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New Perspectives - Jan, 2001 Issue #77 

Meridell Achievement Center
Austin, Texas
Jerry Romer
Director of Admissions/Intake

Meridell Achievement Center is a private, 111-bed psychiatric facility situated on two ranch-style campuses in the Texas Hill Country, just north of Austin, Texas. They have been providing behavioral health services for children and adolescents for over 35 years. Their specialty is the treatment of children and adolescents aged 5 through 17, who have emotional, behavioral and neurobehavioral problems, including post traumatic stress disorders, aggressive violent outbursts, and physical and sexual abuse. They feel their greatest asset is their interdisciplinary team of experts in psychiatry, psychology, neuropsychology, sociology, physical medicine, education, vocational skills and family therapy. 

Meridell is committed to “providing the highest quality of behavioral healthcare,” offering patient-focused case management and aftercare with service referrals that are anchored in the patient’s community. Their fully accredited charter school program allows transferable in-treatment school credits. Other treatment services include psychiatric evaluation, neurological exams, neuropsychological testing, psychological testing, individual, family, group and therapy, as well as organized sports, therapeutic art and music activities and leisure education. Psychiatric medication management is also included in Meridell’s services. 

Their Windridge Campus is located in suburban Austin, not far from Lake Travis. The Westwood Campus is on 60 acres of rolling ranchland, near Austin and Interstate Highway 35. “Both campuses are calm, hopeful and secure with: cottage-style living accommodations, a separate school building, gymnasium, swimming pool, basketball courts, and activity centers.”

One of the services available through the Meridell Achievement Center is the Neuropsychiatric Residential Treatment Center for Impulsive/Aggressive Children and Adolescents, aged 5 – 17 years old. Admission criteria for this program include: normal intelligence, pathological aggression, evidence of brain impairment, posing a danger to self or others, and those who are not benefiting from current treatment. “Pathological Aggression” refers to a pattern of aggressive behavior that occurs with little or no provocation. It is unplanned and impulsive, without either social or material gain. This behavior is intense, destructive and repetitive. The origin is almost always a brain dysfunction. The brain dysfunction produces an abnormally low threshold for aggression which results in someone who can be dangerous and difficult to manage.” They offer assessment, stabilization and aftercare services for these individuals.

Meridell is part of Universal Health Services, Inc., one of the largest providers of high-quality healthcare in the nation, licensed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services for the residential programs and the Texas Department of Health for their acute services. They are also accredited by JCAHO and are a TriCare approved provider. Most insurance plans cover Meridell’s services, and they are a preferred provider with many managed care plans. They also accept private pay clients.

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