Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research

Rady Children's Hospital Medical Behavioral Unit (MBU)

Rady Children's Hospital and UCSD have joined forces to open the only child and adolescent medical/psychiatric inpatient unit in San Diego. The primary purpose of this unit is to provide multidisciplinary treatment to children and adolescents with comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions. Psychiatric evaluation and treatment will be supervised and directed by Jeff Rowe, MD, who is board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. The Nursing Director is Erin Costa, BSN, MAS. MBU is staffed by a combination of professionals with medical expertise and with mental health and behavioral experience, including specialized experience with eating disorders. Staff includes nurses, social workers, licensed psychiatric technicians, dietitians and physicians from the hospital, adolescent medicine and child psychiatry services.

Eating Disorders
:  Our Medical Behavioral Unit has dedicated inpatient beds for medical stabilization of patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and related eating disorders. This includes those with abnormal cardiovascular function or those who are severely underweight and require nutritional restoration under expert care. These medical services are also available to young adults.  Our understanding of the cause of eating disorders is changing. Considerable recent evidence shows that working in alliance with the family significantly improves outcome and reduces relapse. Thus, after medical stabilization we offer a transition to the UCSD Eating Disorders Family-Based (Maudsley) Treatment Program which is located at Rady Children’s Hospital. 

The eating disorders program is led by world-renowned experts in eating disorders: Walter Kaye, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, and Kerri Boutelle, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine. Medical treatment for eating disorders is managed by UCSD adolescent medicine specialists Joyce Adams, MD, and Karen Loper, MD.

Once admitted, the eating disorders team provides: