Adolescent Medicine

In less than a decade, the number of children under the age of 12 admitted to the hospital for eating disorders rose 119%.

Unfortunately, for many decades in Oklahoma, financial support was not readily available for adolescent medicine programs. As a result, these programs diminished in number and quality. During the period following the Oil Bust of the 1980s, adolescents received inadequate care due to the condition of programs specific to their generation. Skilled clinicians with eating disorder expertise are essential to diagnose and treat, but eating disorder specialists are not available in many communities.

Until our Eating Disorder program opened last year, many families had to leave Oklahoma for treatment because Oklahoma did not have a medical and behavioral sciences program that effectively diagnosed and comprehensively treated adolescent eating disorders for both males and females. Led by Dr. Amy Middleman, Chief of the Adolescent Medicine, the new Eating Disorders Program has been designed to be patient-centric, family-supported, and have a developmentally appropriate approach to recovery. The process includes medical, mental health, dietary, nursing and physical therapy components combined with access to Child Life and pastoral care professionals.

The Inpatient Program

The inpatient program consists of comprehensive care which supports a balance of managing health while remaining engaged in routine, everyday activities. Programming will be designed for children, adolescents and young adults 10-23 years of age. Parents and siblings are considered part of the treatment team and will remain with patients, as developmentally appropriate, to aid patient recovery.

The Outpatient Program

The outpatient program consists of comprehensive care through: individual and family therapy, dietary education, and consultation and medical services, including medication management. Appointments in the Adolescent Medicine Clinic are coordinated to minimize time missed from school and activities. Patients are seen by the physician, therapist and dietitian in the same afternoon.

The Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action estimates that as of 2014, at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States. These struggles affect every aspect of life and sometimes end tragically. The mental anguish of an eating disorder is tremendous and persists beyond the medical consequences; co-occuring depression and anxiety are common. While treatment can take months to years, early intervention and appropriate treatment improve the prognosis for a full recovery.

• Those with eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
​• Eating disorders affect medical health and may ultimately lead to heart failure, organ failure, malnutrition and suicide
• The mortality rate for adolescents with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old
• Anorexia nervosa is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
• The number of children under the age of 12 admitted to the hospital for eating disorders rose 119% in less than a decade

Together, we have the opportunity to pioneer a new era in health care for the adolescents of Oklahoma by ensuring a quality diagnosis and treatment program is available close to home. With your financial support of Children’s Hospital Foundation, you will be safeguarding the health and well-being of the community by helping to establish a critically needed program of care.

Support Adolescent Medicine and help keep Oklahoma's kids healthy.


Gifts to Children’s Hospital Foundation will positively affect lives---and save lives, too---for many years to come. Your investment will help to strengthen care, deepen sacred encounters and enhance the health of our community. Your support will help to provide advanced care and advanced healing--benefiting you and those you love.

For more information about you can help, contact Kathy McCracken, Executive Director at 405-271-2260 or via email at Kathy-McCracken@ouhsc.edu.