News & Events
ANNOUNCING THE OPENING OF OUR LINCOLN PARK OFFICE – JOIN US AT OUR OPEN HOUSE
SunCloud Health is pleased to announce we have opened a new location at 1840 N. Clybourn, Suite 500. Please join us for our open house on Friday June 22 from 4:30-7:30 pm where we welcome all who might be interested in learning more about who we are and what we do.
At SunCloud we ask our patients not just, “Why the behaviors?”, but also, “Why the pain?” We know the brain is inseparable from the body and the individual is inseparable from their environment. We know recovery is anything but easy, yet we know it is possible. Utilizing evidence based modalities such as 12 step, expressive therapies, DBT, process groups and psycho educational groups, we offer our patients the opportunities and the tools they both need and deserve as they work toward long term sustainable recovery.
Mark your calendar and join us!
Announcing Our New SunCloud Speaker Series called, “The Sky Is the Limit.”
In this series, SunCloud will be highlighting innovative speakers who promote wellness, inspire others through their stories, and remain true to their core values. Past and present patients, family members and select professionals are invited to attend.
Please Join us on March 9th at 5:00pm as we kick-off the series with our inaugural topic, “Where Recovery Meets Leadership,” by the esteemed Mr. Harry Kraemer, former CEO and Chairman of Baxter International, Professor of Leadership and Ethics at the Kellogg School of Management and author of two best-selling leadership books: “From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership” and “Becoming The Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership.” Harry serves on multiple national and international boards in the healthcare industry.
Mr. Kraemer’s story is one filled with lessons we feel can be useful to our patients and the behavioral health community at large. His teachings are rooted in four essential principles of leadership, and life. They are: Self-Reflection, Balance and Perspective, True Self Confidence and Genuine Humility. We will explore the way in which a life filled with balance, perspective, humility and integrity is the path we feel is critical to our patient’s long-term health and recovery. Additionally, it is also a set of traits and values which have proven to be at the core of Harry’s personal and professional life, including his success in running one of the world’s largest companies while remaining true to his core set of beliefs and values. Harry leads and lives with his choices aligned with his values, even in challenging times such as in 2001 when Baxter faced a major international crisis.
Please join us for a special evening full of hope and inspiration. We will serve food beginning at 5pm and Harry will begin speaking at 6pm. We will have time for questions following his presentation.
Please feel free to invite your colleagues, but space is limited, so please RSVP for your entire party!
Dr. Kimberly Dennis, founder, CEO and medical director of SunCloud Health, was a featured keynote speaker at the 18th annual Erin Leah Robarge Memorial Seminar, focusing on the issue of co-occurring disorders.
Watch the video or read the news below or click here to read the published page.
Treating an eating disorder is difficult enough. Throwing substance abuse on top of that can present additional problems.
Their daughter, Erin, who Barbara wrote a book about, died in the year 2000 at the age of 23 after more than a decade-long struggle with anorexia and bulimia.
“When donations came in in memory of her, we thought ‘What do we want to do to make her death somehow meaningful and have something positive come out of our experience and her short life?'” Barbara said.
They teamed up with Erin’s nutritionist to bring the annual conference to fruition and educate clinicians and family members on expanding their knowledge base on eating disorders and how to provide support.
“It killed Erin and it’s killed others and there just needs to be so much education and that’s what we set out to do,” Andrew, Erin’s stepfather, said.
Although Erin did not struggle with substance abuse as well, the conference covers a different aspect of eating disorders every year.
This year focused on how patients with co-occurring disorders, like a dual diagnoses of an eating disorder and substance abuse, are sometimes treated separately because some clinicians are trained in one area but don’t feel comfortable treating the other.
“There’s no real training program for that combination although there’s a huge overlap in people with addictions and eating disorders,” Dr. Kim Dennis, CEO and cofounder of SunCloud Health, said. “Up to 50 percent of people with eating disorders will have an addiction and few eating disorder professionals have any addiction training and vice versa.”
Keynote speakers shared information with the crowd exploring the role of the brain, genetics, trauma exposure, and cultural and environmental influences, and how clinicians can effectively treat patients at all levels of care.
In a recent article “Call to apply an outcomes and value-based approach to mental health“, published by ScienceBusiness.net – Author Gary Finnegan explores the push to develop standards and enable mental health to join the value-based healthcare revolution; sighting SunCloud Health as an example of this movement and David Newton as a thought leader on the subject.
