and children don’t choose to have them. Thankfully even the National Institutes of Mental Health now agree with us. See Dr. Tom Insel, director of the NIMH on this crucially important scientific understanding of eating disorders such as anorexia as highly heritable brain circuit disorders.

We don't place our children on psychiatric wards or utilize surgical interventions. We begin with prompt, adequate weight restoration as the essential first step in effective treatment. This is followed by individualized psychotherapy to treat the whole child, not simply one or more of their eating disorder symptoms. Our overriding treatment goal is to secure lasting remission of eating disorder symptoms, allowing patients and their families to return to their own communities.

Family-Centered Care

Kartini Clinic has always practiced family-centered treatment. Parents are and always have been an integral part of our treatment team, and are involved every step of the way, at all levels of care. We work together to secure lasting recovery for your child.

Evidence-based Treatment

Kartini Clinic pioneered the medical model of pediatric eating disorder treatment. When we began treating children in 1998 very few programs even acknowledged eating disorders to be biologically based, much less provided evidence-based treatment for them. Fortunately, scientific evidence is now unequivocal. Eating disorders are biological illnesses of the brain. They are not a flight from trauma, a socio-economic syndrome, or a creation of our popular culture. At Kartini Clinic we don’t believe that “underlying psychological factors” explain the causes or symptoms of eating disorders, and the best available scientific evidence also does not support this out-dated - but still prevalent - theory.

Today Kartini Clinic is once again at the forefront of treatment innovation through the use of cutting-edge pharmacogenomic and metabolic testing, combined with our proven clinical track record of weight restoration and experience in treating more than 3000 children.

Dedicated Treatment Program

Unlike most eating disorder treatment programs, our program is a dedicated pediatric program. Treating children and young adults (from 6 to 22 years of age) is all we do!

We don't mix our patients with those who suffer from substance abuse or other behavioral health diagnoses. We focus exclusively on children in order to provide them and their families with the very best care to be found anywhere in the country. Our staff includes two full-time physicians, board-certified in pediatrics.

And your child will only ever be seen and treated by Kartini physicians at all levels of care, including hospitalization. Our doctors work together with our staff of expert psychotherapists specifically trained in family therapy and family-centered treatment of eating disorders.

Insurance and Cost of Care

We understand only too well that insurance is often a source of concern to families. Our intake coordinators and insurance specialists will do everything they can to verify your insurance benefits before your first visit. We also work hard to coordinate care with your doctor or current treatment team.

The Bottom Line

In the end, the most important thing is the quality of care your child will receive. When it comes to treatment, we apply only one standard: is this a program we would be happy to send our own children to? This is the standard we hold ourselves to and expect to be held to by our families.

Which is why we like to say that at Kartini Clinic we treat every child like our own.

If you are seeking eating disorder help or would like more information about any of our eating disorder programs, call us on 503 249 8851 and ask for our intake coordinator. For your convenience, you may also submit an online request below. We answer all requests promptly.

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