Adolescent Weight Management Program Team

Director of the Children's Center for Liver Disease, and Medical Director of the CHANGES Program

Vania Kasper, MD, is director of the Liver Diseases Center and medical director of the CHANGES adolescent weight management program in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases at Hasbro Children's Hospital. Dr. Kasper is an assistant professor of pediatrics and clinician educator at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Learn more about Dr. Kasper and her research at Brown.edu »

Pediatric Surgeon, Adolescent Bariatric Surgeon

Elizabeth J. Renaud, MD, is a surgeon at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. She specializes in pediatric surgery and performs procedures at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. At Albany Medical Center, she was a pediatric trauma program director, associate professor of surgery and associate surgical residency program director. She held similar leadership positions at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center between 2009 and 2011. She was honored with the New York Rising Stars award in 2013.

Dr. Renaud’s research interests include trauma, outcomes research, minimally invasive surgery, and adolescent bariatric surgery. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, such as the Journal of Pediatric Surgery and the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. She has presented her research on topics such as endometrial cancer, appendicitis and childhood obesity. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Pediatric Trauma Society and the American Pediatric Surgical Association.

Medical Director, Feeding Program

Carolina Cerezo, MD, is medical director of the Feeding Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital. Dr. Cerezo is also an associate professor of pediatrics and clinician educator at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She is certified in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.

Learn more about Dr. Cerezo and her research at Brown.edu »

Psychologist

Wendy Hadley, PhD, received her degree in pediatric psychology from the University of Memphis in 2003. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship within the Brown University Clinical Consortium.

She joined the pediatric cardiology division at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in 2016 and is an assistant professor (research) in the Division of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. During the past 12 years Dr. Hadley has worked with a variety of pediatric patients and their families, including those affected by cancer, HIV, feeding disorders, and obesity. 

Her clinical interests include adjustment to pediatric medical conditions and disease prevention. Research interests include the prevention of health risk behavior and the use of technology in the delivery of behavioral health interventions.

Senior Research Scientist

Elissa Jelalian, PhD, has been a staff psychologist in the department of child and family psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital since 1992. She is also a professor of psychiatry and human behavior and pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Jelalian is a graduate of Brandeis University. She earned her doctorate at Miami University, and did her post-doctoral training in the department of child and family psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Contact Dr. Jelalian

Email: EJelalian@Lifespan.org

Research Interests

Dr. Jelalian’s research program focuses on development and implementation of innovative weight control interventions for children and adolescents, as well as evaluation of state wide policy to promote healthier school nutrition and physical activity environments.  Her research has been supported by the US National Institutes of Health since 1999 and has had a significant impact on the study of behavioral weight control interventions for adolescents.

Her current research investigates innovative strategies for involving parents in adolescent weight control. She is also the co principal investigator on a National Institute of Mental Health treatment development grant evaluating the efficacy of cognitive behavioral intervention combined with exercise in the treatment of overweight and depressed adolescents.

Lori LaFrance, PT
Clinical Manager of Children's Rehabilitation Services
Bariatric Surgeon

Beth Ann  Ryder, MD is a surgeon specializing in bariatric surgery, surgical education, and emerging technologies for minimally invasive surgery. She is also an assistant professor of surgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Ryder received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. She completed her residency in general surgery and a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Brown Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.

Katelyn Chopy, RD
Pediatric Clinical Dietitian
Rachel Damiani, RD
Pediatric Clinical Dietitian