The time is now right for the value-based approach to healthcare pioneered by Harvard economist Michael Porter to be applied to mental health. Services should be integrated into a holistic healthcare model focusing on outcomes that matter to patients, says David Newton, co-founder of SunCloud Health, a mental health clinic modelled on Porter’s approach.
Value-based healthcare is reshaping hospital care and improving surgical outcomes but has been slow to catch on in psychiatry.
Measuring outcomes that matter to patients is at the heart of the value-based approach which has been dubbed the Strategy That Will Fix Health Care by its supporters. Newton, who studied under Porter, is calling for the silos between mental and physical wellbeing to be broken down.
Payers, he says, should reward clinics that can demonstrate overall improvements in measurable patient outcomes, while providers should measure and share patient data in a uniform way.
Hynes Recovery Services highlighted SunCloud Health to the Hynes Recovery Services Treatment Network, identified as a top notch treatment facilities as part of their growing list of resources available to college students nationwide seeking support for their eating disorder.
Special thanks to Dawn Hynes, MSW, Hynes Recovery Services for the recognition.
Dr Kim will be featured speaker at this years ICHOM conference, October 25th – 26th, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
We’re helping to spread the word on ICHOM’s mission to unlock the potential of value-based health care by defining global standard sets of outcome measures that really matter to patients with relevant medical conditions, driving adoption and reporting of these measures worldwide.
We hope you will join us at the conference.
Follow the ICHOM on social:
Conference hashtag: #ICHOM17
Dr Kim’s will be speaking on day two of the conference – read more
SunCloud Health is celebrating our one year anniversary!
We proudly serve patients from the Northshore to heart of Chicago. We have an amazing group of therapists committed to providing the best care and restoring lives for people in our community. What’s coming? As we move in to year two at SCH, we do so with a tremendous amount of momentum, excitement, passion and humility. In year one year we have successfully launched our daytime adult IOP and PHP programs along with several outpatient groups and individual treatment. Next is an evening adult IOP and an adolescent IOP. In the meantime, we are in the midst of expanding space in our current location and working toward, “SCH #2” in downtown Chicago. At the heart of everything we do is the quality of clinical work that goes on inside of these four walls. The care team we have built and continue to build around our patients’ condition is by far the most important part of what we do. Shale Marks, LSW, CADC and our Acting Executive Director, shares his thoughts on where we are at and where we are going in his video clip.
Recent additions to our team include a full time Registered Dietitian and several therapists, including Hannah Carra. Every member of the SCH team shares a belief that we must all do our own work in order to provide the best possible care to our patients. Hannah eloquently speaks to this in her video clip, which we hope you will watch. SCH and Dr. Kim will be speaking at several events over the next few months, all of which are extremely exciting. We are humbled by all of these opportunities and hopeful that those who attend will find value in our participation. Please see below for a list of where we will be this fall, and please come and support us at each of these amazing organizations if you can!
- Dr. Kim is participating on a panel at the The 59th Annual ICYPAA (International Conference on Young People in AA) Event in Chicago. Her topic will be, “The Research on AA and the Surgeon General’s Report“. Click Here
- Dr. Kim and SCH have been invited to speak at the 2017 Ichom Conference in Washington DC. Click Here The panel is titled, Clinical Care Track: Value-Based Care in the Community Setting.
- Dr. Kim will be speaking at an Alexian Brothers event on October 27 titled, “A Holistic Approach to the Complex Patient; The Treatment of Eating Disorders and Non Suicidal Self Injury“. Dr. Kim is the key note speaker and will be speaking specifically on, “How to treat the 1/3 of ED patients who have a chronic eating disorder“. Click Here
- Dr. Kim will be speaking at the 2017 BEDA (Binge Eating Disorder Association) Annual Conference. Her topic is, “What’s Addiction Got to do with it? The Emerging Research Linking Dysfunction In Brain Reward and Compulsivity Circuits to AN, BN and BED“. Click Here
Treating those who struggle with process addictions and mood disorders in an incredibly challenging venture. These are not broken bones which can be easily diagnosed with an x-ray and treated with a standard operation with fairly predictable outcomes and a prescription for rehab. The diseases we treat are complex, often with multiple layers to them. A diagnosis can change once a patient engages in treatment, and what works for one does not necessarily work for another. Outcomes are difficult to measure and none of us are measuring the same outcomes anyway. Care models are fragmented, and waste is abundant. Patients are often discouraged from getting help because of stigma and shame and payers don’t want to pay for treatment in large part because they have no idea what they are getting for the money they spend. Ultimately, all of this often results in even more treatment and subsequently more cost. It also results in poorer outcomes for our patients, which is ultimately what matters most.
