Leadership Columbia launches project to bring awareness to eatin - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Leadership Columbia launches project to bring awareness to eating disorders

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It was at the State House lobby that the Leadership Columbia class of 2014 announced their plans to make the Hearth Center their project for this year in hopes of bringing awareness to eating disorders in the state.

"An estimated 4,000 adolescents [in SC] are struggling with an eating disorder and they affect persons of every race, color, gender and socio-economic status," said Steven Creech with Leadership Columbia.

Creech said that's why the group felt so compelled to focus on letting others know about the Hearth Center.

The facility just opened last year and is set up on the campus of the Carolina Children's Home.

It's the only residential treatment facility for eating disorders in the state.

"They had a number of projects they were considering, over 40 and so for us to be chosen was just a huge, huge blessing for us," said Hearth CEO Peggy Torrey.

At the press conference, Leadership Columbia, a subset of the Columbia Chamber announced plans to help expand the hearth center's facilities while also helping the center with their marketing and social media.

State lawmakers threw in their support unanimously voting to declare Feb. 6 eating disorder awareness day in South Carolina.

"If you look at the number of people diagnosed with eating disorder disease, 95 percent of them are under the age of 25, it really affects young people," said State Sen. Joel Lourie.

Hearth officials say through all of this they hope that people will come to know that the facility exists being that they are the only residential treatment facility in South Carolina.

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