Project HEAL and Equip Announce 'Equipped to Heal' Scholarship Program
SAN DIEGO, July 13th, 2021 –– , a company that virtually delivers evidence-based eating disorder treatment to families at home, and Project HEAL, the only major direct service nonprofit in the U.S. focused on equitable healthcare access for people with eating disorders, announced a new scholarship program, Equipped to HEAL, which grants scholarships to five patients for one year of Equip treatment.
“While I started Equip to improve access to eating disorder care within the existing healthcare system, we still see people fall through the cracks every day, and that's why we're partnering with Project HEAL – to make sure we provide treatment to patients and families who otherwise wouldn’t receive it,” said Kristina Saffran, CEO and co-founder of Equip.
Founded in 2019 by Kristina Saffran and Erin Parks, Ph.D., Equip builds upon Family-Based Treatment (FBT) - a model which empowers families to help their loved ones through recovery - with a five-person dedicated care team, including a peer and family mentor, a medical physician, a therapist and a dietitian. Equip’s fully virtual platform allows families to arrange treatment to fit their schedules and needs.
Through Equipped to HEAL, Equip will be providing free treatment to at least five Project HEAL beneficiaries per year whose family is low-income or facing extenuating financial circumstances; experiencing medical or social discrimination related to their identity or appearance; and don’t currently have quality eating disorder treatment options through an insurance provider.
"We're so grateful to have committed, passionate, values-aligned partners like Equip to help us finally make eating disorder treatment accessible to those who the system is otherwise likely to fail. Mental health support and healing should not be a luxury of the privileged few," said Rebecca Eyre, CEO of Project HEAL.
Equip currently serves families in California, New York, New Jersey and Texas, and is in-network with Optum and Cigna with plans to expand its geographic and health plan reach throughout 2021. The company has seen remarkable outcomes in its first 6 months of treating patients. Nearly 60% of patients have reached their weight restoration goals and have experienced an improvement in EDE-QS scores, the clinically validated measure for eating disorders.
Of the 30 million Americans who will be diagnosed with an eating disorder in their lifetime, only 20% will access treatment. The reasons for this are complex, but a vast majority are related to systemic, healthcare, and financial barriers. Project HEAL is on a mission to change this - breaking down barriers to eating disorder treatment one patient at a time - so that recovery is accessible for all. With one person dying of an eating disorder every 52 minutes, we cannot afford to deny care to anyone who is ready and willing to heal.
Equip delivers modern eating disorder treatment through family-based care that promises lasting recovery at home. Created by experts in the field and people who’ve been there, Equip provides each patient with a five-person dedicated care team including a therapist, dietician, physician, and peer & family mentor.
Our vision is to equip every family with effective tools to confidently overcome eating disorders in a way that is accessible and affordable. We believe Equip is a better alternative to the status quo treatment options and we eliminate the various obstacles families face in treatment today.
About Project HEAL
Project HEAL is the leading nonprofit in the U.S. focused on equitable access to eating disorder treatment. Founded in 2008, Project HEAL has since expanded to include three direct service programs, innovative research, and advocacy work. Through cash assistance grants, a national network of treatment providers donating their services, and a national network of volunteers providing expert insurance navigation support, Project HEAL helps over 200 low-income and often marginalized individuals per year access life-saving treatment - for free. Project HEAL’s mission is to break down systemic, healthcare, and financial barriers to eating disorder treatment, and our vision is that everyone with an eating disorder has the resources and opportunities they need to recover.
Director of Marketing, Equip
About Lauren Gerber
Mental health has always been Lauren's professional north star. Prior to Equip, she was the Head of Marketing at Genoa Telepsychiatry and is currently pursuing an MSW at New York University.
Equip is a virtual eating disorder treatment program helping families recover from eating disorders at home. Equip’s holistic, data-driven, gold-standard care program is delivered by a team of five care professionals, giving families confidence they’re providing the best opportunity for progress and lasting recovery.