There is great potential for improvement on all of these fronts as we move away from a fee for service model and in to a value based model. This new paradigm will naturally align interests, create value and improve quality of care. We support this powerful shift in medicine and are proud to recognize Beacon Health Options and Column Health for their innovative and exciting collaboration in pioneering a value based model for treating opiate addiction. We are grateful for the risk and the vision both organizations are showing in this effort and we look forward to continuing to be a part of the future of behavioral health in a similar way. READ HERE for the press release.
Dr. Kim Dennis represented SunCloud Health at Residential Eating Disorders Consortium (REDC) Lobby Day alongside Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Veritas Collaborative, Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, Center For Discovery, & others to collaborate on issues impacting residential treatment programs for those struggling with eating disorders.
For more information on REDC, visit www.residentialeatingdisorders.org.
A Unique Opportunity for Dr. Kim and SCH to Collaborate with Judges and Lawyers in Family Court On Drugs, Alcohol and Parenting.
MAY 12, 2017 – TOPIC – Medical Marijuana and Beyond
The Landscape of Illegal, Prescription Substances and Abuse in 2017
Related to Family Law Cases
SCH is honored to announce that Kimberly Dennis, MD, Founder and Medical Director of SCH, will be participating as a panelist on the topic of drugs and addiction in family law cases. The nexus between broken families and addiction is one that we see every day at SunCloud, and the victims who need and deserve more support than anyone are often the innocent children who are stuck in the middle. With as much progress as the legal system has made in recent years in recognizing the need for compassion for these diseases over punishment for “poor choices”, the fact of the matter is judges and lawyers still need a lot of support in navigating these sometimes-murky waters full of ignorance, lack of education, stigma, shame, deception, uncertainty, risk and fear.
US family law courts see millions of families every year dealing with the messy and often highly emotional reality of divorce. As compassionate as judges want to be when trying to make the best decision for a family, the reality is many of them simply do not understand or have the education to make informed decisions, particularly when drugs and alcohol are involved. They are not to blame. Even the most well trained clinicians don’t always know what is right and wrong when dealing with addiction and other self-destructive behaviors turned to as people are generally trying to deal with pain and loss. Things like how to assess what truly is in the best interest of the child when drugs are involved, what constitutes genuine and sustainable recovery, how to read and interpret a drug panel test or whether or not to trust what a litigant’s legal advocate is arguing for their client are all areas where judges need support. Most lawyers could benefit from much the same; when to trust their client, who may be suffering from the disease of addiction, how to balance the best interest of their client with the best interest of their client’s children and most importantly how to help their clients seek the help they need without fear that the court system will punish those who humbly and genuinely seek the help they need.
This is where Dr. Kim comes in. This is truly a remarkable and unique opportunity to make a huge difference in a community that needs and most impressively wants the help. As a parent, a woman in recovery and an experienced psychiatrist who has successfully treated thousands of people suffering from various forms of addiction, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage with a community which has so much power with people who have lost so much power.
Other panelists include The Hon. Jeanne Cleveland Bernstein, The Hon. David Haracz, The Hon. Maritza Martinez, The Hon. Mark Lopez , Marsha Fisher Esq. James Palmisano noted attorney, John Wroblewski litigator and child representative, Special Agent in Charge Dennis Wichern an Agent James Jones.
Fact: According to the American Psychological Association, between 40-50% of married couples in the United States end in divorce, and that rate is even higher for subsequent (second) marriages.
Fact: According to many reliable surveys including the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, divorce is the second most stressful life event behind “death of a spouse” and above other traumatic events such as imprisonment, dismissal from work and personal injury or illness. Divorce is particularly stressful and traumatic for the innocent children of divorce.
Fact: Early childhood trauma has been shown through many well-established studies to increase ones chances of becoming dependent on alcohol and drugs later in life.
Fact: The number one cause of divorce is infidelity. Drinking or drug ranks third.
