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Serving a Critical Community Need, Pediatric Weight Management Clinic Opens Downtown

 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Boys Town National Research Hospital is once again responding to a critical community healthcare service need with the opening of the Pediatric Weight Management Clinic.

According to the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment, an Omaha area health survey, nearly 30% of children in our community have excess body weight that affects their health, making pediatric obesity a top concern of pediatricians and parents.

The Pediatric Weight Management Clinic, which opened November 19, will provide a comprehensive team approach to help children and families reach personal health goals.

"We are seeing more and more children in our care with weight-related health conditions that used to be considered adult health problems," said Kelly McCarthy, M.D., Boys Town pediatrician and director of the Clinic. "Diabetes, elevated cholesterol and liver conditions at a young age can lead to serious life-long complications for a developing child. The clinic will bring together not only the medical aspects, but will also focus on the individual social and emotional needs of every child and family to help guide impactful change."

The Pediatric Weight Management Clinic is designed to meet children and families where they are on their health journey, focusing on four key areas:

  • Medical management addressing and treating medical conditions due to weight
  • Nutrition knowledge through counseling and meal planning to teach healthy eating
  • Activity and exercise training in a variety of settings to encourage participation
  • Behavioral and mental healthcare to identify and replace unhealthy habits

Patients and families will work directly with a pediatrician, child psychologist, dietician and physical therapist to create a unique plan for their needs. Our multidisciplinary team will meet with families monthly to coordinate care and services, including nutrition education, cooking classes, age-appropriate fitness classes and to provide motivation and support to keep them on track.

For some children, bariatric surgery may be an option. The child will require a medical evaluation to determine if he or she qualifies. If surgery is indicated, a Boys Town board-certified pediatric surgeon experienced in bariatric surgery will perform the surgery.

"Weight change happens over time and with a lot of encouragement and support," said Dr. McCarthy. "We want families to know we are here every step of the way, helping and guiding them toward a lifetime of good health."

The Clinic is now scheduling appointments at the downtown location, 555 North 30th Street (30th & California). If you believe your family could benefit from this service, talk to your primary care provider for a referral to the clinic.