RWJUH Somerset Opens Newly Renovated Eating Disorders Unit

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has completed renovations of its eating disorders unit, unveiling an expanded state-of-the-art facility creating a supportive environment for patients' treatment and recovery. RWJUH Somerset’s eating disorder program, part of RWJBarnabas Health’s Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, is one of only two inpatient eating disorder programs in the state.

With the renovations, the unit has expanded its capacity from 14 to 20 beds. Designed specifically to help promote healing, wellness and recovery, the unit features research-based design elements such as nature-based lighting that mimics daily changes in sunlight, curved lines, and references to nature. These design elements follow patients from the unit's common spaces into the newly renovated patient rooms.

Adults and adolescents struggling with eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders, have different care and treatment needs. RWJUH Somerset’s eating disorders unit is the only inpatient eating disorder program in New Jersey that includes separate designated spaces for adults and adolescents to better address their unique needs. Additionally, many spaces in the renovated unit were designed with flexibility in mind and can be configured to accommodate a mix of uses and group activities.

“Eating disorders affect more than 28 million Americans and cases have significantly increased over the past few years due to stress and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among teens and young adults,” said Frank Ghinassi, PhD, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Addictions Services and President and Chief Executive Officer of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. “Eating disorders, if left untreated, can be life-threatening illnesses and in some cases, patients are also coping with other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. That’s why comprehensive medical care is so important.”

“Our newly renovated unit was designed to give patients a sense of calm, comfort and safety as they go through treatment,” said Christine Belluardo, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. “Our multidisciplinary team understands the physical, mental and social needs of our patients and helps them develop their inner resources, allowing them to carry the tools they learn with them long after leaving the program to sustain their recovery.”

For more than two decades, RWJUH Somerset's nationally recognized eating disorders program has offered a multidisciplinary team approach to address the biological, psychiatric, psychological and social issues related to eating disorders. In addition to inpatient care for ages 14 and older, the hospital offers partial hospitalization care and intensive outpatient care. The program’s comprehensive services include individual, group and family therapy; medication management and education; nutrition education; nursing education; self-help groups; occupational therapy; and creative arts therapy. All groups, classes, appointments, and care are led by board certified doctors, an advanced practice nurse, therapists, and trauma informed clinical care professionals.

For more information on RWJUH Somerset’s Eating Disorders Program, visit