Fact: Though most will never see the inside of a court house, the reality is millions of people every year find themselves inside the walls of Family Court dealing with these very issues. Major decisions are made inside of these walls which can have long lasting consequences for families and our society in general.
SAVE THE DATE! MAY 12, 2017 – TOPIC – Medical Marijuana and Beyond – The Landscape of Illegal, Prescription Substances and Abuse in 2017
Related to Family Law Cases
LEDDED LTD. and its panel of experts will examine the above issues in a Seminar on May 12, 2017. The panel will consist of Judges, Guardians for Minor Children, Attorneys who represent the parents and a nationally recognized Psychiatrist who has successfully treated thousands of people in her career for various forms of addictions. The three-hour seminar will go into depths on many topics related to Substances Abuse. First the discussion centers on the issue of Schedule I drugs, and the effects they have on parenting. Second, the issue of Abuse of Prescription Drugs, benzodiazepines, opioids, steroids, and other substances, including Drinking Alcohol and its interactions with prescription drugs. Good parenting, and the effects of prescribed drugs from birth defects, peer pressure and recreational drug use, as well as Under the Influence driving are all topics to be explored. Medical Marijuana is in a pilot test in Illinois, scheduled to end in 2020. Since 2015, Medical Marijuana has been used as a defense in substance abuse cases related to Child visitation and custody. The law has specific criteria and often those are overlooked by attorneys representing a litigant with or without a legal prescription. That is of major concerns where Best interest of the Child needs to be applied. At the same time, on a national basis, an opioid crisis and other excessive use of Schedule I and II drugs (classified by the National Drug Enforcement Agency of the Federal Department of Justice) have been identified. The panel will discuss and consider the issues related to abuse of prescribed drugs
Prepare your questions, this is the seminar you will not want to miss. Whether you are a judge, a litigator, children’s lawyer, or an evaluator under the new statute, you will want to participate in this event.
As always, not for profits, government agency representatives and retired counsel are invited at reduced rates. Early bird rates from February 20 – April 1 will apply.
Please contact Nancy Mynard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312 493-0260 for more information and enrollment
Read David Newton’s post in the CTAD (Community the Anti-Drug) April 2017 newsletter.
Encouraging Positive Choices
During Alcohol Awareness Month
by David Newton, SunCloud Health
The disease of addiction in America is one that seems to be getting worse as evidenced by what has become commonly known as the “opiate epidemic.” The good news is that a person doesn’t typically wake up one morning and decide to use heroin. Addiction is a progressive disease, which generally starts with alcohol or marijuana. As tolerance increases, the need for a stronger drug to achieve the same high also increases, and as a result, a person may turn to “harder” drugs such as opiates and cocaine. Because alcohol can be stop number one on the path to addiction, it is incredibly important to do everything we can to encourage our kids to stay away from alcohol. Medically speaking, alcohol is a poison and for those predisposed–either genetically or environmentally–to any sort of addictive behavior, the slope can be very slippery. READ MORE
Proud to be on the board of Community – The Anti-Drug – http://communitytheantidrug.org/about/executive-board
We share values and support the C-tad mission of keeping our teen drug and alcohol free!
The mission of Community – The Anti-Drug is to reduce the use and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs among youth in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Highland Park, Highwood and Riverwoods.
The Coalition is a volunteer-led organization which strives to build and sustain a safe and drug-free community in which our youth feel protected, confident and empowered to make healthy choices. We bring together input and contributions from all sectors of the community—schools, parents, youth, government, healthcare, faith, law enforcement, youth-serving organizations and more—to transform the environment around our youth so that the drug-free choice is the easy choice. We regularly identify and implement best practices, strategies and solutions that are proven to be effective in accomplishing our mission.
To better serve you, we’ve moved! Our new address is 40 Skokie Blvd, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062. Our telephone number remain the same (866) 729-1012. Stop in and check out our beautiful, comfortable outpatient facility.
Congratulations to Dr. Kim, named to the National Advisory Board and University ED Recovery on Campus by Hynes Recovery Services, most notably for her expertise on Eating Disorders, Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders, Mood Disorders and Trauma. READ MORE
Dr. Kim Dennis delivered presentations on the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders and Food Addiction: New Research Fuels the Controversy, at the CAPTASA Conference on January 27th, 2017. The conference was presented by Kentucky Physicians Health Foundation.
The Kentucky Physicians Health Foundation has helped licensed professionals impact addictive disease and mental or emotional illness through advocacy and care management including confirmation of impairment issues, intervention, assessment, directing acute treatment, and aftercare.
