Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota Dedicates New Eating Disorders Inpatient Unit in St. Paul with a $1.5 Million Gift from the Greg and Jane Goven Family

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, Minn. – (August 8, 2016) – Today, Children’s Minnesota celebrated the dedication of its inpatient facility for the Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders at its St. Paul, Minn. campus. Named the Goven Family Eating Disorders and Nutritional Stabilization Unit, it is the first of its kind in the region, offering immediate, round-the-clock access for critically ill children, adolescents and young adults needing medical and nutritional stabilization from complications of an eating disorder – the most life-threatening mental illness. The dedicated medical unit, with access to 26 beds, was made possible with a $1.5 million gift from Greg and Jane Goven and their adult children Tami and Chad, to support the Center’s mission of changing the standard of care for kids and teens with eating disorders.

“The way we treat kids and teens with eating disorders is unique in that we practice family-centric outpatient treatment with proven methods focused on keeping patients at home and engaged in familiar activities, including family, school, social life and normal dining routines,” said Dr. Beth Brandenburg, medical director at the Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders. “For the most serious cases, immediate medical support may be needed to stabilize patients before they can transition to outpatient therapy and get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.”

“This inpatient unit provides us with the ability to offer a focused space developed specifically for the treatment of eating disorders for seriously ill pediatric patients. The unparalleled care we’re able to provide as a children’s hospital allows access to a range of medical specialists who can identify and treat coexisting problems to stabilize patients quickly as we set them up for outpatient success,” said Dr. Julie Lesser, medical director of research and education at the Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders.

An average inpatient stay for critically ill eating disorder patients at Children’s Minnesota is 10-12 days, compared to residential treatment programs that can last up to six months. Upon discharge from the inpatient unit, patients immediately begin a customized, evidence-based, family-centered outpatient program that prevents lapses in care and has minimal disruption to a patient’s normal life. The outpatient program is one of few in the country offering both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Enhanced (CBT-E) and Family-Based Therapy (FBT), the clinical approaches with the highest rate of recovery.

“We know how prevalent and devastating eating disorders can be for families,” said Greg Goven, lead donor and chair of the Children’s Minnesota Foundation board. “Children’s Minnesota is at the forefront of transforming the way eating disorders are treated, with proven therapy models based on keeping families together during treatment. Our hope is that this gift will spark others to invest in the treatment of eating disorders and support the growth of this life-changing program at Children’s Minnesota.”

The involvement of the Goven family goes beyond the generous gift that made the inpatient unit possible. Greg’s daughter Tami Goven, a leader in advocacy for children, co-chairs the task force that is raising funds to further support the expansion of Children’s Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders.

“We are incredibly proud of the innovative approach to eating disorders treatment and breakthrough research happening at Children’s Minnesota,” said Tami. “Every member of the Children’s team is focused on ensuring that more patients achieve full recovery faster. Through our task force efforts and strong support from the community, our goal is to significantly expand the reach of these lifesaving treatments to more families in the region, and ultimately throughout the world.”

The Goven Family Eating Disorders and Nutritional Stabilization Unit officially opened in November 2015. Prior to having a dedicated space at the St. Paul campus, the inpatient program was housed at the Minneapolis hospital campus since 2011.

Coming up, Children’s Minnesota will host a public education forum titled, “It’s not a choice: inside the mind of an eating disorder patient,” featuring national speaker, Laura Hill, PhD, on Sept. 22 at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul, Minn. The event is free and open to the public.

About Children’s Minnesota

Children’s Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children’s Minnesota serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty-care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Children’s Minnesota maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children’s health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. This work is made possible in large part by generous philanthropic and volunteer support from individuals and organizations throughout the state and region. An award-winning health system, Children’s Minnesota is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children’s hospital and by The Leapfrog Group for quality and efficiency. Please visit

Becky Sonka