Move allows Bradley Hospital to expand child anxiety program in East Providence

In response to an increasing demand for mental-health services for children, Bradley Hospital has relocated and expanded its Pediatric Anxiety Research Center at the hospital’s main campus in East Providence.

The center, known as PARC, formerly located in the Coro West Building, treats children ages 5 to 18 with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, including a nationally recognized intensive program for children with OCD.

The move, announced in June, has allowed Bradley to expand the capacity of its intensive program from 12 to 21 children, according to PARC’s program directors, Jennifer Freeman, director of research and training, and Abbe Garcia, clinical director. The program’s medical director is Dr. Brady Case. The new location unifies the hospital’s treatment programs with its research, education and training.

Since the move, the program has increased its staff from six to eight psychologists, and added another physician to its staff of three child psychiatrists.

PARC has routinely had a waiting list of several months, with similar wait times for its intensive program, Tara L. Woods, a spokeswoman for the Lifespan hospital group, said in an email. The program is now serving more youths in its intensive and outpatient research programs, she said, “but our clinic wait lists remain long.”

PARC is led by a team of child behavioral experts who specialize in the assessment and treatment of OCD and anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, illness anxiety and OC spectrum disorders, such as Tourette syndrome.

PARC, the only outpatient program in Rhode Island that treats pediatric OCD and anxiety, is one of three sites in the country for the largest federally funded treatment outcome studies for youth with OCD. The others are at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University.

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