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From Porter Ranch, California, USA:

I have read on your web site about the Cumberland Hospital for Children & Adolescents being mentioned as a treatment facility for behavioral issues, etc. for kids/teens with diabetes. Do you know of any diabetic kids/teens who actually went there and had a successful outcome?


I have met some folks from Cumberland, including a Medical Director. They have seemed genuine and sincere.

I have only sent one patient, many years ago (perhaps 15 years ago), to Cumberland. Cumberland is expensive and working out payment through third party payers can be tough. My experience is that state-funded Medicaid programs do not pay.

The patient I sent needed much help. He also REALLY needed a caring, parent/adult to be part of his diabetes plan. He did not have this. He did not do all that well at Cumberland...or so I understand. My biggest complaint was that, as the young man's referring endocrinologist, I received absolutely NO feedback or progress reports on the patient. We worked several months on getting this young man accepted into Cumberland and to arrange insurance to pay and then got no progress reports until the child was discharged several months after his admission. A concern, not documented, was that after the money dried up, they discharged him.

I have not heard this complaint from any other colleague who I understand has sent patients. This is only my experience with the one patient.


Additional comments from Dr. Tessa Lebinger:

I have had a few patients go to Cumberland. They do an excellent job with the patients while they are there, but they are not able to work with long distance families to help them work with the teenagers when they come home. I find that when they return home and leave the structured, supervised environment of Cumberland, the teens usually have the same problems they had before they went to the facility. I think finding a local program, psychiatrist, or social worker who is willing to help the teen and families cope with diabetes in the context of their real life is usually more productive.


Additional comments from Debbie Butler, MSW, LICSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker:

I have told some families about Cumberland Hospital, but I don't know anyone that has used the program. One concern is that I do not know if out of state insurance companies will pay for this program. You may want to call Cumberland and ask them if they take out of state insurance.

I do agree that it is hard to find a residential program that will take children with diabetes, but we have found two facilities in my area that will manage diabetes. However, I see patients in Boston so I am at the other end of the country. If you are able to find a residential program that will allow patients with diabetes, I would recommend that the residential program staff should be in charge of all diabetes tasks versus just observing your son/daughter take his/her insulin. I worry that some adolescents intentionally omit insulin for various reasons and it will be hard for your son/daughter to receive mental health treatment if his/her blood sugars are out of range and going into DKA. Also, when your son/daughter is at home will he/she let you be in charge of her insulin?


Original posting 21 Aug 2007
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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