Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy Baghdassarian.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Tammy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started working in this field at The Bella Vita under Dr. Patricia Pitts, who was a pioneer in eating disorder treatment that the community, unfortunately, lost suddenly last year. I was lucky enough to work closely with her for five years. She quickly saw something in me and allowed me to have a big part in opening up residential treatment programs, transitional livings, and outpatient programs. I was involved in all aspects of the business; from marketing to website development, to program development, licensing, and accreditation. I’m so lucky I had the opportunity to learn all aspects of the business so early on in my career.
After I left The Bella Vita, I had the opportunity to consult at multiple different programs working on licensing, accreditation, and program development. I had the incredibly unique experience of being able to see how the programs were being run and advocate for change and forward progress. I quickly realized, though, if I wanted to push for massive change in how eating disorders were treated, it would need to be something completely new.
Two friends of mine were equally as passionate about really shaking things up, so we started working on Keystone. It took about five years, tons of research, and calls with industry leaders to see how we could adapt intuitive eating for a more acute population. We knew we wanted Keystone to be in an area that is accessible and could reach clients that would previously have had to travel further for treatment, we wanted it to be affordable, but most of all, we wanted it to be completely different and fully client focused.
Countless family members and friends volunteering their time reading plans, going through mock groups and programs, building furniture, shopping for supplies contributed to making Keystone the amazingly impactful program it is today. The love that’s gone into making this program a reality is something that every client feels when they walk through our doors, and that is what I am most proud of.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s not always been a smooth road; most eating disorder programs utilize meal plans or exchanges (which are kind of similar to weight watchers points) to make sure clients are eating what they need to be eating. Not using those means of weight management brought about a lot of unknowns, because we weren’t sure clients could be held accountable without that structure. We have had to adapt it for some clients, however, most clients have really stepped up and held themselves accountable because we aren’t being “the food police”.
While it’s not been without struggles, I am extremely grateful that the diversity in my background has prepared me to be flexible and adapt. The first year was difficult as it is for any new business, but what we are seeing is that the longer we have been open, the smoother things have become. Obstacles often take you in an even better direction than you could have hoped for!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Keystone Treatment specializes in eating disorder and mental health treatment for adult women and men. We provide flexible options for our clients so that they can remain in their normal lives as much as possible, We offer Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, and traditional outpatient options. We keep our groups small, no more than 6 in a given group so that we can really individualize our care.
There are many different ways we can customize our clients care so that it fits into their lives. We’ve found that clients do much better when treatment fits into their lives rather than taking over. Ultimately, not one client has had the exact same program as another. We strive to have really customized care, including individual therapy, family therapy, dietitian, psychiatrist, and your primary care doctor. We also offer phone coaching, so when clients are not on site, they are able to call their therapist for skills coaching. This helps them generalize the skills they are learning in program and actually apply it.
We focus on intuitive eating, which is incredibly unique for eating disorder programs. Instead of telling clients what to eat, we teach them how to connect with their hunger/fullness, become comfortable eating everything in moderation, and eat mindfully. The clinical staff works with clients to recognize why we are or are not identifying as being hungry, how to exercise in a healthy way, and reject this notion of diets being the way to achieve your goals.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great environment for new companies to flourish. Unfortunately, resources are always needed for additional mental health support in the Los Angeles area and the more providers there are, the more options there are for clients to truly find the best fit for them.
- Address: Keystone Treatment
3151 Cahuenga Boulevard W, Suite 335
Los Angeles, CA 90068
- Website: www.KeystoneTC.com
- Phone: (213) 361-4505
- Email: info@KeystoneTC.com
- Instagram: KeystoneTreatmentLA
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/KeystoneTC
Frederick H. Balian