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Dell Children's Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity

A new leader in the field of childhood obesity opened in April 2010 at the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin. Headed by Dr. Stephen Pont, the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity focuses on reversing obesity trends in children and reducing long-term illnesses caused by obesity. The Center supports both children and their families through a multi-disciplinary, family-based approach.

The Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity includes four CL•E•A•R components: evidence based multidisciplinary CLinical treatment; patient, community, and student/trainee Education; community Advocacy and capacity building; and novel Research to advance knowledge, document success and expand services.

A new leader in the field of childhood obesity opened in April 2010 at the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.

Dell Children’s obesity center incorporates its best practices through its grant funded after-school program, “healthy Living happy Living” (“Vida Sana Vida Feliz” for Spanish-speakers) and through its multidisciplinary weight management clinic ACES (Activating Children Empowering Success). Healthy Living happy Living serves overweight and obese children aged six to 11 and their parents or guardians. The 10-week program focuses on empowering children and their families to make lifelong healthy changes. Program sessions are available in both English and Spanish. The 10-week classes work with 15 to 20 children at a time as well as their parents or guardians. About every three months, the center hosts a “reunion” to check in with participants. Although the classes do not emphasize the participants’ performance, Dr. Kimberly Avila Edwards, the program’s medical director and ACES Clinic pediatrician, says they see health improvements in parents and kids alike due to the family-oriented approach. The ACES Clinic provides comprehensive evaluation, psychosocial support and treatment for obese children and teens. Mental health concerns, including depression and low self-esteem, frequently challenge the Center’s patients and are addressed under the direction of the Center’s child psychologist, Dr. Jane Gray.

Dell Children’s obesity center also works with the Austin Independent School District, through Children’s/AISD Student health Services, which provides 113 schools with more than 60 full-time school health assistants and 75 full- and part-time registered nurses. These professionals, employed by Dell Children’s Medical Center, offer a broad spectrum of health services including diabetes screening, body-mass indexing and case management to more than 87,000 students, many of whom lack health insurance. For more information on the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, visit the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas website.

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