December 7 Event at SCH
Located in Highland Park, SunCloud Health is pleased to announce an evening of education and discussion on the topic of prevention, early detection, awareness and the myriad of treatment options for children/teens struggling with substance use disorder, eating disorders and other mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and trauma.
Led by Kimberly Dennis, MD, and clinicians at SCH, this evening is specifically designed for parents, school counselors/social workers, athletic coaches, teachers and other members of the community who are at the forefront of the current addiction epidemic. Those who may not be “professionally trained” to know what to do, what not do to, and when, will be the focus of this enriching and informative event. The evening will include a brief presentation and then a discussion with plenty of time for questions and answers. Don’t miss this opportunity to spend an evening with nationally renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Kim Dennis, MD.
Please join us December 7th, 2016 at 5 pm at:
210 Skokie Valley Rd. Suite A, Highland Park, Illinois 60035
PLEASE RSVP TO INFO@SUNCLOUDHEALTH.COM
Dr. Kim Dennis, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in treating substance use disorder, process addictions, eating disorders and co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, depression and trauma. She currently serves as the founder and CEO of SunCloud Health, an outpatient treatment center located in Highland Park which treats men and women, adolescents and adults. She is also currently the Medical Director and CEO Emeritus at Timberline Knolls, where she has helped thousands of remarkable people with their illnesses in a residential setting.
Refreshments and appetizers will be served.
Dr. Dennis Will Be The Keynote Speaker at the Next November Meeting of Eating Disorders Network
She will be speaking on “The Many Faces of Trauma in Patients with Eating Disorders”. The emphasis will be on recognizing trauma effects when they appear in a session and designing treatment to reduce or eliminate those effects.
Title: The Many Faces of trauma in patients with eating disorders
1) be able to define trauma, understand the prevalence of trauma and PTSD in the ED population, and the factors which interfere with its identification.
2) understand the impact of early adverse experiences on brain development and epigenetics
3) recognize clinical manifestations of trauma in ED patients and common therapist reactions to these (“resistance,” ,”borderline” “behaviors”, “dropout”).
4) understand evidence base for integrated treatment for patients with co-occurring ED and PTSD.
The November meeting of the Eating Disorders Network will be held on: Friday, November 18, 2016 from 12:30-2:30pm at Francesca’s North Restaurant
Please contact Robin Ross, PhD, Founder, Chicago Area Eating Disorders Network @email@example.com for more information.
It’s Official, SunCloud Health IOP Is Now Open.
Our next group is scheduled to run from 5-8:30 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We are working on building a group for adolescents. Please Contact Us For More Information, to include information on a sober housing component in collaboration with A Fresh Start, a sober living environment conveniently located in multiple locations throughout Chicago for patients from out of town or for patients who for one reason or another would benefit from getting away from home while in treatment.
Meet the SunCloud Health Team at NEDA Conference
Professionals, families and friends are all welcome at this year’s National Eating Disorder Conference (NEDA) next week in Chicago. The Sky’s The Limit is a great theme for this year’s conference. At SCH we couldn’t agree more! With proper diagnosis and treatment, recovery from these deadly diseases is attainable. Helping people achieve freedom from their self-destructive thoughts and behaviors is what we try and do every single day. The sky is indeed most definitely the limit.
Stop by booth #102!
We look forward to visiting with you and encourage you to reach out and set up some time to talk should you want to meet individually.
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT – NEDA Conference
September 29 – October 1, 2016, Chicago, IL
Where to see Dr Kim live?
Attend the ANDA One-day conference, on September 9, 2016.
The purpose of the ANAD conference is to bring together renowned professionals from across multi-disciplines to continue the education process on the topic of eating disorders. It is a common goal of the eating disorder community to help individuals on their path to overall health and wellness and this can be achieved by attending ANAD’s One Day, Wellness, Not Weight,
Thank you C-tad!
We enjoy sharing our stories and successes, great to see the C-tad posting a SunCloud Health story and sharing it on social media..
Its a great group that really cares about community.
The perspective of a sober teen on the North Shore–it’s up to us to let our teens know that the data shows most of them don’t drink and most don’t get high. And our community definitely wants to do something about it. We care.
Read More about C-tad in the Chicago Tribune – C-tad – Community: The Anti-Drug